How Long Does Wood Siding Last?

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If you’re considering using wood siding on your home, the question of how long it will last is a valid one. If properly cared for and preserved, wood siding does last a long time -but how long? We’ve done our research and considered all the different types of wood siding. In this article, we have compiled a dependable list that includes the average number of years each type will last.

There are many different wood varieties that are used to make siding, and each has unique characteristics. Wood siding can last a considerable amount of time, 20 to 40 years on average, depending on the wood used. The lifespans listed below are dependant upon regular maintenance.

  • Pine siding:  20 + years
  • Fir siding:  30+ years
  • Cedar siding:  75+ years
  • Redwood siding:  75+ years
  • Cypress siding:  100+ years
  • Engineered wood siding:  30 to 100 years

Proper installation and maintenance are critical to the longevity of wood siding. Keep reading as we delve into each type of wood, and learn more about what will affect the lifespan of your wood siding.

Wooden building with wood siding at sunset, How Long Does Wood Siding Last?

Pine Siding

Pine siding is arguably the most budget-friendly option for wood siding. It is lightweight, easy to work with, and easy to find. Pine is light-colored with a natural yellow hue that looks wonderful when showcased under a coat of clear sealant. It can also last a long time, up to 50+ years. However, in order for pine to endure the elements and last a lifetime, it has to be meticulously maintained. Without consistent reapplication of sealant/paint, pine will only last around 10 years. 

For more information on pine siding, you may appreciate this article, “Is Pine Good For Exterior Siding?

Pine wood panels installed as wood siding

Fir Siding

Douglas fir provides exceptional lumber for siding. It has a smooth, even grain with a lovely orange color. Fir holds up well to heat and humidity and can last 30+ years with good maintenance. Although it is not quite as insect and rot-resistant as some other siding options, it is a beautiful wood. As with most wood siding, fir should be sealed to ensure maximum longevity.

Douglas fir wood panels as wood siding of a home

Cedar Siding

Perhaps the most popular choice for wood siding is cedar. Due to the tannins that are naturally found in cedar, it is exceptional in its ability to resist termites and other insects. If you’re looking for a rustic cabin in the woods, cedar is an ideal siding. If left untreated, cedar has the potential to last 15 to 20 years. However, its lifetime can be extended to 50+ years if it is sealed and carefully maintained.

Colonial house front with cedar wood siding

Redwood Siding

Redwood lumber is divided into two categories. The heart wood, which is the center of the tree, and the sap wood, which constitutes the rest of the tree. While the sap wood is relatively soft and prone to rotting, the heart wood is similar to cedar, both in appearance and longevity. It is a reddish wood that does not easily succumb to either insects or rot. These properties make it ideal for wood siding that will last 50+ years with proper installation and care.

Old wood door with lock and redwood siding

Cypress Siding

Perhaps the most durable option for wood siding is one that has been endured for generations. Cypress is a beautiful, dense, honey-colored wood that is ideal for siding. It is naturally resistant to fungi, insects, and decay, and has a beautiful, straight grain. There are many homes with cypress siding that have held up to all kinds of weather for a hundred years and more. With correct maintenance, you can expect your cypress siding to last that long as well, or longer!

Engineered Wood Siding

Boasting all the charm of real wood siding without the price tag, engineered wood siding has become a very popular choice. It is resistant to mold and mildew. It also doesn’t succumb to pests such as termites as easily as real wood siding. Engineered wood is often made of wood remnants and recycled wood, making it an eco-friendly choice. Additionally, engineered wood siding will last well over 30 years, with some reports boasting a lifespan of 100 years!

Detail of painted engineered composite wood siding

Wood Siding Maintenance

As we mentioned, the key to long-lasting wood siding is routine maintenance. We have included some tips to help make sure that your wood siding remains in optimum condition.

  • Regularly inspect your siding to catch problems early.
  • Stain and seal or paint your wood siding.
  • Reapply sealant every two to five years, repaint every five to eight years, or when the paint begins to look worn.
  • Fill any cracks, and seal or paint them.
  • Clean your siding at least once a year with a brush and soapy water.
  • Treat any mold and mildew that appears, using appropriate cleaners for your wood.
  • Maintain caulking around doors, windows, and vents. Failing caulking allows moisture to penetrate the edges of your siding.
  • Prevent excess moisture by keeping gutters free and keeping foliage away from your home.
  • Keep an eye out for termites, regularly inspecting and treating for them.
  • Replace any damaged wood as soon as possible to prevent further decay.

For more information on painting or staining your wood siding, refer to this article, “Should You Paint Or Stain Wood Siding (And How To).”

How Do You Keep Wood Siding From Rotting?

Wood siding typically rots because of moisture that is retained in or behind the wood. To keep your wood from rotting, be sure to reseal your wood every two years, or repaint it about every five years. Peeling, cracking paint is a good indication that the wood behind your paint is wet, and rotting is sure to follow. Routinely check for damaged wood and repair it right away. Additionally, follow all of the maintenance recommendations laid out earlier in this article.

How Long Does Paint Last On Wood Siding?

Paint will last approximately five to eight years, when applied to wood siding. To maximize the lifetime of your exterior paint, be sure that the wood is completely dry when you paint it. Additionally, proper surface preparation is essential for a long-lasting paint job.

You my find this article helpful, as well, “How Long Should Exterior Paint Job Last?

Is Wood Siding Hard To Maintain?

Maintenance for your wood siding is not difficult, but it is ongoing and important. Wood siding will deteriorate more quickly if it is not routinely cared for.

Can Wood Siding Be Pressure Washed?

The simple answer is yes, you can pressure wash a house with wood siding. However, it should be done with care, and with certain caveats, as the wood can be damaged. When using a pressure washer to clean wood siding, use low pressure and a wide fan tip. Keep your wand moving across the wood , never letting it continually spray in one place. 

Conclusion

Wood siding can be a great asset to your home, providing a classy yet charming appeal. With the right TLC, your wood siding can last for genrations.

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