When you choose to build with real cedar, you’re entering a world of heightened beauty, unparalleled versatility and environmental friendliness. You’re also building with a tremendously durable material, one that’s equally stunning indoors or outdoors partly due to the fact that it holds up so well under even the least pleasant conditions. But even a strong building material like real cedar won’t last forever, or even as long as possible, without some attention to care and maintenance, primarily in the form of high quality finishes.
Before you build with cedar, it may be a good idea to gain an understanding of the material and how to keep it looking and functioning its best. Not surprisingly, whether your cedar is located outdoors or indoors will play a role in determining what your cedar is exposed to, as well as how you treat it.
Outdoor cedar maintenance
Finished exterior cedar has a reputation for being extremely durable, as well as amenable to a full range of finishing options. But exposure to the elements and everyday use can result in those finishes losing their luster, and moisture can cause mildew, moss and algae to develop. These problems lead to discoloration, which is both an aesthetic issue as well as an accelerant of the degrading process. Fortunately, remedies are available and can be applied during refinishing.
Especially for cedar decks, it’s also important to make sure you’re protecting the deck from the effects of regular use, and to treat it almost like another room in your home that you need to clean on a regular basis. Decks should be swept free of debris, and any deck furniture, plants or other frequently stationary objects should be moved around from time to time.
Indoor cedar maintenance
Meanwhile, on the inside of your building, your cedar is going to be at much lower risk of damage, simply because rain, dirt, pests and other natural elements won’t be in contact with it. And the process of finishing cedar for interior use is a little different, as it uses different products and aims to achieve a different type of protection. Indoors, you’re more likely to need to protect your cedar against liquid spills and abrasions. Most interior finishes will work well for these purposes while also allowing you to clear any cedar surfaces without too much difficulty.
The key exception indoors is if the cedar is likely to be exposed to considerable amounts of moisture, as you’d find in a bathroom. While exterior finishes can and should be used in bathrooms when possible, you’ll still want to be sure they’re safe for inside the home.
Obviously, this has been a very brief overview of some of the things you’ll want to understand if you expect to care for your cedar. If you’re curious about what you need to do to keep your cedar in optimum condition, talk to the team at Bolen-Brunson-Bell Lumber Co. We’ll give you the scoop on cedar maintenance in Memphis, TN, and we’ll work with you to determine a maintenance schedule that works for your family or business.