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Does Cedar Need To Be Sealed?

Cedar is a common outdoor material because of its beauty and toughness. Cedar is often used in outdoor decks. But you might be wondering if cedar requires sealing. We have come up with an answer to this query after extensive research.

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Sealing your cedar deck will prolong its life and ensure that it will survive for many years. The wood will be shielded from graying, weathering, excessive moisture, cracking, UV radiation, and fading if it is sealed. Cedar will look wonderful and last longer if properly maintained.

Cedar wood will stay aesthetically pleasing and structurally solid for many years if properly maintained. This article will discuss if you need to seal your cedar wood, whether you should let it be waterproofed, and if staining protects the wood. Continue reading so that you can decide whether or not to seal the cedar in your house. 

Carpenter applying sealer to a cedar fence, Does Cedar Need To Be Sealed?

Should You Seal Cedar?

For fences, gates, and other outdoor applications, cedar is the ideal choice. It is the perfect material for walking on because it is soft and firm. Cedar is more solid than most wood species, so it is less likely to split and crack.

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Regularly check your fence for deterioration and weathering and make quick fixes. If you don't give it protection from the sun, the cedar's natural appearance will disappear in a few months, turn gray, and look unattractive.

Sealing cedar wood molding

Sealing helps maintain the strength and beauty of the wood. Your cedar will retain its rich color and be protected from deterioration like cracking, graying, and warping due to sealing. Sealing your deck will increase its life and ensure that it will survive many years.

Choose a sealant that is semi-transparent and has pigments with a cedar color. However, if weather protection over color is your primary priority, you can choose water-sealing treatments.

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A water-based polyurethane finish is ideal for sealing wood without changing its color. An excellent alternative is an acrylic lacquer.

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To seal the wood, thoroughly clean it using a brush and dishwashing detergent if the wood is exceptionally dirty. Without first cleaning the wood thoroughly, you cannot seal it. Then allow it to completely dry.

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You may use either a brush or roller when applying the sealant. Make sure to coat the entire area while applying the sealer evenly. To seal the wood effectively, repeat the sealing procedure a few times.

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You should avoid using a power washer, because it will harm the wood. Clean your cedar wood once a year, and apply a high-quality sealant every three to five years to keep it looking its best.

The sealer will wear off if your deck absorbs water. This means you should reseal it before summer arrives. Protecting your cedar will give it visual appeal and long-lasting beauty for many years of enjoyment.

A cedar hardwood flooring

Does Cedar Need To Be Waterproofed?

Apply a waterproofing sealer to prevent your cedar wood from splitting and breaking due to weather conditions. It may also extend its lifespan and improve its attractiveness.

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You must first remove any dirt that has amassed on the wood. Sand the surface with a 50-grit sanding disc to scratch cedar softly if the finish is smooth. Apply as many waterproof coatings with a brush or roller as the cedar can absorb for the longest possible lifespan.

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Avoid applying more than one coat of treatment to the cedar if you intend to paint it after the waterproofing. Typically, cedar requires retreatment every two years, which you can prolong with several waterproofing applications. Seal your cedar every three to five years. 

Does Staining Cedar Protect It?

Applying sealant on cedar flooring

Cedar used for outdoor projects like furniture and fences lasts for years without finishing because of its rot resistance and solidity. However, after a few months, cedar loses its natural color in direct sunshine. 

Cedar should be stained to stop the wood from weathering and greying due to UV rays, dampness, and climatic changes. A semi-transparent stain with cedar-colored pigments is a good choice because it reflects the UV sunlight that degrades the surface fibers and will stop it from going gray.

Staining during the first two to three months after installing cedar woodwork is advisable to prevent the wood from cracking and peeling. Stain prolongs the life of the wood by preventing degradation.

Utilizing a stain is a terrific idea if you want to maintain the natural appearance of your cedar siding. A stain may give the wood a lovely, smooth, shiny finish while protecting it from the elements and enhancing the natural beauty of cedar wood. You can refresh it as often as necessary to preserve the original colors. 

Even though staining wood siding isn't required, many people opt to do it because it is an excellent method to change its color without having it appear excessive.

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Can You Leave Cedar Untreated?

One frequently cited benefit of cedar is that you may treat it with paint or stain, or you can let it weather naturally. Cedar wood won't be harmed by the destructive effects of mold, rot, and insect damage if you leave it untreated.

However, you may wear it with a pale silvery-gray color. Thus, decay will eventually begin to appear.

A cedar tree wall

Structures made of untreated cedar wood can gradually fade due to the natural forces of nature, such as wind and rain.

Cedar ages unevenly and has a blotchy appearance, one part of the weathering process that some homeowners dislike. The natural oils in cedar do protect the wood, but only temporarily.

It's advisable to treat cedar wood unless you want it raw. Any stains that can corrode the wood must be removed. You should also eliminate any plants and vines that can scratch the fence.

You should stain cedar every year to keep it from turning from a warm, fresh-looking shade to one with a cooler, more aged appearance.

How Long Does Cedar Last Outdoors?

Carpenter applying sealer to the cedar wood

Cedar is a solid and attractive material. It provides natural resistance to various external elements. The natural oils that protect it from things like rotting and insect damage keep it resilient.

It resists moisture absorption, decay, splits, and insect attacks. Although cedar wood can survive for many years, the exact lifespan depends on several factors, including those beyond your control, like upkeep. 

It usually lasts between 15 to 20 years. Cedar wood may endure up to 40 years if it is treated. 

Furniture made of cedar is generally thought to be a good option for outdoor use. Cedar has many vital features that make it suited for outdoor use and is less expensive than teak and lighter than oak.

While cedar requires little upkeep, there are a few things you can do to help it last a long time. Never set cedar on concrete or in a location where it will directly contact the ground. Even if it lasts for a while, it will eventually rot and become useless.

Coatings that provide protection help to keep the wood safe from harm. The natural aging process of cedar results in a gray tint if untreated or unstained.

In Closing

Carpenter applying sealer to a cedar fence

Many homes employ cedar, a ubiquitous and adaptable wood. It's a fantastic option for outdoor uses due to its price and durability.

Make sure you are knowledgeable about cedar wood maintenance before installing it. Proper care of your cedar fence will enable it to remain vibrant and valuable for many years to come.

Be sure to choose the appropriate sealer that will shield the wood from damage for extended lengths of time.

We hope you've learned from this article about cedar wood. Before you go, check out some of our other posts about cedar:

How To Clean Cedar Wood Walls [Inc. Mildew]

What Colors Go With Cedar Siding?

How Often Should You Stain Cedar Siding?