There are several benefits to using cedar decking on your next outdoor improvement project. While cedar is considered a softer wood, it is one of the most durable and stable woods available. It is also lightweight and easy to work, making it ideal for decks that are not perfectly square, or for outdoor features that need to have odd dimensions due to landscaping or ground level issues.
The heartwood of cedar is one of the most resistant woods available. It produces a natural extract that is toxic to fungi, which is the leading cause of decay in most outdoor woods. The fungus produces filaments that enter the wood and eat the plant matter while it grows. This weakens the wood and can lead to splitting or collapse of the center of the board. Cedar almost never has a problem with fungi, because of this natural resistance, and it is considered one of the few woods that are naturally suited for use outside. Unlike other woods, it does not require large amounts of protective coating or treatments to maintain its structural integrity when exposed to the elements.
Another advantage of cedar decking is the natural color of the wood. Cedar is a reddish wood that slowly fades to a light red after years of exposure to the elements. It also has a straight grain, which allows for easy cutting and surfacing. This means you can cut, sand, and mount all of the decking you need, without the use of expensive high-powered saws and sanders. The wood also resists splitting, making it ideal for the base of the deck, and giving the structure stability because of the intact wood in the final construction.