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  • Writer's pictureMidwest Fence & Gate

How to Take Care of Your Red Cedar Fence

Red cedar fence with a shadow of a tree.

If you are planning to install a red cedar fence around your home, this guide is right for you. Below, we have compiled a list of tips on maintaining your red cedar fence from when you first installed it. 

Regular Inspections

Keep an eye out for signs of trouble, such as woodpeckers or other birds near the fencing. These may indicate an infestation of insects inside the boards that requires immediate action. Carpenter bee holes or holes carved out over time by wood-boring bugs can weaken the wood and lead to further damage if left unchecked.


Additionally, monitor for plant growth near the fence line, as large shrubs or trees can exert unnecessary pressure against the fence structure over time.


Panels separating from the posts or leaning outward can compromise the integrity of your fence. Ensure all panels are securely attached to the posts and standing upright. If you notice any instability, address it promptly to prevent further damage.


Loose nails or screws can lead to panels becoming loose or falling off entirely. Regularly inspect the fasteners throughout your fence and tighten or replace any loose or corroded ones.


Signs of wood rot are indicators of moisture damage and decay. Inspect the entire surface of your fence for any areas that appear discolored, soft, or spongy to the touch. 


Keep an eye out for common issues such as cracking, warping, splitting, and sagging boards. These issues can compromise the structural integrity and appearance of your fence. 

Apply a Sealant or Stain

Clean and seal your red cedar fence with a water sealer every 1–3 years. This helps protect the wood from moisture damage, UV rays, and other environmental factors that can cause deterioration over time.

Clean Your Fence

There are several considerations to keep in mind when cleaning your red cedar fence:

Manual Cleaning

Manual cleaning is one of the most straightforward methods to maintain your red cedar fence. Start by inspecting the fence for any debris, dirt, or mildew buildup. Use a stiff-bristled brush or broom to scrub the surface of the fence panels, working in small sections. 

Pressure Washing

Pressure washing is a more efficient method for cleaning larger areas of your red cedar fence.


Adjust the pressure settings on the washer to a low or medium setting to avoid damaging the wood. Hold the pressure washer wand at a consistent distance from the fence surface and work in a sweeping motion, moving from top to bottom. 


Be cautious not to linger in one spot for too long, as this can cause uneven cleaning or damage to the wood fibers. 


After pressure washing, allow the fence to dry completely before applying any sealant or stain.

Protective Measures

To minimize the buildup of dirt and grime on your red cedar fence, trim back vegetation and landscaping features near the fence. 


Install gravel or a weed barrier along the fence line to inhibit weed growth and reduce moisture retention. 


 Want to install a new red cedar fence in Fort Dodge or Ames, IA? Expert fencing contractors like Midwest Fence & Gate Company can help you. Contact us for more information!


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