Advantage of Cedar
Why does the log species make such a big difference?
Aren't they pretty much all the same?
There are key natural advantages that Northern White Cedar possesses over Pine, a common wood used for log home construction. When it comes to a manufactured log wall system, Northern White Cedar is unsurpassed in stability, durability and efficiency. Northern White Cedar is ideally suited for log home construction for several reasons, it is naturally rot and decay resistant, naturally insect resistant and has the highest R-value among commonly used woods species for log home construction.
Advantage #1: Rot and Insect Resistance and Durability
- Northern White Cedar naturally produces oils, which act as a wood preservative and helps resist insects. Cedar is considered one of the most highly prized wood species because of this. Its durability is virtually unmatched. This is the reason why it is the wood species of choice for long lasting applications such as roof shingles, siding, fence posts and log homes.
- This natural characteristic is not found in Pine, resulting in its susceptibility to rot, decay and insect damage. Most Pine log homes require continual ongoing treatment against rot, mold and insects.
Advantage #2: Water Content
- Northern White Cedar has a lower moisture content when green. Since we naturally air dry our logs, they can dry fairy quickly with minimal checking (natural cracking) to the logs. Air-drying allows the "green log" to naturally lose some of its moisture without subjecting it to unnatural stress. Air-drying reduces checking because logs dry slower, creating less waste.
- Pine retains much more water and takes longer to dry out. Because of this, Pine usually needs to be kiln dried, which can cause unnatural stress and checking. All logs, kiln - or air - dried, will eventually reach the moisture content of the area in which they are used (ambient relative humidity) regardless of the kiln-dried moisture content.
Advantage #3: R-Value
- Northern White Cedar has the highest R-value, 1.4 per inch, in the log home industry. R-value measures how well a material resists the transfer of heat per inch of thickness.
- Pine has an R-value of 1.25 per inch
Advantage #4: Thermal Mass
- Thermal mass is a material's capacity to absorb, store and slowly release heat over time. Using the R-value alone will not give you the "full Picture" of a log homes energy efficiency. One must look at thermal mass in conjunction with R-value to understand the energy efficiency of a log home. Logs have thermal mass because of their cellular structure, bulk and thickness. Second, this thermal mass provides significant energy saving benefits because it releases heat back into the house when temperatures drop. The higher the R-value/thermal mass factor, the easier it is to heat your home.
- Northern White Cedar has a higher R-value/thermal mass factor than Pine
Advantage #5: Accessibility and Sustainability
- Maine Cedar is located in the heart of one of the largest stands of Northern White Cedar in the country. We have vast resources of a naturally renewable and sustainable Cedar, which enables us to manufacture log homes and Cedar specialty products efficiently and at a lower cost.