Cedar Fences: Why Cedar Turns Gray

Cedar is one of the most common and aesthetically pleasing types of fencing in CT. That being said, your cedar needs to be maintained in order to keep it with that great red color and strength that it was when it was installed. But for most cedar fences, both water and sun can destroy the look of the wood. It fades to that dull, nasty, gray color; not what you imagined when you wrote a nice fat check to your fencers. There are many reasons cedar fences turn gray, but also many things you can do to prevent this

Water is absorbs into the outer layers of your wood. in the process, it washes away the outer layer of cells in the cedar. These cells are still alive on the plank, and are the reason your fence looked so great when it was installed. These alive cells produce oils that give cedar its color and smell.

After the water finishes up its damage, UV rays come in to play. They dry out those natural juices the cedar produces, which kills the color of the wood. After that, the water is absorbed into the inner cells of the wood. This is called rot, which is not only an eyesore, it can be dangerous to those around your cedar fence.

So how long does it take all this to happen? It depends on your area and where your fence is in the ground. Sometimes its as early as 2 months, and other times it takes a year for the grey to set in. This is why stain is so necessary for your cedar wood. It keeps out the water, so those cells can keep doing their thing. But remember: Once your fence is installed, it can’t be treated right away. Cedar has to dry out before you stain it, which can take up to 5 weeks. Stain can drastically improve the longevity of your fence, so it is well worth the money!

But what about an already-grayed fence? Not to fret, you can still restore your fence to what it was when installed. By simply power-washing your fence, you can remove the grayed cells and mildew on your fence. Next, apply a wood brightener (available at any hardware store) which will restore the red color. Finally, don’t make the same mistake twice. Stain your fence and seal it with a polyurethane. It is worth the time and effort so you don’t need to look at a gray cedar fence again!

Not too keen on repairing your grayed fence? We can fix that. Riverside can restore your fence as well as perform other fencing repairs to your cedar fence. Contact us for more information.


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