Old Growth forest with naturally rot-resistant timber

Which Wood is Rot Resistant?

Posted on April 3, 2023 by baker-admin

Choosing the right wood for your outdoor projects is essential if you want them to last. While all woods are susceptible to decay and rot, some are more resistant than others due to their higher levels of resistance against water and moisture. Here’s a look at some of the best rot-resistant woods for your next project.

What is Rot?

Rot. It puts fear in the hearts of homeowners everywhere. The anxiety of opening up the wall for the first time and hoping that your studs have not turned to a soft, powdery brown ghost of what it once was. What we call rot is often a combination of fungi and insect damage.

Old Growth Trees

It is worth noting that it used to be that woods like cedar and redwood were naturally extremely rot-resistant; however, that is not the case now. It is true that these woods once were used for their hardiness and rot-resistance, but that was old-growth trees. Most of the wood harvested today, known as second-growth timber, does not have the same resistance characteristics that the old-growth woods possess. This is because the wood is not as dense as old-growth timber, a characteristic only developed over hundreds of years. Although second-growth timber is not as hardy as its cousin, it is still highly desired for its rich, beautiful tones, and these woods are still known to be more rot-resistant than most. Let’s look at five kinds of wood that offer the best rot-resistant qualities.


Redwood is naturally high in tannins, making it one of the best woods for the outdoors. It has a significant number of natural preservatives which protect it from decay and rot caused by moisture. It also has very low shrinkage rates and is generally considered quite durable compared to other woods.


Cedar is another type of wood that offers natural protection against rot and decay due to its high oil content and resins that repel moisture. Its light weight makes it easy to work with as well. Plus, its attractive rich color adds an aesthetically pleasing element to any project.


Teak is one of the most weather-resistant woods available, with an excellent track record when it comes to standing up against outdoor elements such as rain, sun, and humidity. Its durability makes it ideal for furniture, decks, siding, or exterior trim.


Also known as ironwood or Brazilian walnut, ipe is amongst the most durable wood species in the world thanks to its high density and strength; it’s often used on boardwalks and decks due to its resistance to pests like termites or carpenter ants.

Pressure Treated Pine

Pressure-treated pine has been infused with special preservatives through a pressure treatment process that can make them exceptionally resistant to rot and decay over time. This makes pressure-treated pine an excellent choice for framing or flooring applications. However, use caution when working with pressure-treated lumber since there are potential health risks associated with exposure over long periods. Pressure-treated pine is also unattractive, so you would not want to use it as a focal point, but it’s great for many construction projects.

These five kinds of wood all offer high levels of resistance against rot and decay, so you can be sure your outdoor projects will stand up well over time, even if they are exposed to the elements regularly.

How to Prevent Rot

Rot prevention is mostly about maintenance, but proper installation and selection are additional influencers.

No matter what wood you select to install on your new deck, it must be sealed. All wood should be sealed every few years to keep it protected and looking great. How often your wood structure will need to be sealed will depend heavily on your geographical location, weather exposure, and the product used to seal it.

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