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How Long Does Cedar Siding Last? A Comprehensive Guide to Its Lifespan and Maintenance

cedar siding

Cedar siding is a popular choice among homeowners for its natural beauty, durability, and insulation properties. However, many wonder, “how long does cedar siding last?” and about the maintenance required to keep it in top condition. In this blog post, we’ll explore the factors that affect cedar siding’s lifespan, maintenance tips to prolong its life, and compare it to other siding materials. We’ll also discuss the signs indicating it’s time to replace cedar siding and the costs involved. Get ready to make informed decisions about cedar siding for your home!

Key Takeaways

  • Cedar siding provides numerous benefits, but requires regular maintenance and potential disposal issues.

  • Regular cleaning and inspection of cedar siding is essential to maintain its condition. Repair/replacement techniques should be employed for longevity.

  • Cost of cedar siding depends on installation complexity & type used. Supplementary costs for installation & maintenance also apply.

Cedar Siding Lifespan: Factors to Consider

Cedar siding on a house with a beautiful view

Cedar siding, a wood siding option, provides a natural aesthetic to your home while complementing the surrounding environment. Its life expectancy can reach several decades when appropriately maintained, making cedar siding last for a long time. Factors including maintenance, type, and environmental conditions determine the longevity of cedar siding. The three most prevalent types of cedar siding are cedar shake siding, untreated cedar siding, and painted cedar siding.

Exposure to weather, sunlight, and temperature are primary factors influencing the longevity of cedar siding. Conducting regular inspections and timely repairs help in maximizing the lifespan of cedar siding. It is also recommended that cedar siding planks or shingles be kept off the ground to prevent rotting.

Regular upkeep holds the key to enhancing the longevity of cedar wood siding and cedar shingles.

Cedar Shake Siding

Cedar shake siding is known for its great aesthetic appeal, durability, and long-lasting beauty. The expected lifespan of cedar shake siding is between 20-40 years, depending on factors such as pests and moisture infiltration. Regular cleaning and sealing are necessary to keep cedar shake siding in optimal condition. Proper maintenance and protection against pests and moisture will help prevent damage to the wood and ensure a longer life expectancy for cedar shake siding.

Before using cedar shakes for siding, homeowners should consult their local city ordinance and HOA rules and regulations to ensure that cedar shakes are not prohibited. Following these steps can lead to the best possible outcome for your home’s cedar shake siding.

Untreated Cedar Siding

Left untreated, natural cedar siding is estimated to have a lifespan of up to 30 years. However, without proper protection, unprotected cedar wood might begin deteriorating after just 5 years. Decay and mold growth may occur, leading to potential issues and a decreased lifespan.

The lifespan of untreated cedar siding can be effectively prolonged by applying water sealers, staining, or painting. Untreated cedar siding will gradually take on a grayish hue as it softens and fades over time. By finishing untreated cedar siding with appropriate protective measures, homeowners can extend its life and maintain its aesthetic appeal.

Painted Cedar Siding

Painting cedar siding can safeguard the wood, prolong its lifespan, and avert moisture damage. It is recommended to use 100% acrylic-latex paint for cedar siding. Painted cedar siding can last 12-15 years, depending on maintenance and environmental factors.

When painting cedar siding, it is recommended to utilize the following steps for enhanced protection:

  1. Apply two coats of high-quality primer.

  2. Follow with a top coat of solid color stains or paint.

  3. Repaint cedar siding every 10 years if adequately maintained.

Not using primer when painting cedar siding may result in adhesion issues in the future, particularly if the wood is weathered.

Maintenance Tips for Cedar Siding

A person painting cedar siding with a brush

Prolonging the life of cedar siding and ensuring its optimal performance necessitates proper maintenance. Here are some tips to help you maintain your cedar siding:

  1. Routine cleaning and inspection can help ward off damage and deterioration, as well as extend the life of cedar siding.

  2. Proper painting and staining techniques are crucial for preserving cedar siding. Make sure to use high-quality paint or stain specifically designed for cedar.

  3. Timely repair and replacement of damaged panels is important to prevent further damage and maintain the integrity of your cedar siding.

By following these maintenance tips, you can keep your cedar siding looking beautiful and protect it from the elements.

