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Caring for Western Red Cedar Siding

cedar siding maintenance

Western Red Cedar is a popular choice for siding due to its natural beauty and durability. It is resistant to decay, insect damage, and even the harsh weather conditions often experienced in the Pacific Northwest. However, to maintain its beauty and ensure its longevity, it is essential to properly care for your Western Red Cedar siding. In this article, we will outline the essential steps for maintaining the beauty and durability of your cedar siding.

Understanding Western Red Cedar

Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) is a species of evergreen coniferous tree native to the western North American region. It is renowned for its natural resistance to decay and insect damage, making it an ideal material for siding, decking, and outdoor furniture. The wood has a straight grain and a fine, even texture, which makes it easy to work with. Additionally, it has a natural, rich color that ranges from a light straw color to a dark brown, with occasional pinkish hues.

Importance of Proper Maintenance

Proper maintenance of your Western Red Cedar siding is crucial to ensure its longevity and beauty. Without proper care, the cedar wood can become discolored, develop mildew or mold, and eventually deteriorate. Here are some key reasons why proper maintenance is essential:

  1. Prevents Discoloration: Western Red Cedar contains natural tannins that can leach out of the wood and cause discoloration. Regular cleaning and sealing can prevent this.
  2. Prevents Moisture Damage: Although cedar is naturally resistant to moisture, prolonged exposure can cause the wood to swell and eventually crack. Proper sealing and regular maintenance can prevent this.
  3. Prevents Insect Damage: While cedar is naturally resistant to insects, it is not entirely immune. Regular maintenance can help to keep insects at bay.

Essential Maintenance Steps

Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning is the first and most crucial step in maintaining your cedar siding. Dust, dirt, and other debris can accumulate on the surface of the wood, which can lead to discoloration and mildew growth. It is recommended to clean your cedar siding at least once a year. Use a soft brush or a pressure washer set at a low pressure to clean the surface. Make sure to thoroughly rinse the siding with clean water after cleaning.

Sealing and Staining

After cleaning, it is essential to seal the wood to prevent moisture penetration. Use a high-quality water-repellent sealer that is specifically designed for cedar. It is also recommended to apply a stain to the wood to enhance its natural color and protect it from UV rays. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying the sealer and stain.

Regular Inspection

Regularly inspect your cedar siding for any signs of damage or wear. Look for cracks, splits, or areas where the sealer or stain has worn off. If you notice any areas that need attention, clean and reseal them as soon as possible.

Repairing Damaged Areas

If you notice any damaged areas on your cedar siding, it is essential to repair them as soon as possible. Small cracks or splits can be filled with wood filler. Larger damaged areas may need to be replaced. If you are not comfortable doing the repairs yourself, it is recommended to hire a professional siding contractor. KV Construction LLC is one of the leading siding contractors in Seattle and can help with any repairs or maintenance your cedar siding may need.


Western Red Cedar siding is a beautiful and durable option for your home. However, to maintain its beauty and ensure its longevity, it is essential to properly care for it. Regular cleaning, sealing, and inspection are crucial steps in maintaining your cedar siding. If you notice any damaged areas or need help with maintenance, do not hesitate to contact a professional. KV Construction LLC is one of the leading siding companies in Seattle, WA, and can help with all your siding needs.