Cedar vs. Pine
When it comes to maintenance, choosing cedar over pine can save you time and effort in the long run. Northern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis) provides many maintenance advantages over pine when used to construct log homes.
Rot Resistance & Insects
- Northern White Cedar naturally produces preservatives that make it one of the most decay, rot and insect resistant wood species. Because of this natural resistance, you'll reduce the need for harsh and expensive chemical treatments to protect your home from damaging insects or moisture.
- Pine is not naturally resistant to rot or insects, and requires treatment with chemicals on a regular basis to discourage invasion from pests or deterioration from rot or decay.
- Northern White Cedar is naturally low in moisture. Because of this characteristic, most of the time Katahdin is able to naturally air dry its cedar logs to a desirable 14-16 percent moisture level when it leaves the mill. When outdoor humidity is high, they will sometimes use a finishing kiln to maintain a consistently low log moisture content. This ideal moisture content allows homeowners to stain their homes at the time of construction. As a result, the stain and topcoat can provide maximum protection from the start and early application keeps ongoing maintenance easy.
- Green pine contains more than twice the water content than green cedar does. Pine is usually dried in a kiln to fix the sap and kill insects inside the logs. Despite the high heat drying, many pine log homes must be allowed to "breathe" for up to six months to further reduce internal moisture content before a stain and topcoat can be applied. This exposes the untreated wood to the elements for a considerable time before a protective stain layer can be applied. Ultimately because of its composition, pine requires much more stain maintenance.