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How Long Do Cedar Fences Last? Factors and Tips for Maximum Durability (2023)

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how long does a cedar fence lastYou’ve made a wise choice going with a cedar fence. When those fragrant cedar planks envelop your backyard, it’s as if you’re being wrapped in nature’s embrace.

Cedar’s natural oils make it resilient against rot and insects. However, no fence lasts indefinitely. Climate, pests, and maintenance impact longevity. We’ll explore cedar’s advantages and how to maximize its durability so your fence remains a refuge for years to come.

Key Takeaways

  • With proper installation and regular maintenance, cedar fencing can last 30+ years.
  • Cedar is naturally rot, insect and decay resistant due to its oils.
  • Resealing the fence every 2-3 years preserves the wood and prevents damage.
  • Making repairs promptly extends the lifespan; replacing entire sections is preventable.

Why Choose Cedar Fencing?

Why Choose Cedar Fencing
Choosing cedar wood for your fence is a popular choice, and with good reason. Cedar’s natural warmth and beauty provide an attractive fence that complements most landscaping. Furthermore, its natural oils make cedar fences resistant to rot, decay, and insect damage, providing enduring durability.

Moreover, because cedar is renewable and necessitates minimal chemical treatment, it’s an environmentally friendly choice.

Natural Beauty

You’ll admire its warm ruddy tones that add natural charm to your yard.

  1. Cedar’s natural reddish-brown hues stand out.
  2. The wood’s varied grain patterns create visual interest.
  3. Weathering grays the fence over time for a rustic look.
  4. Cedar’s texture provides a cozy, organic feel.
  5. Pressure washing restores the fence’s rich color.

The natural beauty of cedar fencing enhances your outdoor living space. Its welcoming warmth and texture create backyard appeal that improves with age.


Cedar fencing is built to endure decades when properly maintained. Its natural oils protect against rot, decay, and insects that compromise cheaper woods.

Cedar’s Strengths Enhance Durability

  • Decay resistance – Withstands moisture, pests
  • Dimensional stability – Minimal shrinking, warping
  • Workability – Easy repairs
  • Aromatic oils – Repel insects

Proper installation and timely repairs maximize lifespan. Cedar’s inherent durability rewards smart investments in long-lasting backyard fencing.


Cedar’s eco-friendly nature makes it a win-win choice for fencing.

  1. Renewable Resource
  2. Minimal Chemical Treatment
  3. Biodegradable
  4. Abundant Supply

The naturally durable cedar offers an eco-friendly fencing solution. As a renewable resource requiring little chemical treatment, cedar is a responsible, sustainable building material. Its abundance and longevity deliver lasting backyard beauty. Choose cedar fencing for the environmental benefits now and for generations to come.

Expected Lifespan of Cedar Fences

Expected Lifespan of Cedar Fences
A properly installed and maintained cedar fence will give your backyard natural beauty for decades. Cedar’s oils make it naturally resistant to moisture, decay, and bugs, so it holds up better than pine or other woods.

But nothing lasts forever out in the weather. In my experience, a well-built cedar fence can easily go 30 years if you stay on top of maintenance.

Start with quality installation – good framing and weather-resistant hardware like stainless steel. Then keep it looking its best by washing annually, re-staining every 5-7 years, and making quick repairs.

Don’t just set it and forget it! With a bit of care, that warm, textured cedar will be an attractive backdrop for family memories for years to come.

Factors Affecting Cedar Fence Longevity

Factors Affecting Cedar Fence Longevity
Believe me, I know how frustrating it can be when that beautiful new cedar fence starts to show its age. As someone who has installed and maintained many fences over the years, I can tell you that climate, pests, and maintenance practices all play a huge role in determining how long your cedar fence will last.

From extreme weather to hungry termites, you’ll need to stay vigilant to keep your fence looking its best. But with some practical tips and preventative care, you can get decades of enjoyment from your investment.


Course climate harsh rain, wind can wreck cedar fencin’ if ya don’t tend to ’em!

  • Sun bleaches the color.
  • Wind knocks pickets loose.
  • Rain rots the wood.

Ya gotta stay on top of things if ya want your cedar fence to last. Give it a wash now and then, tighten up any wobbly pickets after a storm, and re-stain every few years. Little fixes keep the weather from takin’ its toll, so ya get to enjoy that warm cedar beauty for decades rather than just a few years.


Termites and other critters can gnaw a cedar fence to pieces if you don’t keep them at bay.

Cedar’s natural oils fend off insects somewhat, but you have to help it out. Stay vigilant – inspect regularly, treat with protectant, and fix any nibbled pickets promptly. Critters go after damaged spots, so keeping repairs up doesn’t just preserve looks – it wards off worse insect attacks.

