Cedar fencing is prized by those that love the look of a wood fence but prefer a material that naturally resists rot and insect damage. Another benefit of cedar fencing, beyond its longevity, is its rich color. Over time that color can fade to a silver-gray unless you take time to protect the fencing so it retains its signature warm cedar color.

1. Clear Out Debris

Anything near the fence can trap moisture along the boards, which can speed up the silvering process. Plant material is especially good at trapping moisture. Keep grass trimmed low around the fence line and don't allow any plants to climb directly up the fence. Low plants, like small shrubs and flowers, should be planted several inches to a foot forward of the base of the fence. If you desire any climbing plants, train them to grow up a trellis set a few inches from the fence. The spacing allows air circulation so that moisture doesn't sit on the cedar boards.

2. Replace Damaged Hardware

Damaged hardware is a problem for many reasons. Missing screws and loose hinges increase the chances of cracks and other severe damage on the cedar boards. Hardware that is loose or beginning to rust can allow moisture to seep into the wood, which speeds the silvering process and can lead to other problems like rust stains. Inspect your fence once per season, and tighten or replace the hardware as needed. Apply a coat of fresh sealer over the wood surrounding any repairs so that moisture won't seep in and discolor the cedar.

3. Deep Clean Regularly

Even with proper care, mildew and dirt will begin to affect the cedar. The wood may start to discolor or fade. Pressure washing removes this surface debris along with any remaining sealer. For most fences, this is a task that only needs to be done every three or four years, although it wet climates you may need to do it more frequently. Simply wash the entire fence with a pressure washer set at low to medium pressure. Detergent isn't usually necessary, although some people do use a dilute bleach solution to kill mildew and remove light discoloration. Keep in mind that bleach can damage landscape plants, though.

4. Reseal Properly

The cedar fence must be promptly resealed after pressure washing, or it will quickly begin to silver. Choose a clear stain so that the warm reddish hue of the cedar can still show through. The most effective stains are both waterproof and UV-resistant. Apply at least two coats, allowing each coat to soak in and dry thoroughly before applying the next.

Contact a loacl fencing service for more help when it comes to installing, replacing, and maintaining your cedar wood fencing.