How Long Will a Cedar Fence Last

How Long Will a Cedar Fence Last? (Quick Answer!)

Want to buy cedar fencing but aren’t sure?

Cedar is a beautiful fencing material that’s perfect for any wooden fence. This softwood offers a wonderful blend of durability, visual appeal, and natural resistance to moisture, making it a top pick for outdoor projects like decking, shingles, and fences. 

So how long will a cedar fence last? Let’s find out!

  • A well-maintained, properly installed cedar fence can last around 15 to 40 years.
  • To maximize the lifespan of your wood fence, address fence damage as soon as you find it, like stains, crooked fence posts, wood rot, and corrosion. 
  • Cedar fences should be sealed, cleaned annually, and weeded to ensure they last for decades.

How Long Will a Cedar Fence Last?

While some people opt for a pressure-treated pine wood for their wood fences, Western red cedar is an excellent, durable option with special benefits. 

Besides being untreated, red cedar also naturally resists moisture, rot, and insects. 

While it does come at a 30% more expensive price tag than treated pine, its durability, gorgeous reddish hue, and lovely aroma make it a worthy investment. 

A quality red cedar fence that’s professionally installed with water-resistant hardware and regularly maintained can last upwards of 40 years. 

Cedar has a Janka hardness of 320, which isn’t the hardest wood option. It may be susceptible to damage or warping after some years, making it crucial to repair and landscape with care.

Now that you know cedar fencing has the potential to last 15 to 40 years, let’s talk about some types of fence damage. If you can spot these and address them early, your cedar fence will last longer. 

Types of Fence Damage to Watch Out For

Overtime, it’s only natural that weather conditions, UV damage, moisture, and other environmental factors will affect cedar fencing. 

No wood is 100% resilient to the environment, and red cedar is no exception. I’ll go over the common types of fence damage to watch out for, so you can tackle it head-on. 

Stains & Mold

Does your cedar fencing have mossy stains? Or moldy black splotches? No worries! You can spot-clean stains, mold, and mildew easily with just a couple ingredients. 

Put on eye protection and gloves. Mix 1 gallon of hot water with ½ cup of Clorox outdoor bleach in a utility bucket. 

Then dip a stiff-bristled brush in the solution, and spot-scrub any visible stains. Rinse off fencing with water after.

Crooked Posts

Dealing with leaning fence posts? Maintain that sooner rather than later to avoid any collapses.

You’ve got a couple options here. The first is digging a hole in the ground around the circumference of the post, and filling it with cement. Readjust the post and let the cement dry.

And if the post is rocking in its cement base, try driving a steel wedge between the post and concrete. 

Wood Rot

Rotting cedar pickets and loose boards are a red flag. To fix wood fence rot, you’ll have to remove the rotted portion of the fence with a saw or hammer. Then replace that empty hole with fresh wood.

This can be an arduous process for most homeowners, which can be outsourced to a professional if needed.

Corroding Hardware

Hardware that’s corroding due to outdoor elements isn’t good for the health of the cedar wood, or strength of the fence. This can lead to wavy fencing lines or collapses. 

Hardware that’s rusting and corroding can easily be avoided by installing quality, weather resistant hardware from the get-go. 

Opt for stainless steel or galvanized nails and screws to prolong your fence’s life. 

Cedar Fence Maintenance: How to Preserve Cedar Fence

Cedar wood

Let’s dive into some useful maintenance tips that will help you preserve your durable cedar fence for as long as possible. 

Seal Cedar Fence

Since red cedar is an untreated wood material, it should be finished with a high-quality, water-resistant stain or sealant. 

A good stain or sealant will provide UV protection. It’ll also block inclement weather elements and moisture from causing rotting and mold. 

In addition, sealer will help prevent splintering, cracking, and pests from corroding the wood. Plus, staining your fence will enhance the beautiful natural hues of the cedar wood (no need to paint your cedar fence!)

There are many good stain and sealant options out there, like #1 Deck Semi-Transparent Wood Stain for fences, DEFY Waterproofing Sealer, or Ready Seal natural sealer designed for cedar wood.  

Before applying your sealant, make sure to thoroughly clean the fence by removing any visible dirt, stain, mold, or mildew. This will allow for a smoother application and longer-lasting absorption.

Apply two thin coats of your stain with a paint brush. Let it dry between coats. Consider repeating this process every few years for optimal preservation.

Clean Cedar Fence

Spot cleaning your cedar fence with a water and bleach solution is good practice. But to make your fence last longer, it’s a good idea to fully clean your fence once a year. 

Luckily, this is really simple to do. Just mix warm water and detergent soap in a large bucket, and apply the soap and water solution to the entire fence. 

Scrub down with a medium-bristle brush, and rinse off with fresh water or a garden hose.  

If you’re noticing your red cedar fence graying in certain areas, you can also take a pressure washer to it. A pressure wash will draw out its natural oils and help it retain its reddish natural beauty for as long as possible. 

Dealing with teak wood? Here’s how to clean teak wood!

Weed and Landscape Around Cedar Fence

Implement repairs as needed for any damage you find. And aside from these spot repairs, keep an eye on the plants around your fence.

Are there any bushes, vines, or weeds around your fence? Keep an eye on them to make sure no vines or bushes are growing up the surface of the fence. 

These clingy plants can promote moisture and insect-related issues. Cut off any vines or bushes growing on or attaching to the wood. 

Note: it’s fine to plant things around the perimeter of your fence. You can even install charming decor designs like this DIY flower box and window. You just don’t want the plants themselves living in direct contact with the wood.


How can I make my cedar fence last longer?

Make a cedar fence last longer by cleaning any stains when they show up, replacing rotted sections, applying a waterproofing sealant to the fence, and keeping plants from growing up the fence surface.

How long will untreated cedar fence last?

An untreated cedar fence should last at least 15 years. If installed properly and taken care of annually, a cedar fence can last upwards of 40 years. 

Is a cedar fence worth it?

While similar wood fencing options like treated pine are cheaper, cedar fences are a great investment and last much longer. They naturally resist moisture, pests, and rot. 

Red cedar also has a beautiful reddish color that enhances the beauty of your yard landscaping, and emits a lovely aroma.

Final Thoughts

Bottom line: a cedar fence should last 15-40 years with proper installation and maintenance.

Red cedar is a durable material that lasts with regular upkeep and maintenance.

Clean your cedar fencing with soap and water yearly, make repairs as needed, and apply a waterproofing sealer. 

By following these simple steps, your cedar fence will stand the test of time.

Jessica Vaillancourt is a freelance writer and blogger obsessed with the Travel, Wellness, and Personal Development industries.

She has 5+ years of experience helping human-first agencies, global companies, and entrepreneurs crush their content marketing goals, and serve more people. Jessica’s work has appeared on leading websites like,, and

Today, her sole focus (besides finding the world’s best coffee shop) is writing to serve humans, and slow traveling abroad to expand her mind. You can get to know her work at