Don’t give those pests a foothold! With smart prevention, cedar beautifies your yard critter-free for decades.


You’d think fence maintenance would be easy, but it really takes vigilance. Keeping your cedar fence in great shape requires regular checks for damage from harsh weather. Apply that oil blend to protect the cedar from pests and rot. Don’t let your investment go to waste by skipping the simple upkeep cedar needs.

With a bit of care, the warm, natural beauty of a cedar fence stays strong for years.

Cedar Vs. Other Wood Fencing

Cedar Vs. Other Wood Fencing
When it comes to fence materials, cedar stands apart for its natural beauty and longevity compared to pine or composite alternatives. With proper installation and maintenance, the average cedar fence can last 25-40 years.

However, before you decide, consider the upfront cost of cedar versus more affordable pine that requires frequent staining. Or, look into composite fencing made from recycled plastics that will not rot, warp or splinter over its 15-30 year lifespan.

There is no one-size-fits-all option, so allow your budget, aesthetics, and tolerance for maintenance to guide your decision.


Wooden fences enhance your home’s curb appeal, though pine requires vigilance to match cedar’s enduring warmth. While pine offers strength, its soft fibers and sap are more vulnerable to rot, decay, and pest damage than cedar’s natural oils and tight grain.

Without rigorous treatment and maintenance, pine fences can deteriorate and require replacement years before a cedar fence shows similar wear.

But with careful selection of durable heartwood pine boards, regular staining, and inspection for damage, a well-built pine fence can provide security and beauty for your yard. With some extra TLC, pine’s affordability doesn’t have to mean sacrificing the classic, inviting feel of a wooden fence surrounding your home.


Look beyond traditional wooden boundaries, for composite’s custom colors open imaginative vistas. Composite fencing offers sleek, contemporary allure unbound by natural wood’s imperfections and upkeep.

Go bold with vibrant hues from teal to terra cotta, or opt for wood-mimicking grains in carefree designs. Composite’s molded mix of fibers and resins creates fences resilient to weathering, decay, and insects.

  • Select mix of 50% recycled wood fibers, 50% plastic
  • Resists moisture, rot, and pest damage
  • No sanding, staining, or painting required

Though pricier initially, composite provides long-term value. With minimal maintenance beyond an occasional rinse, your vibrant, reliable fencing will bring privacy and personality to your outdoor retreat for years to come.

How to Maximize Cedar Fence Lifespan

How to Maximize Cedar Fence Lifespan
Regularly staining the fence will protect it from sun damage and moisture. Cedar is naturally resistant to decay, but applying stain every 2-3 years will maintain its rich color and prevent cracking or warping.

In addition to staining, also clean the fence annually with a power washer to remove dirt, mildew, and other buildup. Pay close attention to the bottom rails which are most prone to moisture damage.

Stay on top of repairs to fix any loose boards, damaged pickets, or posts right away. Leaving issues unaddressed can allow water intrusion and accelerate rot. Check for loose nails, sinking posts, and warped or cracked boards and replace them as needed.

With proper care and maintenance, an attractive cedar fence can retain its natural beauty and last for decades. The key is being proactive with regular staining, annual cleaning, and timely repairs. Taking these steps will maximize the lifespan of this eco-friendly fencing material.


Stain your fence quickly, friend, lest time’s decay claim its beauty untimely. Allow natural wood expansion between boards. Apply a quality, water-repellent stain to protect your investment. Re-stain every 5-7 years religiously.

These proper preservation methods, paired with routine maintenance like clearing debris, repairing damage promptly, and an annual soap-water wash, will help your cedar fence stand strong for decades, enhancing your home’s curb appeal.

This will create an inviting backyard oasis that nurtures fellowship with family and friends.


You’ll prolong its life by giving your fence a gentle, annual cleaning with soap and water. This removes pollen, dirt and mildew to let cedar’s natural reddish color shine through. Use a soft brush and mild detergent, rinsing thoroughly. Avoid pressure washing – it damages the softer earlywood.

Let it dry completely before resealing. Stay on top of this easy maintenance so your low maintenance cedar fence retains its stronger resistance to weathering and decay for exterior applications.


Pounce on any rotting or loose spots in your fence right away so it doesn’t snowball into major repairs down the road, partner.

  • Tighten loose boards, replace rotten ones before entire sections need replacing.
  • Use weather-resistant materials like stainless steel screws and nails.
  • Seal any bare wood immediately to stop moisture damage.