The longevity of cedar wood siding can be significantly impacted by managing humidity levels in the home. To prevent rotting and decay, it is recommended to keep cedar siding planks or shingles off the ground and protect them from direct contact with water and moisture.

Proper Painting and Staining Techniques

Protecting cedar siding and prolonging its life relies on the following steps:

  1. Use a primer on the ends of the siding to prevent moisture penetration.

  2. Select an appropriate type of paint or stain for cedar siding.

  3. Apply multiple coats of paint or stain for optimal protection.

  4. Ensure that the coats are applied evenly and thoroughly.

  5. Avoid thinly painting cedar siding, as it is more likely to suffer from rotting and cracking at a faster rate than if a thick coat had been applied.

By ensuring your cedar siding is properly installed and following these steps, you can effectively protect it and extend its lifespan.

Painting natural cedar siding promptly (no more than two weeks after installation) will reduce the risk of the sun and weather causing harm to it. Adhering to the correct application process for the products will guarantee that the cedar siding is sealed and safeguarded from external factors.

Regular Cleaning and Inspection

To avoid damage and decay, cedar siding must be regularly cleaned and inspected. It is recommended to clean cedar siding with water and detergent. When inspecting cedar siding, look for indications of damage and decay, such as cracks, warping, and discoloration.

If damage or decay is identified, prompt action should be taken to repair or replace it. Ensuring that your cedar siding remains in optimal condition and continues to protect your home for years to come requires timely repairs and replacements.

Repair and Replacement

When the siding can no longer adequately protect the internal structure of the house, or appears shabby, brittle, and has a washed-out color, replacement of cedar siding should be considered. When the damage is extensive, replacement is recommended; if the damage is minimal, repair is a viable option.

To repair damaged cedar siding panels, sand, clean, and fill the damaged area with a wood filler. To replace damaged cedar siding panels, remove the old panel, measure and cut the new panel, and install the new panel. The longevity and effectiveness of your cedar siding is ensured by proper repair and replacement techniques.

Pros and Cons of Cedar Siding

An image showcasing Cedar Siding with a label indicating its lifespan, answering the question 'How long does cedar siding last?'

Cedar siding offers a range of advantages, including its natural aesthetic, insulation capabilities, and resistance to insects. However, it also has its drawbacks, such as susceptibility to damage and deterioration due to moisture, sunlight, wildlife, and other external factors, as well as higher maintenance costs and environmental concerns.

Making an informed decision about the best siding option for your home requires balancing the pros and cons of different siding materials, such as:

  • Cedar siding

  • Vinyl siding

  • Fiber cement siding

  • Aluminum siding

The upcoming section compares cedar siding to other popular siding materials in terms of durability, maintenance, and aesthetics.


Cedar siding is known for its natural beauty, which cannot be replicated with other siding materials. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, cedar siding is an exceptional insulator for your home, helping to keep it warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Cedar siding offers several advantages for homeowners:

  • It is durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions.

  • It has natural resistance to insects, providing protection against potential damage.

  • It offers a natural and attractive appearance, enhancing the overall aesthetic of the home.

These advantages make cedar siding, a product made from natural materials, an attractive option for homeowners seeking a natural and functional siding solution.


Cedar siding is prone to damage and deterioration due to exposure to moisture, sunlight, and pests. This vulnerability means cedar siding requires more maintenance, including painting and staining cedar siding, which can be expensive.

Environmental concerns also arise with cedar siding, as its disposal may present an issue. While cedar siding has its disadvantages, proper maintenance and care can help mitigate these issues and ensure a long-lasting and beautiful exterior for your home.

Comparing Cedar Siding to Other Siding Materials

A comparison of cedar siding and fiber cement siding

Considering the durability, maintenance, and aesthetics of various materials is essential when choosing siding for your home. Some popular choices include:

  • Cedar siding

  • Vinyl siding

  • Fiber cement siding

  • Aluminum siding

Each material offers its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Cedar siding offers natural beauty, insulation properties, and insect resistance, but is also associated with higher maintenance costs, vulnerability to damage, and environmental considerations. In the following subsections, we’ll compare cedar siding to vinyl, fiber cement, and aluminum siding in terms of their features and longevity.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is a low-maintenance, long-lasting, and economical siding selection, with a lifespan of up to 40 years with proper upkeep, making your siding last. However, vinyl siding may have some drawbacks:

  • It can fade over time, especially when exposed to harsh sunlight.

