​Maintaining Your Cedar Fence: Tips and Tricks for Longevity

by | Apr 7, 2023 | Cedar Fencing

With proper care, you can maintain your cedar fence’s longevity, ensuring it remains functional and visually appealing for many years.

Cedar fences add character and charm to any property while providing privacy and security. However, over time, a cedar fence can become damaged and weathered by exposure to the elements.

We’ll share helpful maintenance tips and tricks to help you keep your cedar fence in top shape, including how often to clean it, when to apply stain, and why sealing is worth it.

How long does a cedar fence last?

A cedar fence, known for its natural beauty, durability, and longevity, can last 20 to 25 years, depending on whether it’s maintained and cared for. Factors such as climate, exposure to harsh weather conditions, pests, and general wear and tear can impact the overall lifespan of a cedar fence.

Untreated cedar fences, made of natural and rot-resistant wood, can typically last for approximately 15 to 20 years under ideal conditions. However, a cedar fence treated with a protective stain can prolong its life even further, potentially lasting over 30 years with proper maintenance.

How Cedar Fencing Weathers

Cedar’s inherent tannins and oils shield it from moisture, insects, rot, and decay, lending it the ability to withstand the test of time. Initially, the fresh, rich-toned cedar planks give off a distinct, pleasant aroma and maintain their reddish-brown hue.

Over time, exposure to the elements causes the cedar’s color to fade, transitioning from its original shade to a more rustic, silver-grey patina. This natural weathering process adds character and charm to the cedar fence and acts as a protective barrier.

How to Keep Your Cedar Fence Looking New

Cedar fences are beautiful and provide an organic feel to any outdoor space. However, caring for a cedar fence is not a one-time job. These fences require proper maintenance to keep them looking new and impressive.cedar fence longevity

These simple steps can keep your cedar fence looking great for many years.

  1. Repair damage to boards
  2. Remove weeds
  3. Clean annually
  4. Apply stain every three to five years
  5. Ensure proper drainage

Inspect Your Cedar Fence Regularly

Check for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, splitting, and warping. Promptly repair and replace damaged boards to keep your cedar fence continually looking its best and avoid more costly repairs later.

Remove Weeds

Weeds can compromise the strength and stability of the fence by growing through the cracks and crevices, expanding these spaces over time. And some parasitic weeds can leach nutrients from the cedar wood, further weakening the structure. This gradual deterioration will reduce the fence’s lifespan and might even cause it to collapse.

Perform Annual Cleanings

Dirt, grime, mold, and other debris accumulate on cedar fences over time, making them look old and dingy. By cleaning your cedar fence once a year, you can keep it looking its best.

Steps for Cleaning Your Cedar Fence

Cleaning your cedar fence requires a spray bottle, a garden hose, or a power washer on a low setting. Remember to wear protective gear and follow these simple steps.

  1. Begin by removing weeds, protecting nearby plants or flowers, and relocating other objects out of the way.  
  2. Remove debris and loose dirt on the fence using a soft-bristled brush or broom.
  3. Spray your fence with a distilled vinegar solution or a commercial brand listed as safe for cedar and designed to kill off mold and mildew.
  4. Scrub with baking soda on heavily soiled areas.
  5. Wash the fence with a garden hose.
  6. If the fence requires deeper cleaning, consider using a power washer. Be cautious not to apply too much pressure as it may cause damage to the fence.
  7. After washing the fence, let it dry for at least 24 hours before staining.

Stain Your Cedar Fence to Make It Last Longer

Not only does staining help to preserve the color of the wood, but it also protects your cedar fence from the elements, keeping it looking new and extending the lifespan of your fence. Applying a high-quality stain to your cedar fence every three to five years can protect it from UV rays, heat, rain, and snow damage.

How to Stain Your Cedar Fence

Before staining the fence, it must be thoroughly cleaned to remove any dirt, dust, and debris that can interfere with the staining process. Also, observe safety measures, such as wearing protective gear and using proper tools.

Follow these steps to stain your cedar fence.

  1. Choose an oil-based stain. Cedar contains natural oils that can interact with water-based stains resulting in a blotchy look.
  2. Begin by testing the stain on a small, inconspicuous fence area to ensure it’s the desired color.
  3. Use a staining brush or roller to apply the stain evenly to the fence.
  4. Allow the stain to dry for at least 24 hours before applying another coat.
  5. Most stains require two coats, although some might require more depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.

Invest in a Stunning Cedar Fence

With its natural beauty and durability, a beautiful cedar fence from Draper Fencing will add unparalleled value to your home while also providing you with privacy and security. We use prime-grade cedar for its attractive color and natural defenses against rot and warping. Contact Draper Fencing today to learn more about our 3-year craftsmanship warranty and to get a free quote.

Pete Cowden

Pete Cowden

Director of Sales and Operations

Pete Cowden grew up on the west side of Indianapolis. He attended St Michael’s School from kindergarten through eighth grade before going to North Central High School. Pete won a state championship in Rugby and graduated with an Indiana Honors diploma from North Central in 2007.

After graduating high school, Pete joined the Army. He served three tours of duty as a US Army Ranger. Eventually his injuries built up leading to a medical retirement. After retiring from the Army, Pete attended Indiana University Purdue University – Indianapolis. In 2015 Pete graduated with a Bachelor’s of the Arts in International Studies. 

Pete spent some time working with his fellow veterans in Washington D.C as well as right here in Indianapolis before moving into the fencing industry. Pete began working for Draper Fencing Company in 2021. 

Initially Pete worked primarily as an estimator. He learned quickly the challenges fence installers face and how to overcome them. He constantly gathered feedback from his crews to ensure he was setting them and the customer up for success. 

Pete now manages the entire company. He has managed the building of millions of dollars of fencing projects from small downtown yards to large commercial projects. Draper Fencing Company installs a wide range of products from commercial chain link to ornate custom cedar fences. Pete leads a production department that has over forty five years of fence building experience.

A big part of managing the company is making sure he understands not just how to build a fence but knowing what customers want. He stays up to date on permitting and code enforcement. Part of his job now is to put his years of experience into writing blogs on our website. We strive to communicate clearly and effectively with our customers and our blog posts are an extension of that.