Stay on top of inspections and quick fixes to preserve your cedar fence’s natural warmth and inherent durability against harsh weather elements. With some regular sealing and vigilance against damage, your cedar will thrive for decades in most environmental conditions.

Installing a Cedar Fence

Installing a Cedar Fence
When installing a cedar fence, carefully planning the layout and using weather-resistant hardware are crucial first steps to ensuring your fence lasts for decades. Allow small gaps between boards for expansion and ventilation, and opt for stainless steel nails and screws over standard hardware to prevent premature rotting.

Properly setting up your cedar fence from the start will make maintenance easier and help this attractive, eco-friendly material retain its natural beauty year after year.


You develop an emotional bond with the fence when spending time planning the layout. Take pride in crafting your cedar fence. Consider the terrain and views when deciding on straight-line, scalloped, or stepped layouts.

Visualize your household’s patterns and needs for privacy when positioning gates or angled sections. Cedar’s beautiful reddish hue and varied grains blend naturally. Thoughtfully designed, your custom cedar fence becomes an extension of your home.


Don’t skimp on weather-resistant hardware when installing a cedar fence – stainless steel nails and screws last up to 15 years longer than galvanized options. When we carefully select quality hardware, we invest in our cedar fence’s longevity.

  • Stainless steel nails resist rusting and retain strength.
  • Hot-dipped galvanized hardware corrodes over time from moisture.
  • Look for 316 stainless steel, 18-8 chromium-nickel grade.
  • Coat galvanized hardware with a water solution for added protection.

Like cedar’s minimal chemical treatment, selecting hardware that withstands the elements brings us satisfaction in caring for our fence.

Cedar Fence Cost Considerations

Cedar Fence Cost Considerations
As you plan your cedar fence installation, the initial cost may seem high compared to other fencing materials. However, cedar’s unparalleled durability and longevity make it a smart long-term investment for your home.

Over years of changing seasons, cedar naturally resists rot, decay and insect damage far better than cheaper softwoods. With proper maintenance like re-staining every 5-7 years, your cedar fence can last 30 years or more.

Cedar’s beauty also enhances your home’s curb appeal and adds natural, eco-friendly warmth to your outdoor living space.

Though more expensive upfront, cedar fencing pays for itself over decades of reliable service.

Its functional performance and attractive aesthetics simply can’t be matched by other materials.

So see past the initial price tag, and let cedar fencing increase your home’s value and bring you satisfaction for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often should I inspect my cedar fence for damage or decay?

Check your cedar fence every 1-2 years for damage or decay. A visual inspection can catch issues before they worsen. Gently push on boards to feel for soft spots. Make small repairs quickly to help your fence fully serve its purpose over the years.

What are some early signs my cedar fence needs maintenance or repair?

Inspect your fence annually for warping, cracking, or insect damage. Discoloration, loose boards, or decay at the base signals it’s time for repairs. Preventing further deterioration saves money and retains curb appeal longer. Regular inspections help keep your beautiful cedar fence admired by neighbors.

What should I do if parts of my cedar fence are turning gray?

If parts of your cedar fence are graying, there’s no need to fret – this is natural over time. You can rejuvenate the fence’s red tones by pressure washing it annually. Then, reapply a stain or sealant every 5 to 7 years for protection and color.

Are there any DIY maintenance tips for preserving my cedar fence?

Clean it annually with a pressure washer to remove dirt, mildew, and UV-graying. Re-stain it every 5 years using an oil-based product to nourish the wood. Inspect for loose boards, warping, or decay and make repairs right away. Keep vines, leaves, and weeds away that can hold moisture.

Apply wood preservative to the bottom boards to prevent rotting from ground contact.

How much does it typically cost to have a professional refinish or restain a cedar fence?

Having a professional refinish or restain a typical 6 foot cedar fence can cost $4-8 per linear foot, which comes out to around $1,000 for 200 linear feet. The actual costs will depend on the contractor’s process, materials used, and local rates.

It’s best to get estimates based on your specific fence footage and what services are included. Some homeowners find it more cost-effective to stain the fence rather than replace it later down the road.


With proper installation and maintenance, a beautiful cedar fence can enhance your outdoor living space for decades. Though climate, pests, and upkeep impact durability, cedar’s natural oils help it better withstand rot and insects than pine.

Staining as soon as possible and reapplying every 5-7 years, combined with vigilant cleaning, repairs, and debris removal, maximizes a cedar fence’s longevity. Although pricier initially, a well-cared for cedar fence pays dividends through its long lifespan and timeless, natural beauty.

With some diligent care, you can enjoy the warmth and privacy of a cedar fence for 30 years or more.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.