Putting a specific range on how long cedar siding last might be inaccurate. That’s because how long cedar siding last depends on various factors, including staining, types of finish, and seal nuts used, among many others.
And the approximate range varies significantly on how well you maintain it. So, how long does cedar siding last? We will have to consider all the basics and variables that could affect the durability of your cedar siding to provide answers to that.
One thing, however, is sure; if maintained properly, you will enjoy your cedar siding for a very long time. Let’s get started!
How Long Does Cedar Siding Last?
Cedar siding can last between 20 to 40 years, although under the right and maintained conditions, it can last 60 to 70 years. The life expectancy of cedar siding is also determined if it is stained or just left in normal state.
What is Cedar Siding?
To put it simply, cedar siding is a siding made of cedar. Siding or siding materials are used on the exterior of buildings to beautify, prevent heat loss, exposure to damaging elements, etc.
Cedar is a softwood type known for its beauty and versatility worldwide, and it’s arguably, the most preferred wood type for siding materials.
How Long Does Cedar Siding Last?
As we said earlier, the durability and lifeline of cedar siding depend on different factors, including the many cedar siding types.
There are different types of cedar siding and a lot more different styles you can make from it. However, in this article, we will only consider five of the most common types.
Five Types of Cedar Siding
- Cedar shake siding
- Untreated cedar siding
- Cedar shingle siding
- Painted cedar siding
- Cedar bevel siding
1. Cedar shake siding
Cedar shake siding is one of the most preferred types of cedar siding and a popular roofing choice, thanks to its thickness, rustic charm, and color variation.
However, cedar shake siding is not so durable. It’s prone to moisture damage and pests and requires regular maintenance.
Hence, experts put its average life span to be over 25 years. But with proper maintenance, it may last for about 20-40 years. The key point here is proper maintenance.
2. Untreated cedar siding
Ordinarily, cedar siding without adequate maintenance will rot in a few years. But do you know what deteriorates even more quickly?
Leaving your cedar siding untreated! It makes it more vulnerable to damages caused by weather conditions, moisture, and other effects.
Hence, without a proper finish, your natural cedar siding will begin to soften and rot within the first five years of installation.
3. Painted cedar siding
Painting is one of the ways to give your cedar siding a proper finish. Painting protects the cedarwood and hence, the cedar siding. To get the best result, the painting has to be done correctly.
Usually, painted cedar siding should last up to 12 – 15 years. However, the only drawback to this is the maintenance. Preferably, you should repaint every five years to protect the cedarwood.
Now, don’t confuse staining cedar siding with painting. Although both techniques perform the same purpose, staining is long-lasting and looks more natural than painting.
Painting, conversely, is the best option for badly worn siding with previous peeling issues. However, you should only stain if the cedar is paint-free.
4. Cedar shingle siding
Ensure proper installation and maintenance to make your cedar shingle siding last long. Usually, you should expect at least 30 years of lifespan.
But if the cedar woods are top-tier, and you stay in an environment with favorable conditions, the lifespan of your cedar shingles might increase to about 50 years.
5. Cedar bevel siding
Like the other types of cedarwood, the critical factor to longevity is maintenance. Proper care could get you about 10-15 years of lifespan for cedar bevel siding.
Frequent painting or staining will preserve cedar bevel siding. There are other types of cedar wood siding, but these are the commonly used ones.
Pros and Cons of Cedar Siding
Cedar siding is not without its drawbacks, just as it has many benefits. Let’s start with some advantages of using cedarwood for siding.
Benefits of Cedar Siding
Although there are countless reasons cedar siding is preferred, we have listed seven excellent motives for homeowners to choose cedar siding.
1. Aesthetics and curb appeal
One of the most common reasons homeowners prefer to install cedar siding over other types of sidings, such as aluminum siding, is the appealing exterior.
If you are a big fan of nature and the historic feel it brings, then cedar siding might be perfect for you.
Apart from the rustic aesthetics and natural exterior cedar brings to your home, the shingles are in different styles and textures that make your home stand out.
