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How and Why Cedar Siding is Environmentally Friendly

Cedar Versus Birch—Who Will Win?

Choosing between a softwood and a hardwood can be tough when you’re not aware of the properties of all the different types of wood. Depending on the use, from furniture to flooring, selecting the right species of wood is important not only for the project at hand, but for the longevity of the end product. Cedar and birch are two types of popular woods and both have a variety of uses. Nevertheless, cedar is a softwood and birch a hardwood. Regardless of how the term sounds, softwood is not weaker than hardwood, but can be less expensive. Fortunately, armed with further information, you can easily compare the two wood types and see which one wins for your building purposes.

BIRCH HARDWOOD

  • Two main varieties of birch for building purposes are yellow and white.
  • Yellow Birch varies from pale yellow to white in colour, with reddish-brown heartwood.
  • White Birch has a whiter colour resembling the light, creamy colours of Maple Wood, and can be indistinguishable between the two.
  • Birch is harder than Cedar, stable, and relatively easy to work with.
  • Birch is less expensive than several types of hardwoods and is readily available.
  • Birch doesn’t gouge easily and is therefore practical to work with.
  • Often used in the manufacturing of fine furniture and millwork, birch is also commonly used as veneer over plywood instead of solid wood.
  • Staining can be tricky with Birch since it can get blotchy and may require painting.
  • Birch holds screws well and is strong, making it ideal for bracing and other structural components, such as tables and cabinets.
  • Birch has good shock resistance and takes both stain and polish well.

CEDAR SOFTWOOD

  • The most common variety of cedar wood is Western Red Cedar which has a reddish colour, although there exists over a dozen species of cedar belonging to several different families of trees.
  • Western Red Cedar has a reddish to pink-brown heartwood and a light yellow-white sapwood.
  • Cedar has one of the most aromatic wood scents making it a pleasing addition to the interior and exterior of any building.
  • Cedar is an ideal choice for decks, patio furniture, wood shingles, and fence posts due to its inherent durability to withstand the elements.
  • Cedar has a straight grain and is known for its narrow, knotty planks because of its slow growth.
  • Western Red Cedar can withstand moist environments without decaying.
  • Additionally, it can be pre-stained in any colour you choose or left in its natural state. Western Red Cedar readily accepts colours and finishes and may be purchased in a wide range of grades, textures, and dimensions.
  • Biodegradable and recyclable, cedar provides excellent insulation.
  • Cedar wood decking is lighter and therefore, easier to work with than many other types of decking material.
  • Cedar softwood is also affordable and sustainably sourced.
Certainly, it depends on the type of project you require the wood for that will win your choice. After careful consideration of the pros and cons of each wood type, the decision should become clear which type of wood is best suited for the job.  

The Advantages of Fire Treated Wood

When it comes time to decide what type of material to build with, architects and homebuilders often choose wood mainly because of its aesthetically pleasing look and adaptability in design. Thereafter, they must decide whether or not to purchase fire treated lumber for a project. Undeniably, wood is a naturally beautiful raw material with versatility; therefore, its widely used throughout the world in modern builds. FRTW, or Fire Retardant Treated Wood, is the chemical solution applied for this specific treatment. FRTW is an excellent technique that decreases the chance of a fire burning an entire building. Furthermore, using this type of lumber can help builders surmount restrictions by safety requirements and regulations in regards to potential fire hazards. Wood is a sustainable option in building material and using FRTW makes it a safe, modern choice. Furthermore, there are a number of advantages to selecting lumber processed in this manner.

Advantages of Fire Treated Wood

  • FRTW can be safely used in both interior (inclusive of humid interiors) and exterior builds.
  • Expenditures may also decrease since there will be no need for a sprinkler system in some cases.
  • The smoke impact is substantially reduced when fire treated wood is ignited. 
  • The chemicals used in the process are water-based and non-toxic.
  • Fire treated wood maintains its structural integrity at higher temperatures than steel.
  • Fire Retardant Treated Wood further reduces the speed of combustion by reducing flame travel rate.
  • The costs of FRTW are similar to pre-stained lumber.
  • The treatment lasts as long as the building.
  • Working with this treated wood allows for greater flexibility in designing a building for the architects in possible fire hazard zones.
  • Typical end uses encompass a variety of possiblities: roofing shingles, roof construction, internal wall and ceiling linings, and even scaffolding.
  • FRTW is manufactured in Canada with the utmost of integrity. Therefore, manufacturers are fully supportive of the product.
  • FRTW offers job site convenience in that the wood can be crosscut to length and drilled for holes after treatment, without a loss of its effectiveness.
  • The treatment is not considered hazardous so there need not be any further safeguards taken when working with the material other than the usual dust masks and eye goggle protection.
  • A home or building constructed using fire retardant treated wood will hold its resale value.
Longhouse applies the correct type of fire treatment to lumber in their facility to Canada’s building codes and standards. This allows a wide range of Fire Retardant Treated Wood based products to comply with stringent regulations. Builders choose wood as a renewable, sustainable choice that is also energy efficient to harvest. With over twenty years of experience in applying fire retardant treatments, we have the expertise clients trust.
Benefits of Building with Cedar

Benefits of Building with Cedar

Longhouse Specialty Forest Products

Cedar trees grow where the weather is damp. Due to the destructive nature of fungus, microorganisms and insects in these conditions, cedar trees have developed self-protective qualities which allows the cedar trees to fend off insects, rots and temperature related stresses. It’s because of this inherent ability that cedar wood is extremely valued in areas where humidity, temperature and cracking problems can occur.

Unlike other types of wood, cedar will not warp due to moisture due to its remarkable dimensional stability. Meaning, that despite weather, humidity or temperature conditions, cedar wood doesn’t change its size or dimension, making it perfect for house siding. And being a light, porous type of wood, cedar can also absorb noise, which can be beneficial when used as fencing or siding. The oil within the wood emits an earthy, woodsy and slightly sweet scent which not only enhances the atmosphere in and around your home, but also helps to keep moths and other insects at bay making it a popular choice for around hot tubs and saunas.

Benefits of Building with Cedar

Building with cedar wood is also environmentally friendly as it’s actually more environmentally superior to synthetic products. It has a negative greenhouse gas effect, meaning it actually removes these gasses from the atmosphere, and it’s renewable and biodegradable. The unique tones and patterns of cedar make it a popular choice for adding a warm, durable, natural beauty to the exterior of homes as siding, eaves, decking, soffits and fascia. Cedar doesn’t have to be stained because of its inherent qualities, but in most cases pre-stained is recommended, making it great for any type of home.

The aesthetics of cedar wood, especially the colouring of the Western Red Cedar which is rich with crisp colours and tonal properties can magically transform outdoor spaces, liven up home décor, and inspire innovative architectural designs. Great for adding light and warmth to any area, cedar comes in a smooth or knotty variety. Each variety has its own characteristics giving it its own natural and distinct signature.

The many benefits of building with cedar wood goes back centuries with the native peoples of the Pacific Northwest. Today, more and more discerning architects and builders are enhancing their projects with this beautiful and sustainable resource. No man-made product can match the beauty, performance and longevity of cedar. It seems nature still knows best despite all efforts at imitation.