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Which Woods Last the Longest Outdoors?

While no wood is entirely immune to damage and rotting, some resist it better than others. Choosing a wood that stands up to the elements can help save you time and money in the long run. Some last longer for specific purposes, but this can vary depending on how well you care for it. Here are some of the top choices we recommend here at Teak Master, along with some valuable tips to keep your new wood looking its best for years to come.

Please do not contact our team for advice on your at-home refinishing project.

Cedar Wood

Image via Flickr by dane brian

Cedar wood is a popular choice for outdoor decking. It has a beautiful grain and color and is typically easy to work with as far as woods go. It falls into the category of softwood, but it holds up against termites, other insects, and rot. It resists water reasonably well and doesn’t tend to crack. Cedar lasts about 20 years if not treated, but some damage may be noticeable from heavy traffic.

Cedar can last for decades when used in your outdoor projects if cared for properly. Protecting cedar immediately after construction is vital for it to last up to the elements. Unprotected cedar can show the effects of weathering within a few days.

Cumaru Wood

Typically, cumaru wood lasts around 20 years, longer if regular maintenance is performed. A sealer should be applied every six months to one year to protect the wood from the elements. Left untreated, cumaru will turn gray when the wood’s natural oils oxidize. If a low-quality sealer is applied, cumaru can become discolored, slick, develop a film barrier, and even mold.

Mangaris/Red Balau Wood

Mangaris is technically a brand name of wood products rather than a type of tree. It is also known as Shorea, Meranti, Red Balau, Kayu Batu, and Bankirai, but Mangaris is the best known. Mangaris wood lasts around 20 years when used for decking, outdoor furniture, and other outside uses. It looks similar to mahogany and will need a sealer to enhance and protect the natural color.

Thermory Wood

Another type that lasts about 15 to 25 years is Thermory wood, a new product made from ash, pine, and spruce. The woods are heat- and steam-treated to resist insects and rot. Maintenance is recommended every six to 12 months or when it appears to need it. Cleaning it as often as possible with a broom or leaf blower will help keep leaves and other contaminants from engraining themselves in the wood.


Redwood can last around 30 years outside when well maintained and can be found in various grades for a customized look. The elements of Southern California can cause weathering quickly if left untreated. A brightening rinse can help bring back the color, and with a sealer, the grain will show like new again. Redwood is more porous than several other kinds of wood, so maintenance is recommended every eight to 12 months.

Mahogany Wood

Mahogany wood can last up to 40 years outside without rotting or decaying, even when left untreated. However, buildup and color changes can occur quickly when left exposed to the elements of Southern California. Maintenance should be performed about once a year to keep outdoor mahogany wood looking its best for years to come. Mahogany is resistant to warping, insect infestation, and decay.

Ipe Wood

Ipe wood can last up to 50 years outside without needing replacement. This wood has become more popular within the last 10 to 15 years and is known best for its tight grain, reddish-brown color, strength, and durability. This exotic hardwood can last you a lifetime if cared for and maintained properly. An oil-based penetrating finish applied every four to eight months is best to protect outdoor ipe wood furniture. The density of ipe wood makes it reasonably resistant to foot traffic and denting from pets, but it can also be hard to cut, making installation a challenge.

Teak Wood

Teak wood lasts between 75 and 100 years outside, even longer when properly maintained. Teak has been popular for centuries for outside uses, such as boats. It has a beautiful honey color that can be maintained with proper care. As it ages, it can turn to a silver color that is just as aesthetically pleasing. Sealing a teak deck or outdoor furniture should occur within two weeks of construction and should be done as necessary after. A regular cleaning schedule will help maintain teak wood’s color and appearance.

Which Wood Lasts the Longest?

Teak wood easily lasts the longest when used for outdoor furniture or decking. When properly maintained, it can last for the entirety of your life and years after. Teak Master has the skill necessary to maintain and even restore your teak furniture or decking to help it maintain its beauty. For best results, we recommend applying a penetrating sealer 24 hours after cleaning. After some time, the sealer will dissolve, and the natural wood will begin to show.

Choosing wood for your outdoor projects can be a challenge. There are so many options to choose from, and you should choose based on your ability to clean and maintain your outdoor furniture or deck. Teak Master can help you keep your outdoor wood as beautiful as the day you got it by maintaining and restoring it. We’ve been serving the area for years and are proud to help residents of San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles.

Let Teak Master Help

Whatever wood needs you have or what type of wood you decide upon, Teak Master Exterior Wood Refinishing Specialists can help. Our team of experts has the experience needed to keep your exterior wood looking like new for decades to come. Whether you need a deck, pergola, fence, furniture, or home restoration in Orange County, San Diego, Los Angeles, or the surrounding areas, we’ve got you covered. 

Bring Life Back to Your Wood Investment