When most people think of St. Louis cedar siding, they conjure up an image of cedar lined closets or chests that are great for keeping out moths and other pests.
However, cedar is also an optimal choice home exterior siding because it is among the most durable of all soft woods, offers optimal insulation, great noise deflection from street level, and is long-lasting. Not to mention that cedar siding is one of the most beautiful selections available.
Cedar Siding Benefits
Cedar is what is known in the lumber industry as a low-density soft wood, which means that it features an open cell structure – unlike many traditional siding choices. This quality makes cedar a light wood that is easy for construction and a great insulator to keep monthly energy costs down – winter, summer, spring and fall.
Because of cedar’s low density, less heat is transported throughout the wood, which keeps heat from escaping from your home in the winter and (inversely) keeping cool air from getting away in the summertime. Cedar reduces heat flow, which creates a natural acoustic barrier. For those who are looking at siding materials from an environmental standpoint, cedar is a sustainable wood that is also very durable, no matter whether it is painted, treated, or left in its natural state.
Most people, however, choose cedar, or what is known as cedar shake, for its style. Cedar is beautiful to look at and very much “in vogue” when it comes to new home designs.
Style of Cedar Siding
Cedar siding, also known as cedar shake, comes in a variety of different stains and textures and is one of the warmest woods. Cedar offers your home a natural feel that blends in well with nearly any environment.
You can purchase beveled, board and batten, tongue and groove, channel or wavy edge beveled cedar siding in natural, unfinished and unstained or ready-stained and treated products. In its natural state, cedar siding will also give off a subtle aroma from the wood’s natural fragrance. When stained, cedar has even bigger possibilities as far as home design goes.
Maintaining Cedar Siding
Cedar is one wood that has natural anti-fungal and antibacterial characteristics that allow you to leave the wood completely untreated without worrying that it will warp, crack, or rot. Cedar does “weather”, however, and over time, untreated cedar will change its color and become more rugged than stained and treated siding options.
For this reason, staining is often recommended, and with staining, regular maintenance will be required – more so than with other wood siding options. In fact, many contractors recommend re-staining cedar on a semi-annual (every two years) basis. Take that fact into consideration when you are deciding whether to go with cedar, and this applies to cedar shingles as well.
Even for those homeowners who wish to allow their cedar to weather in its natural state, basic maintenance will need to be performed, such as pressure-washing each year to keep the St. Louis cedar siding clean and to add to its beauty. Most people just opt to hire a company to do this pressure-washing, or do it themselves by renting a pressure washer form a local hardware or home store.
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