What Kind of Lumber is Good For Rainy Weather?

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Water damage is arguably one of the leading causes of wood deterioration. Rains can be troublesome in the long run, especially for your outdoor furniture. Fortunately, some woods are naturally repellent to water and moisture. 

If you want to know what kind of lumber is good for rainy weather, here is a guide from our seasoned woodworkers in the field.

Top 10 Wood Types That Can Withstand Rainy Weather

#1: Mahogany

Mahogany

This durable fine-grained marvel is our top pick when it comes to being weather-resilient. Mahogany resists shrinking, swelling, and warping and can tolerate water well, making it excellent for building boats. 

It also has a rustic vibe that is visually appealing and sought after by most. Honduran Mahogany is a rare wood listed on the IUCN Red List, which makes it more expensive than other hardwoods.

#2: Cedar

Cedar

The Western Red Cedar is a soft wood species that is highly workable and a natural insect repellent for your outdoor project. Famous for shingles and exterior siding, it is the usual pick for dock planks and decks. 

Cedar resists mold and decay but tends to shrink or expand over time, so woodworkers prefer to have it treated, especially when there will be ground contact.

#3: Teak

Teak

Teak is a hardwood tree native to Southern Asia that is naturally repellent to moisture, warping, and degrading. It is among the top pick when it comes to shipbuilding as well as flooring. 

Moreover, teak is also insect and termite repellent, which makes it very durable and reliable.

#4: Red Oak

Red Oak

Red oak is among the top picks in the United States. It is readily available and has a visually appealing grain pattern that gives a rustic look. 

It is a pliable wood that is durable enough for furniture and flooring. It does not warp easily and is sometimes used for crafting boat frames.

#5: White Oak

White Oak

Native to Eastern and Central North America, White Oak is among the top picks of many woodworkers when it comes to boat-making and tight cooperation applications. It has a very sturdy build that is reliable, decay-resistant, and generally low maintenance. It can also be used for cabinetry, interiors, barrels, and veneer.

#6: Redwood

Redwood

Redwood or pine, scientifically known as Sequoia sempervirens, is native to the Coastal regions of the northwestern US. Among its variants are the California redwood, which has unique characteristics that allow it great durability and appearance. 

It resists decay and water even without being treated. You may opt for a higher-grade redwood to improve its quality further for harsh weather conditions.

#7: Black Walnut

Black Walnut

Black Walnut is endemic in North America but is easy to grow and readily available across the US. It is a Walnut species widely sought for its highly resilient properties and ability to resist warping and harsh weather elements. 

It may be rot resistant, but it has difficulty warding off insects. However, its high moisture resistance still makes it a good option for boat building and coastal construction.

#8: Black Locust

Black Locust

Springing from the tree family of legumes, the Black Locust is native to the Central Eastern region of the US and is highly favored for its excellent weathering characteristics. 

It has a good shrinkage value that makes it ideal for marine applications. Many woodworkers prefer this wood to build boats and docks for its decay resistance.

#9: Cypress

Cypress

Cypress is a hardwood species from the deciduous conifers of the Cupressaceae family native to the Southeastern region of the US. Other variants include bald, swamp, white, tidewater, red, and gulf cypress. 

The bald cypress is favored for woods that require hard and sturdy features and do well with outdoor application.

#10: Ipe

Ipe

Ipe, also known as Brazilian Walnut, has a high Janka rating of 3684, making it one of the hardest woods. Its sturdy density and weathering features make it an excellent choice for outdoor projects. 

Ipe is usually found in Central and South America and is used as a decorative tree for residential areas and public spaces because of its aesthetics and overall durability.

How Rain Causes Wood Rot

Unsuitable wood

Going for a cheaper wood may be enticing, but it can cause trouble in the long run. You may consult experts regarding what material works best for your next project.

Poor Upkeep

Consistent maintenance is best for your furniture. Not only does proper maintenance make it more visually pleasing, but it also doubles its lifespan.

Excessive Oxygen and Moisture

Fungi are likely to thrive where moisture and oxygen are present [1]. Since they can damage wood, it is better to ensure that your furniture is free from this dangerous combination.

milled lumber

Inspections After Rough Weather

After a rain outpour, it is best to do a thorough inspection for wood damage. To avoid this, you may:

  1. Inspect the railings to see if there are any cracks or discoloration
  2. Examine the posts and footings to see if they are securely intact
  3. Keep an eye out for any buckling or loose flooring
  4. Run through the fasteners and joists to see if they are in place.

How to Dry Out Wood After the Rain

Water-resistant wood may stop it from being completely wrecked by the rain, but a properly maintained wood surface will do wonders in the long run.

Step 1: Use a push broom and sweep the water off your deck, seating, and railings made of wood.

air drying lumber

Step 2: Check the ledger for flood and water seepage after the rain. You may need a shop vacuum to suck it up as this area is susceptible to degrading.

Step 3: Check the gaps between the boards to see if there is ample space for proper drainage.

Step 4: Consider sealing the deck to prevent further water seepage once dry.

Conclusion

There are various kinds of lumber that are good for rainy weather, and all you need to do is choose depending on your budget and preference. 

But remember, general maintenance and processes like wood treatment are ideal for weathering any damages that might deteriorate your wooden furniture. 

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen and women. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson

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