Similarly, you can paint or decide just to keep the natural look. Whatever you choose, you can be sure of its aesthetic appeal.
Ordinarily, many homeowners don’t think cedar siding is environmentally friendly. However, conversely, using cedar woods for home siding is sustainable and a very healthy choice of siding.
Unlike vinyl siding, which uses petroleum for manufacturing, cedarwood is a natural thermal insulator that reduces energy consumption.
Cedarwoods protect your home from heat, water, and dryness, and it produces fewer carbon footprints.
Cedar is a solid wood capable of withstanding different destructive external forces that many traditional trees are susceptible to, including insect damage, fungi, molds, etc.
Although to retain the elegant shape of the cedarwoods, you may need to regularly clean and inspect it for termites; cedarwood siding can sit pretty and resist splitting for decades.
4. Ease of construction
Cedar is a light wood, thanks to its low density and open cell structure. Hence, cedar can be used for different construction purposes.
5. Excellent insulator
Similarly, the open cell structure of cedarwood makes it an excellent insulator. Interestingly, cedarwood is perfect for any time of the year.
During summer, it keeps the house cooler, and while the cold hands of winter linger still, dense cedar wood ensures your house is warmer.
That’s not all! Cedarwood also reduces airflow and offers a natural sound barrier, providing your home with some peace.
6. Return on investment
Unlike wood siding materials, cedar shakes offer an impressive return on investment. Cedar shakes and shingles, offering over 80%, are industry leaders when it comes to ROI.
This is good business for homeowners. Although cedar siding cost is on the high side, once it is rightly installed and adequately maintained, you can get more financial returns in the long run.
7. Organic preservatives
Although there are external ways to prevent cedar from rot, cedarwood has an incredible ability to secrete its own defensive and protective chemical called Cedar Oil.
Cedar oil protects the wood from pests, insects, and other destructive organisms. The oil is not harmful to humans, and it is also responsible for the lovely aroma of the wood.
The Disadvantages of Cedar Siding
As you must already know, it’s not all rosy with cedar siding. Below are some common disadvantages of cedar siding.
1. Cedar siding maintenance cost
In simple terms, cedar siding requires maintenance. Proper maintenance is crucial to having long-lasting home siding. Sadly, cedar maintenance doesn’t come cheap. It isn’t easy, either.
You will have to scrape and paint every few years, except you want to end up with moisture damages and also lose the curb appeal of your siding.
The wood is prone to peeling and fading within a few years of installation; if it’s not properly maintained, it may affect the resale value.
The durability of cedar siding solely depends on its installation and maintenance. If installed correctly and maintained, cedar wood siding may last for many decades.
But this is not always the case. Except that cedarwood maintenance is expensive, sometimes, it can be very challenging to maintain.
Firstly, the cedar siding must not be installed too close to the ground, else the wood loses its integrity and absorbs moisture.
Secondly, to protect it from the damaging effects of UV rays, it should not be installed too high in the sky. If not, it warps, discolors, and starts to rot. Cedarwoods also have very low flame retardant properties compared to other materials.
Similarly, with proper maintenance, you will need to change the planks of your cedar siding after about 20 years. Sometimes, you replace the planks earlier or even install a new cedar siding completely; having to reside is no easy or cheap task.
Because proper maintenance is not always feasible, many homeowners find having to re-side their homes every few years tiring, and it may just be a dealbreaker for some.
4. Not many options to choose from
You are often limited in the cedar siding options available for your home. Usually, the two most common options are the horizontal lap siding and cedar shingles.
Sometimes, they come in board and batten styles, too. This can limit creating your ideal cedar siding, especially if you already have a preferred architectural style designed.
5. Effect on the environment
While there might be some safe practices put in place to ensure an eco-friendly environment, there are some activities that may not be sustainable.
Replacing decayed sidings with new ones means depletion of trees in the forest. Doing this continually may lead to an increase in carbon footprints.
With many advantages of cedar siding come disadvantages. Although there may be better alternatives, such as fiber cement siding, cedarwood remains one of the best options for home siding. All that is required is proper maintenance.
