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The Pros and Cons of Cedar Decks

Pros

Durable

Cedar has a long history of use in decking and housing. It’s a durable wood that is naturally resistant to rot, decay and insect attacks, and resists moisture absorption, so it tends to last longer, needs less maintenance, and doesn’t warp or split as easily. A cedar deck can last for 15-20 years or more, depending on maintenance and environment.

Attractive

Cedar is generally a more attractive wood solution, with strong color tones and consistency that can be sanded, stained, and treated for a beautiful finish.

Versatile

Western red cedar, used the most, is pitch- and resin-free, making it better for accepting and holding many different stains, bleaches, colors, and translucent finishes. Cedar is also available in many different dimensions, textures, and grades.

Environmentally Friendly

Many people are surprised to find out that cedar (and other natural woods) are actually more environmentally superior to synthetic products. It has a net negative greenhouse gas effect (it removes these gasses from the atmosphere), and is renewable and biodegradable. It’s also produced from sustainably managed forests, so it doesn’t degrade our natural forests.

Affordable

Although cedar decking isn’t the least expensive material, it is an affordable wood, given its many advantages.

Cons

Sensitive

As a softer wood, cedar decking can be more easily scratched or dented by furniture and pet claws.

Requires Maintenance

Cedar needs to remain well stained or sealed. You always have the option of an unstained, rustic look, but you still need to seal it every few years.

Deterioration Concerns

Although cedar lasts a long time under ideal conditions and treatment, it tends to degrade more quickly when it’s used for ground-level decks, and if it’s shaded, it will slowly dry out. Again, simple maintenance and re-sealing solve these problems.