Elite Home Exteriors NW

How Long Does Cedar Siding Last on a House?

Choosing a siding option for your home can be an intimidating process.

If you don’t know much about house siding, you’re probably wondering things like:

  • “What’s the best siding option for my home?”
  • “How long does cedar siding last?”
  • “How much maintenance is involved with siding?”

But choosing a siding option does not have to be a big and scary process. 

When equipped with the right information, choosing a siding option for your home can be quick, painless, and even easy.

This guide provides all of the details on cedar siding options and answers the most common questions, like:

  • How long does cedar siding last on a house?
  • When should cedar siding be replaced?
  • And more


Table of Contents

What Is Cedar Siding?

Cedar siding is a wood siding that offers a natural look to your home while blending well with the environment.

Cedar siding, also often referred to as cedar shakes, or cedar shingles, comes in different stains and textures — providing a different look for your home depending on which you choose.

how long does cedar shake siding last

How Does Cedar Siding Compare to Other Wood Materials?

Cedar siding is just one of many different wood siding materials. Is it the best siding option for your home?

Compared to other wood materials:

  • Cedarwood resists swelling, cupping, and cracking better than some other wood materials.
  • Cedarwood has an easy installation and repair process.
  • Cedarwood requires more upkeep.
  • Cedarwood is faster growing than other wood materials.

Pros of Cedar Siding

Cedarwood siding comes with a handful of benefits, especially when compared to other siding materials.

Some advantages of cedarwood include:

  • It has a warm and homey aesthetic that other sidings like vinyl or fiber-cement do not offer.
  • It holds stain well, allowing for customization.
  • It’s available in many different grades, styles, and textures.
  • It is renewable, reclaimable, and biodegradable.
  • It is long-lasting. 

Cons of Cedar Siding

With so many good advantages come some disadvantages, too.

Cedarwood has some flaws, including:

  • It is more prone to discoloration and mildew.
  • It attracts woodpeckers.
  • It is susceptible to insects and pests if not properly cared for.
  • If exposed to moisture, it can rot or warp.
  • It has a low fire rating compared to other materials.

How Long Does Cedar Siding Last?

Different types of cedar siding have differing durabilities and lifelines, usually depending on the maintenance and upkeep of the materials.

The three most common types of cedar siding are:

  • Cedar shake siding
  • Untreated cedar siding
  • Painted cedar siding

How Long Does Cedar Shake Siding Last?

If well-maintained, cedar shake siding endures the elements well and can last many years. Some manufacturers offer warranties of over 25 years because cedar shake siding can last 20-40 years when well-maintained.

However, your cedar shake siding should stay off of the ground to extend its longevity.

This keeps pests and moisture from entering the wood, which can quickly shorten the lifespan of cedar shake siding.

How Long Does Untreated Cedar Siding Last?

Untreated cedar siding is not as durable and long-lasting as a cedar siding with a proper finish.

Using a finish on your cedar siding protects it from weather, which easily extends its longevity.

When left untreated, within five years of installation, the cedar siding will begin to rot and soften from the moisture that enters from not being protected.

How Long Does Painted Cedar Siding Last?

If done correctly, painted cedar siding can also be long-lasting, around 12-15 years.

Painting cedar siding is another way to protect the cedarwood, just like staining cedar siding.

For the best results that will hold up and last a while:

  • Choose high-quality primers and finishes that contain mold and mildew inhibitors.
  • Use an alkyd-oil-based primer to protect against discoloration.
  • Choose a darker colored paint.
  • Choose paint with high elasticity.
  • Apply two applications of coatings.
  • Wait for the moisture content of the cedar to stabilize and dry before any applications.

If you’re looking to have your cedar siding installed, Elite Home Exteriors can help. Our team of siding professionals can perform an inspection, recommend the best approach and application, and do the installation for you promptly. 

How Long Does Cedar Siding Last

How You Can Tell When Cedar Siding Requires Maintenance

Your house is covered in cedarwood siding and you want to be sure you are optimizing the longevity of the wood. To do this, you must stay on top of the maintenance required to keep the cedarwood siding in its best condition possible.

A proper install and quality maintenance can help ensure your cedarwood siding lasts as long as possible.

So how can you tell when cedar siding requires maintenance?

Most maintenance that cedarwood requires can be easily noticeable by inspecting the home.

When the cedarwood begins to look rundown, weathered, discolored, or broken, the siding needs some work. 

However, the recommended timeline for maintenance can differ for each type of maintenance, including:

  • Checking for pests and insect damage
  • Checking for moisture and water damage
  • Cleaning dirt and debris
  • Restaining or repainting
  • Completely replacing the siding

When Should Cedar Siding Be Replaced?

When properly installed and maintained, cedarwood siding can last a long time — usually between 20 and 40 years.

