Atlanta Cedar Siding

by Matt Goering

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Most people purchase cedar siding purely for its looks, and for good reason. Atlanta cedar siding is easily one of the most beautiful siding materials on the market. But cedar has a number of other qualities that make it an excellent choice for Atlantans as well. It stands up well to Atlanta's wet, humid climate, repels insects, and has excellent insulative properties, both in regards to sound and temperature. It also is a surprisingly eco-friendly product, especially compared to some of the more popular composite and metal sidings you can purchase. In fact, about the only downside of cedar siding in Atlanta is maintenance. It takes some regular upkeep in order to keep it in prime condition, but it's a small price to pay for a siding with looks and performance that are hard to match.

Cedar Siding in Atlanta: A Natural Choice
It's not coincidence that cedar has been one of the top choices when it comes to exterior wood applications for several hundred years already. Cedar wood has natural oils and tannins that repel both water and insects, making it the perfect material for use as a siding material. That's especially valuable in an area like Atlanta, where 40 inches of precipitation a year is the norm, and where the humidity can feel more smothering than Hakeem Olajuwon during the Hawk's '94 championship run. Not to mention, anyone familiar with Georgia knows that termites and other wood boring insects can be a serious problem across the South, and any material that keeps them away is a welcome one.

Atlanta Cedar Siding and Insulation
Another reason cedar siding in Atlanta is so attractive to many homeowners is because of its insulative qualities. Believe it or not, cedar siding provides up to 400 times better insulation than metal siding and up to 4 times better insulation than fiber-cement siding. In other words, it doesn't just look spectacular; cedar siding in Atlanta can also save you money on cooling costs during the summer and on your furnace bills when winter rolls around. As a side note, Atlanta cedar siding is also an excellent insulator against noise, which isn't an insignificant thing in one of the largest, and fastest growing, cities in America.

Atlanta Cedar Siding and the Environment
While cedar siding certainly improves your immediate environment by providing your home with protection from weather, insects, noise, and outside temperatures, it's also an excellent material from a larger environmental standpoint. Compared to other siding materials, especially vinyl, fiber-cement, aluminum, and steel, cedar siding leaves a much lighter footprint on the environment. More than anything, the energy expended to mill cedar into suitable siding takes far less energy than it does to manufacture the alternatives.

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According to the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association, it takes 140% more energy to create steel rather than wood siding, and steel production is responsible for creating 45% more greenhouse gasses, 42% more air pollution, 1900% more water pollution, and 36% more solid waste. Fiber-cement siding doesn't fare much better, taking 70% more energy to produce than wood, and creating 81% more greenhouse gasses, 67% more air pollution, 90% more water pollution, and 96% more solid waste. Those are some eye-opening numbers, especially coming from industries that often tout their products as "green" because they can be manufactured from recycled materials and can be recycled themselves. The truth, however, is that most siding materials, composite and wood alike, still end up in landfills after they're removed, where cedar again has the edge. After all, wood is 100% biodegradable. Those other siding materials, on the other hand, will be there for archeologists to find thousands, if not millions, of years into the future.

Choices Abound with Cedar Siding in Atlanta
While it's clear that cedar siding in Atlanta is an excellent choice from a materials standpoint, it also has a lot to offer in terms of options for homeowners to choose from. Lap, batten, beaded, tongue and groove, and cedar shake siding in Atlanta are all excellent options for homeowners across the metro area. And while the natural look of cedar treated with a clear or semi-transparent oil or latex water sealer is probably the most popular option when it comes to finishing your siding, you can also treat your cedar siding in Atlanta with a variety of colored stains or paint it to give it added protection from inclement weather and the Hotlanta sun.

Whether you go with the traditional look of Atlanta cedar shake siding or the more modern look of other cedar siding options, it's hard to go wrong with cedar siding in Atlanta.

Matt Goering, formerly a carpenter and house painter, is a freelance writer for the home improvement industry who has published over 600 articles.