  • It may crack, potentially leading to leaks, when exposed to extreme cold temperatures.

  • It can warp when exposed to an external heat source, such as a grill.

Despite these potential issues, vinyl siding remains a popular choice for many homeowners due to its affordability and durability.

Despite these potential drawbacks, vinyl siding remains a popular choice for its low cost and minimal maintenance requirements. It offers the following benefits:

  • Low cost

  • Minimal maintenance requirements

  • Available in a range of colors and textures, allowing homeowners to customize their home’s exterior appearance.

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement siding is a siding material composed of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers, providing more resilience and requiring less upkeep than cedar siding. The anticipated lifespan of fiber cement siding is between 25-50 years, depending on maintenance and environmental factors.

To ensure optimal performance, annual washing with a garden hose is recommended, as well as periodic inspection of caulk and pruning of plants near the foundation for adequate drying. For a more thorough cleaning, consider pressure washing your home’s exterior. Fiber cement siding offers a durable and low-maintenance alternative to cedar siding, making it an attractive option for many homeowners.

Aluminum Siding

Aluminum siding is a metal-based siding that is often used to clad the exterior of a building. It is widely favored by homeowners due to its longevity and minimal upkeep needs, with a lifespan of up to 50 years with appropriate maintenance.

Aluminum siding is resilient to decay, pests, and flames, making it a reliable and low-maintenance solution for homeowners. Its flame retardant properties further enhance its appeal. However, aluminum siding typically has a more contemporary and sleek appearance compared to cedar siding’s natural and rustic aesthetic.

The choice between cedar and aluminum siding depends on personal preferences and priorities, such as maintenance, durability, and aesthetics.

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Cedar Siding

cedar siding on gable

Maintaining the integrity and appearance of your home requires knowing when to replace your cedar siding. Signs that suggest it’s time to replace cedar siding include rot, warping, and fading. These issues can arise due to exposure to the elements, such as rain, snow, and sun.

Upon noticing any of these warning signs, prompt action to replace or repair your cedar siding is essential for protecting your home’s internal structure and maintaining its visual appeal. Keeping an eye on the condition of your cedar siding will help ensure a long-lasting and beautiful exterior for your home.

Cost of Cedar Siding

For a home of approximately 1,500 square feet, cedar siding can be a pricier option, with costs varying from $5 to $45 per square foot based on the complexity of the installation and the type of cedar used. In addition to the initial cost of the siding, there are supplementary costs to consider, such as installation and maintenance expenses.

Although cedar siding may be more expensive than other siding materials, its natural beauty, insulation properties, and insect resistance may make it a worthwhile investment for homeowners who value these attributes.

Making an informed decision about the best siding option for your home requires careful consideration of the costs and benefits of cedar siding.


In conclusion, cedar siding offers a unique combination of natural beauty, insulation properties, and insect resistance, making it an attractive choice for many homeowners. However, it requires regular maintenance and is susceptible to damage from environmental factors. By understanding the factors that affect cedar siding’s lifespan, taking proper care of it, and knowing when to replace it, you can ensure a long-lasting and beautiful exterior for your home. Ultimately, the decision to choose cedar siding over other materials depends on personal preferences, priorities, and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does siding last?

Wood siding may last 15-40 years, aluminum siding can last up to 30 years with basic maintenance, while cedar siding usually comes with 25-year warranties and requires regular maintenance. Therefore, depending on the material used, siding can last anywhere from 15 to 40 years.

Can you paint cedar siding?

Yes, you can paint cedar siding. Depending on its age and condition, painting is recommended as it will extend the life of your siding and still allow for the rough-cut cedar texture.

What are the maintenance requirements for cedar siding?

Regular cleaning, sealing, and inspection are essential to keeping cedar siding in good condition.

How do I know when it’s time to replace my cedar siding?

Signs of rot, warping, and fading indicate it’s time to replace your cedar siding. Inspect your siding regularly for these signs to ensure its longevity.

How does cedar siding compare to other siding materials?

Cedar siding offers natural beauty and insulation properties, but requires more maintenance than other siding materials like vinyl, fiber cement, and aluminum.