However, depending on your local climate, different elements can ruin cedarwood siding faster than expected.

For example, if you’re local to the Pacific Northwest, cedarwood might begin to rot much quicker than normal because of how much moisture is in the air in this area. 

When the moisture gets behind the wood, it begins to:

  • Bubble
  • Crack
  • Blister
  • Peel (paint)

If you aren’t having any major issues with your cedarwood siding, when should cedar siding be replaced?

If your cedarwood siding begins to show any damage or wear and tear that cannot be maintained or fixed, it’s time to replace it. Otherwise, cedarwood siding has a long lifeline and when maintained properly, can last decades.

Elite Home Exteriors has a team of professionals that excel in installing and replacing cedarwood siding. If your cedarwood needs replacing, contact us for an estimate.

how long does cedar siding last on a house

How Can You Make Your Cedar Siding Last Longer?

As we’ve mentioned before, cedarwood siding has a lot of life in it when it is properly maintained.

If your cedarwood siding is installed correctly and you commit to keeping up with some maintenance checks, you can extend the life of your cedarwood siding to its fullest potential.

Controlling Moisture 

Although controlling the moisture outside of your home might be difficult to do depending on where you live, controlling the humidity inside of your home can affect the longevity of cedarwood siding.

Before your cedarwood siding is installed, you can prep your home and siding to help minimize the moisture to the wood. You can do this by:

  • Applying a waterproof barrier, a house wrap, before installing the siding.
  • Priming the siding pieces before installation, paying close attention to porous tops and bottoms that might allow moisture to seep in.
  • Apply two coats of penetrating oil stain to your cedarwood, even if only one is recommended.

Humidity, both inside and outside of the home, can affect the longevity of cedarwood. By staying on top of moisture maintenance, cedarwood can last much longer.

Check for Pests and Animal Damage

Although most pest damage is slow to notice, termite damage can happen quickly depending on the size of the colony. 

By regularly inspecting the exterior of your home, you can look for certain signs that might give a clue that you have pests or animals damaging your siding:

  • Mud tubes that pests travel through
  • Blisters in the wood resembling water damage
  • Droppings that look similar to coffee grounds or piles of sawdust
  • Termite swarms

Another animal known for causing damage to cedar siding is the woodpecker. 

Woodpecker damage typically appears as holes in the siding. These holes can be fixed by filling them with epoxy putty and repainting or staining the patch to match the rest of the siding.

You can try to prevent woodpecker damage by:

  • Hanging something that blows in the wind nearby the home to scare them away
  • Hanging netting, normally used to protect fruit from animals, in the corners of the house 

Removing Dust and Dirt

When the exterior of your home begins to appear weathered, dirty, and discolored, it is likely time for a deep cleaning.

You can easily remove the dust and dirt from cedarwood siding by using a pressure washer or scrubbing with soap and water.

Keeping your cedar siding clean is important for the longevity of the wood.


If your home is covered in a treated cedarwood siding, you should expect to re-do the staining every three to five years to optimize the longevity of the siding.

The weather in your area will play a big part in how soon the cedar siding should be restained. You should be able to easily tell when it’s time to do some staining work by simply walking around your home and observing how weathered the cedarwood siding is looking.

By using a penetrating oil stain and applying two coats, even if only one is recommended, your stained cedarwood can be long-lasting.

How Much Does Cedar Siding Cost?

For an average size home of around 1,500 square feet, cedar siding can be a more costly siding option.

Here’s a rough breakdown of costs:

  • Materials – $5,000 per 1,500 square feet
  • Installation – $12,500

Not included in this breakdown are added costs you should consider when determining if cedar siding is within your budget:

  • Removal and disposal of old siding.
  • The grade of cedar will change the materials cost and installation cost because higher grades are more costly, and shake and shingle cedar requires a longer time to install.
  • Maintenance costs – What can you do yourself and what do you have to outsource? How often does each maintenance task have to be performed?

For a free estimate on your cedarwood siding installation project, contact Elite Home Exteriors. Our team of professionals will perform an inspection and give an estimate at no cost before moving forward with your project.

Looking for Cedar Siding for Your Home? Our Team at Elite Home Exteriors Are Ready to Help

Are you interested in replacing or installing new cedar siding on your home? 

Do you need to know, “How long does cedar siding last?”, or “When should cedar siding be replaced?”.

Our team of professionals at Elite Home Exteriors is full of the skills and knowledge necessary to help you.

Our small company takes the time to get to know our clients one-on-one and offers insight and estimates with total honesty and transparency.

Don’t be intimidated by your home siding. Contact Elite Home Exteriors for a free installation or replacement estimate today.

How Long Does Cedar Siding Last

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How Long Does Cedar Siding Last on a House?

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