Cedar Siding Maintenance: When to Take Care of your Cedar Siding
Generally, you should do a routine check of your cedar siding, and depending on the climatic conditions, and you may need to restain or paint every few years. However, take note of the following tips;
- Any exposed parts of your cedar siding are prone to elements that cause splitting, cracking, and chipping.
- Walk around the cedar siding and look for visible damages, chipping, splitting, cracking, or discoloration. Sometimes, you may need to spray the siding with water to make the rot visible.
- Inspect the flashing f0r water leakages, and patch them up.
- Sometimes, mold gathers around the leakage spot. Wash with detergent and bleach, and rinse off with water.
- When to restain largely depends on the weather conditions and the extent of damage to your siding. Preferably, you should restain every five years.
How to Increase Cedar Siding Lifespan
Adequate maintenance is the only way to increase cedar siding lifespan. So, how do you maintain your cedar siding? Keep reading!
Control moisture exposure
The quickest way to damage your cedar siding is to allow excess moisture to seep into it. Moisture provides a conducive environment for damaging organisms, including pests, mold, fungi, and bacteria, among many others.
Moisture control is key to prolonging the life expectancy of your cedar siding. Below are a few tips for doing that.
- Insulate your attic properly
- Maintain your flashing and home’s caulking
- During winter, ensure you use heat wires to melt ice on your home’s eaves.
- Preferably, your home’s humidity should be at 40%.
Paint the cedar siding
Another way to prolong the lifespan of your cedar siding is by painting it. Painting protects the cedar siding from elements that can cause splitting and cracking. However, it’s not enough to paint the cedar siding once and leave it.
Professional advice is to re-paint your cedar siding every three to five years. Although, when you repaint also depends on the weather and how much damage is done to the cedar siding.
Periodic checking for animals and pests
Termites can destroy your cedar siding very quickly. Ensure to check the exterior part of your siding carefully, and look for cues that may indicate the presence of pests, including;
- Presence of mud tubes
- Termites swam
- Animal Feces
- Blisters in the wood
Ensure siding Is not in direct contact with the ground
If your siding is installed too close to the ground, it loses its integrity by absorbing moisture. Ensure it’s not in direct contact with the ground, and also it should n0t be close to any source of water.
Regularly clean the cedar siding
Although cedar woods secrete some natural preservatives for protection, you should regularly clean your siding. Apart from the destructive effects of not cleaning the siding regularly, discoloration, dirt, and molds make your siding less appealing.
It rids your siding off its rustic aesthetic and makes it look dull and bleak. Hence, whenever you notice any sign of discoloration, it is time for some deep cleaning.
To remove dirt and dust from your cedar, you will simply need a pressure washer and detergent. You must keep your cedar clean at all times.
Is cedar siding good?
Although it requires regular maintenance, which can be very expensive, cedar siding is durable and an excellent choice for your home.
When to replace cedar siding?
If appropriately maintained, cedar siding should be replaced every 10 – 15 years.
Alternatives to cedar siding?
There are many alternatives to cedar siding, some of which include?
- Fiber cement siding
- Vinyl siding
- Aluminum siding
- Traditional Lap Siding
- Hardiboard siding, etc.
How much does cedar plank siding cost?
Generally, a cedar plank costs $6 to $12 per square foot, depending on the siding style.
How long does wood siding last?
With proper maintenance, wood siding should last from 15 to 40 years
What is cedar clapboard siding?
A clapboard is an exterior part of a siding, and they are often made of cedars.
What are the different types of cedar siding?
Below are some of the most common types;
- Cedar shake siding
- Untreated cedar siding
- Cedar shingle siding
- Painted cedar siding
- Cedar bevel siding
When to replace cedar shingle siding?
Cedar shingle siding should be replaced every twenty years.
Despite being one of the most common home siding options, one question people always ask is “how long does cedar siding last?” Well, this primarily depends on the cedar siding type.
Make sure to confirm the type of cedar coding before purchasing it to know how long it will last.