Cedar panels with the attractive deep reddish colour have been popular in Ireland for about 15 years now.
But how well does cedar look after a few years in our maritime climate?
We did a small test. A piece of cedar panel was left out in the sun and rain for 1 month. The darker sections were treated with our clear and un-pigmented Jupex 45 tung-oil. We also tried our competitor Owatrol’s oil. They all seem to work reasonably well, the wood has a darker attractive red glow.
BUT the disturbing result is the cracking that appeared in the untreated cedar panel test board; After only 1 month cracks appeared where not treated with protective oil. The Irish weather with lots of sunshine AND lots of rain work like a rapid ageing test station.
By comparison, look at the grey timber of the decking behind the sample cedar board. This is 14 year old pine decking at our office. Oiled with pigmented Jupex 45 three times in 14 years. Still pretty good.
The other attractive look of cedar, the aged silver grey look, is hard to get in our damp climate. In dry climates it is easy, just leave the cedar alone and it will become silver grey, just like an old barn in Siberia. But we are not in Siberia or dry Wyoming. We are in rainy Ireland and here it will go black from lichens and algae!
The problem is that by applying too much protective oil it goes even more black!
Some suppliers sell ageing agents to make the fresh cedar go grey faster. But how does that treatment prevent cracking?
Our conclusion is that it must be better to use our standard treated scots-pine boards instead of the 4 times more expensive cedar panels in Ireland.