Easy Guide: How to Clean & Maintain Your Cedar Fence Effectively

A cedar fence can add charm and value to your property. But like any outdoor feature, it requires regular maintenance to keep it looking its best. That’s where knowing how to clean your cedar fence comes in handy.

You might be wondering, “Why should I bother?” Well, a clean cedar fence not only looks great but also lasts longer. It’s not just about aesthetics, it’s about preserving your investment too.

In this guide, you’ll learn the right techniques and tools to get your fence sparkling clean. We’ll walk you through the process step by step, so you can tackle this task with confidence. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get started, shall we?

Key Takeaways

  • Cleaning and maintaining a cedar fence preserves its natural beauty and increases the property’s aesthetic appeal, ensuring longevity and preventing premature aging or decay.
  • Essential tools for this task include a power washer, garden hose with a spray attachment, high-quality fence cleaner, strong brush with stiff bristles, and personal safety gear.
  • Preparing the cedar fence involves a thorough inspection for damages and making necessary repairs, covering surrounding areas with a tarp or drop cloth to prevent harm, and ensuring that safety gear is worn.
  • The cleaning process might vary depending on the dirt level and fence age; techniques range from manual scrubbing to pressure washing or use of chemical-based cleaners for older fences or those with excessive fungal growth.
  • Routine maintenance of a cedar fence, which includes regular cleaning to prevent the accumulation of dirt or mold, scheduled inspections, and application of a high-quality water-repellant sealant, ensures its durability and attractiveness for years.
  • An important aspect to consider is applying regular preventative actions such as removing leaves or debris, which can help minimize significant future repairs and aid in ease of cleaning.

Maintaining a cedar fence’s appearance and longevity involves regular cleaning and protective treatments. Cascade Fence and Deck emphasizes the importance of cleaning the fence to remove mold, mildew, and previous stain layers for effective maintenance. Angi provides a guide on rejuvenating your cedar fence with a pressure wash followed by a fresh stain application to enhance its natural beauty and protect against the elements. For detailed care instructions, Rick’s Fencing discusses using a UV protectant and mildew-resistant stain to preserve the cedar’s condition and appearance over time.

Importance of Cleaning a Cedar Fence

Preserving the natural beauty of your cedar fence involves more than just installation and repair. A crucial part of fence maintenance is regular cleaning. Cedar, although known for its durability and resistance to rot, needs proper care to retain its original charm.

A common question many homeowners ask is, “Why should I clean my cedar fence?” To this, there are several persuasive responses.

Prevention is better than cure. When it comes to cedar fencing, this adage rightfully applies. Cedar possesses natural oils and tannins which deter pests. However, over time, the buildup of dust, moss, and mildew can diminish these protective properties. Regular cleaning ensures the fence remains robust, maintains its natural defenses, and offers longevity. Neglecting this can lead, over time, to the premature aging and decay of your cedar fence.

It pays itself off. A clean, well-maintained cedar fence enhances your property’s aesthetic appeal and value. Prospective buyers or tenants often look for properties where exterior maintenance isn’t a constant struggle. By keeping your fence in prime condition, you’re not only preserving its looks but you’re also inviting admiration and potential property value increase.

There’s also the issue of aesthetics. Cedar fencing is a dignified way of enclosing a property while retaining a sense of the open-air. Yes, it’s there for its practical properties – but there’s an undeniable charm and appeal to a clean, well-presented cedar fence that we can’t ignore. It’s a boundary, a protective barrier- but it’s also a work of art in your yard.

Necessary Tools for Cleaning

Ready to tackle that cedar fence cleaning? Exciting! But, wait. Have you geared up with necessary cleaning tools and solutions? Having the right tools is essential for an effective cleaning process to restore your cedar fence’s natural beauty and durability.

Firstly, you’ll need a high-quality power washer. A power washer provides the forceful water stream necessary to eliminate grime, mildew, and stains caught in your cedar fence’s nooks and crannies. Look for one that you can adjust the pressure settings. Too much force can damage the cedar, it’s a balance between clearing away dirt and preserving your fence’s integrity.

Cleaning ToolsDescription
Power WasherTo eliminate grime, mildew, stains
Adjustable pressure settingPrevents fence damage

Secondly, a simple garden hose with a spray attachment is useful. Use it for a gentle rinse after the power wash and to clean areas that the power washer may have missed.

Thirdly, you will need a high-quality fence cleaner. Look for a cleaner specifically designed for cedar fences. Such a cleaner will ensure the preservation of your fence integrity while effectively getting rid of dirt and mildew.

The next tool to consider is a good, sturdy brush with stiff bristles. A brush is necessary to scrub hard-to-remove dirt and stains.

Finally, don’t forget about safety gear. Safety glasses shield your eyes from any debris that might get kicked up during cleaning. Gloves will protect your skin from potential harm caused by chemical cleaning solutions. A pair of non-slip shoes are essential to keep you safe on damp surfaces.

These tools aren’t just for utility. They ensure every cleaning session enhances your cedar fence’s charm, appeal, all while maintaining your safety during the process. In possession of these tools and the knowledge from our previous sections, you’re now prepared for any cedar fence cleaning scenario.

Preparing the Cedar Fence for Cleaning

After gathering your essential cleaning tools, your next step involves preparing the cedar fence for a thorough cleaning. This preparation phase is critical; it helps ensure effective cleaning and keeps your cedar fence in top-notch condition.

Start by inspecting the fence thoroughly. Check for any sign of damage or areas that may require repair or special attention during cleaning. Notably, fungal growth, loose panels, or cracked wood need to be addressed before you proceed with cleaning. Regular inspection of your cedar fence will help you catch problems earlier, rendering them easier to fix and potentially saving you time and costs in the long run.

