Spotlight on Redwood

One of the Best Cold Weather Woods

The Redwood Forest in California has put redwoods on the map for their beauty and size, but we are even bigger fans of redwood due to its multitude of unique features.

Redwood is one of the hardiest woods when it comes to all sorts of weather conditions, it’s decay resistant in all heartwood grades and has no problem being used near the ground and is one of the most insect repellent grades compared to other softwoods, but manages to be one of the most lightweight.

Recycled Redwood Garden Project – See Full gallery of photos here.

If you’re considering building a deck, playset or other outdoor project and Western Red Cedar isn’t quite your thing, this blog post is for you.  

Redwood is one of the strongest and most dimensionally stable softwoods which resists checking, warping and splitting. This allows redwood to withstand a lot more variations and extremes in the weather, whether you’re dealing with hot or cold temperatures. Redwoods have evolved to tolerate high and low severity fires and can survive 0 degree spells. 

Redwood is high in naturally occurring tannins which increase the durability of the wood but also make it resistant to insects and decay, including mold and rot. Tannins not only help to protect the tree against multiple forms of damage and decay but especially against all forms of fungi. They are also responsible for redwood being fire resistant and giving it a deep, rich color!

Redwood is also naturally waterproof and can withstand up to 30 years untreated before succumbing to water damage. All of this makes redwood incredibly convenient to work with as it allows a lot more freedom with how and where you build with it.   

Redwood is one of the most environmentally friendly woods to build with due to its ability to reduce greenhouse gasses (redwoods can store more carbon than about any other tree in the world) and is cleaner to produce than the engineered alternatives on the market. Redwood is also 100% recyclable and biodegradable because of all of the naturally occurring great qualities of the wood, no chemical additives are needed. 

Recycled Redwood siding at the Lewis Creek Rec Center – See all project photos here.

Redwood is one of the lightest softwoods you can buy, making it super easy to work with. Even though redwood is lightweight it is still incredibly strong and works for almost any project. Redwood is easily machined, works well with saws, nails, glue and screws, and holds finish beautifully. Another nice aspect to using redwood for your projects is its superiority when it comes to natural insulation. 

When it comes to what projects you should use redwood for, the options are limitless but some of the most common are decks, outdoor structures such as fences, pergolas and gates, structural beams, furniture, wall trim and speciality items such as some musical instruments.

The most common project done with redwood are beautiful decks of all shapes and sizes. The benefits of doing a redwood deck are endless but its durability and comfortable feeling make it an easy no brainer. Redwood distributes heat very well so it stays comfortable on bare feet even in extreme heats and its deep red color adds a gorgeous pop of color to any home. 

Redwood is also used quite often when it comes to outdoor structures. The tannins in redwood, creating its decay proof quality make it perfect for building close to the ground, as you don’t have to worry about the wood falling apart. This makes building your fence, gazebo and garden beds easier than you thought possible. 

When it comes to structural beams, you want a wood that is resistant to shrinking and warping, while also being pretty lightweight. That’s where redwood comes in, on top of all of those factors, redwood is also super easy to work with and needs very little maintenance to maintain its beauty.

Redwood is one of the best woods to use if you don’t care for, or want to use a finish but after many years it will turn to a driftwood grey, which is fantastic if you enjoy the look of weather bleached wood. To maintain the vibrant rich color as long as possible, we recommended using either a clear water repellent finish or semi transparent stain, to really bring out the red coloring.

Redwood is one of the best options on the market and the most clearly comparable to Western Red Cedar. Both choices are great but using Redwood in your build adds a level of richness and beauty to whatever project you are working on. We cannot say enough how incredible Redwood is to work with, and how you end up getting your money’s worth for decades.    

Most of the Redwood available today is recycled or reclaimed and is quite stunning. Reach out if you are thinking of using it in your next project and we can help you determine what your options are and how to get started.

     

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