Once you’ve identified any problem spots, make the necessary repairs. Replace broken panels and tighten loose screws where necessary. This problem-solving phase is vital; your fence needs to be sturdy and secure before it’s exposed to the cleaning process, especially if you’re using a heavy-duty power washer. Plus, by tidying up the weak spots, you’ll enhance the overall appearance and longevity of your fence after cleaning.

Next, cover the surrounding areas with a tarp or drop cloth. This step is especially important if you’re using a chemical-based fence cleaner. Covering the surrounding grass, plants, or outdoor furniture will protect them from potential damage or discoloration. Protecting your yard is just as important as cleaning your fence.

Lastly, put on your safety gear. Slap on your safety glasses, gloves and non-slip shoes to protect yourself from accidents during the cleaning process. After all, your well-being comes first.

Cleaning Techniques for a Cedar Fence

Now that you’ve prepared your cedar fence for cleaning, it’s time to dive into the actual cleaning techniques. Each technique might differ based on the level of dirtiness, weather conditions or the age of your fence. Keep in mind that like any other DIY undertaking, you might need to employ a combination of these techniques to get the best results.

One of the easiest and most common techniques is manual scrubbing. This involves using an abrasive material like a scrub brush, warm soapy water, and a lot of elbow grease. Always remember to scrub in the direction of the wood grain to avoid damaging your fence’s beautiful cedar texture.

Alternatively, you can utilize a pressure washer. This tool is powerful, it directly treats the grimy spots without damaging the underlying wood. Use a pressure washer on the lowest setting, slowly increasing as necessary. Too high of a setting can strip away the softwood fibers leaving your fence looking rugged and uneven.

If you’re dealing with an older fence or one with excessive fungal growth, a chemical-based cleaner can be a lifesaver. Choose a cleaner that’s specifically designed for cedar wood. Apply it as per the guidelines on the label, allow it to sit for the recommended amount of time and then rinse it away with your pressure washer or hose.

Bear in mind, cleaning a cedar fence might seem like a simple task but it requires serious attention to detail. Using the wrong approach can lead to unnecessary damage. Be diligent and take your time to ensure your cedar fence keeps its charm for years to come.

Whatever technique you decide on, assess the results and decide whether your fence might need another round or if it’s time to move on to the next step of the cleaning process which is staining or sealing your cedar fence. This part will protect your fence against future dirt and deteriorations upping its durability in the process.

Maintaining a Clean Cedar Fence

Once you’ve successfully cleaned your cedar fence, it’s crucial to take regular actions to prevent the accumulation of dirt, mould or mildew. By developing a routine, you can keep your fence looking as good as new while extending its life for years to come.

Scheduled inspection and quick response to the first signs of dirt could be your first line of defence. Inspect your cedar fence regularly, ideally at least once per month. Look out for areas that appear dark or discoloured, which could be signs of dirt build-up or mould growth. Prompt attention to these areas often allows for easier cleaning and reduces the chances of permanent stains.

Blow off leaves and other debris as part of your routine. This not only maintains the aesthetic of your fence but also prevents stained or discoloured spots caused by rotting organic materials. Remember, dampness from clinging leaves could lead to mould growth, which is much more challenging to handle than simple dirt build-up.

To make your cedar fence cleaning easier in the long run, consider applying a high-quality water-repellant sealant after cleaning. This not only provides a protective barrier against moisture but also makes your fence more resistant to dirt and grime. You will need to reapply the sealant every few years to ensure lasting protection.

Ultimately, a clean and well-maintained cedar fence adds value to your home, enhancing its visual appeal. Remember, regular maintenance can prevent significant repairs in the future, saving you time and money. By embracing these preventative measures, you’ve set yourself up for success and will be able to enjoy your healthy-looking cedar fence for years to come.


So, you’ve learned the basics of how to keep your cedar fence in top-notch condition. Remember, routine maintenance is key to preventing dirt and mold buildup. Don’t overlook the importance of regular check-ups and immediate cleaning of discolored spots. It’s also crucial to clear away any debris that could lead to staining or mold growth. And don’t forget, applying a water-repellant sealant after cleaning provides an extra layer of protection, making future cleanups a breeze. Keeping your cedar fence well-maintained not only enhances your home’s appeal but also saves you from costly repairs down the line. Now, it’s time to put these tips into action and give your cedar fence the care it deserves. Happy cleaning!

Why is it important to maintain a clean cedar fence?

Regular maintenance of a clean cedar fence prevents the buildup of dirt, mold, or mildew. It also helps in prolonging its lifespan, thus preventing expensive repairs in the future. Besides, a well-maintained cedar fence increases a home’s value.

What should be included in the cedar fence cleaning routine?

The cleaning routine should include regular inspections of the fence to promptly address any dark or discolored areas. It’s also important to remove debris like leaves frequently to prevent staining and mold growth.

Why should one use a water-repellant sealant on their cedar fence?

Applying a water-repellant sealant after cleaning a cedar fence provides additional protection to the wood. The sealant makes it harder for dirt and debris to stick to the surface, making the fence easier to clean.

How does regular maintenance of a cedar fence save money?

Regular inspection and cleaning can prevent mold and mildew accumulation which can seriously damage the wood. By preventing such issues beforehand, you’ll reduce the need for costly repairs or even replacement of the fence.

How can a well-maintained cedar fence add value to a home?

A well-maintained cedar fence not only enhances curb appeal but also indicates to potential buyers that the home has been well taken care of. This may increase the home’s market value.