Redwood siding is popular among homeowners, not just because of its aesthetically pleasing color, but also because of its durability.

Redwood siding can last up to 30 years. Since the siding has a respectable level of mildew resistance and pest resistance, it typically has a longer lifespan than other wood products. And given that it requires little maintenance over its lifespan, especially if it is stained or painted, it is one of the most durable and reliable sidings in the market.

Here is what you should know about redwood siding.

How Long Does Redwood Siding Last

As a siding material, redwood has significant advantages over other siding materials. The following are the main things that have made redwood a favorite among homeowners.

 

Durability

Redwood siding is one of the most durable sidings in the market. It can last up to over 30 years. This is way more than most wooden materials. And it makes the initial investment, in the sidings, worth it.

 

Beautiful red color

Unlike other wooden siding materials, redwood does not need to be painted or stained in order to be aesthetically pleasing. It has a naturally beautiful reddish-brown color that is attractive and is bound to make

 

Rot resistance

Thanks to its high concentration of tannic acids, redwood is an ideal siding material. This is because these acids enhance its ability to resist rot, something that usually goes a long way towards maintaining its aesthetic appeal while also enhancing its lifespan.

 

Provides insulation

It is naturally a better insulating material than other siding options. As a result, installing it on your home gives your home an extra layer of protection against energy loss, and this will improve your home’s overall energy rating.

 

Easy to use

Redwood is an ideal siding material because it has relatively lighter weight. This is so even when compared to materials like composite plastics.

The fact that it is a relatively lighter material, and also easier to drill, saw, and cut, makes for an easy installation process. This in turn usually reduces the overall cost of installing the sidings.

 

Resistant to splitting and warping

Redwood is incredibly resistant to weather elements. It has a high tolerance for direct sunlight. It also fares well when exposed to wind and rain. And since these are things that sidings are constantly exposed to, using redwood usually means lasting and steady protection.

 

Minimal upkeep requirement

Because of its rot resistance, ability to withstand insect attacks, and less likelihood of warping or splitting, redwood usually requires little maintenance. The cost of redwood siding maintenance is typically low since all that a homeowner has to do is to wash it, occasionally repaint it, or stain it when necessary.

Redwood advantages as a siding material

How often should you seal/ paint redwood?

Redwood should be repainted or sealed after every 3 years to 5 years. Doing so will ensure that it always has an extra protective coat that helps to keep it from losing its color or succumbing to weather elements. As a result, periodically sealing and painting redwood is still one of the most effective redwood maintenance activities.

How to care for redwood siding?

Redwood sidings are a favorite among homeowners because they are a low-maintenance material. However, they need a little care from time to time. This is especially so if you want to extend their lifespan and maintain their beauty.

The following are ways through which you can care for your redwood sidings.

 

Washing

Wash the sidings with water and a mild detergent to get rid of any accumulated dirt and debris.

You can even use a pressure washer to do so, provided you use it while it is in a low-pressure setting. And if you are dealing with stubborn stains, you can always use a gentle brush to scrub them off.

 

Painting

After every 3 years to 5 years, your redwood sidings will need a fresh coat of paint. This will refreshen its look. And it will also give it an extra layer of protection that will shield it from excessive moisture and sun exposure.

 

Oiling

While oiling redwood sidings with pure oils like boiled linseed is discouraged because of the fact that they can encourage mildew growth, oiling them with oils that have been mixed with mildewcides will do wonders to the longevity and attractiveness of the sidings.

 

Staining

Staining enhances the moisture resistance of redwood sidings. It also improves its appearance. As a result, it is something that will enhance both the lifespan and the appearance of your sidings.

 

Sealing

Sealing, a maintenance activity that has to be done after every two years, is beneficial to redwood sidings because it improves their resistance to moisture. And since there are effective sealers that are transparent, one can always use these sealants, without having to worry about losing the attractive reddish color of the redwood.

How to care for redwood siding

How often redwood siding needs to be replaced?

Typically, redwood siding has a lifespan of 30 years. And so replacing it after every 30 years is recommended.

Redwood siding problems

Bleed-through

With time, the natural oils in redwood tend to bleed through any paint or stain that it is coated with. This may ruin the paintwork, something that will definitely compromise the appeal of the sidings.

As a result, before painting the redwood, it is always advisable that you prime it. And while this may mean having to spend a little extra on painting the redwood, it will save you from the headache of having to tolerate ugly bleed-throughs.

Mildew

Discolorations, caused by mildew, are a common redwood siding problem. And when mildew grows on the sidings, it tends to create ugly marks that compromise the overall appeal of redwood sidings.
To keep the sidings mildew-free, one has to routinely wash them with oxalic acid or chlorine bleach.

Darkening or greying

As redwood sidings are exposed to environmental elements, they eventually start changing color. They start to darken and grey out. And while some people may love this change, it can be a liability if the color doesn’t blend with the overall look of the home. This is especially so in cases where a house’s overall appearance is solely designed to blend with the deep reddish color of redwood sidings.

Need for constant protection from moisture exposure

Even though redwood fares better at resisting moisture damage — when compared to other types of wood –, if it is constantly exposed to moisture, it will rot. To make sure that it is in great shape, arming it with a coat of redwood oil, painting it, or staining it, is usually necessary.

Cleaning redwood siding

To remove dirt, debris, and dirt from the surface of your redwood sidings, all you need is clean water. Simply hosing the sidings down will do.

And if there are any stubborn stains, pressure-washing the sidings with the pressure adjusted to lower settings, is advisable. To make the washing process easier, you may add a mild detergent to the water.

Oiling redwood

Oiling redwood with boiled linseed oil is a common practice. It is usually done in order to enhance its appearance. It can also increase its resistance to weather elements.

However, it is a practice that is generally discouraged mainly because linseed oil tends to encourage mildew growth. And given the discolorations that mildew typically causes, this is something that you will want to avoid.

But if you still want to oil your redwood sidings, you should opt for oil-based products that contain mildewcides. Doing so will give you all the benefits of oiling redwood without the headache that comes with having to deal with mildew growth.

Other siding materials lifespan

The lifespan of wood sidings usually varies depending on the type of material that is used to make them. The following are the lifespans of popular wood siding materials.

Type of wood Lifespan
Pine siding10 years
Fir siding30 years
Cedar siding20 - 70 years
Cypress siding100+ years
Engineered wood siding20 years - 30 years

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FAQ's

You keep redwood from rotting by arming it with a moisture-resistant protective layer. You can do this by sealing it, painting it, oiling it, or staining it. And for as long as the redwood isn’t under constant exposure to moisture, it won’t rot.

Yes, redwood siding can be pressure washed without damaging it. To properly pressure wash the sidings, you need to set the pressure washer on a low setting. Blasting the water at an angle, and maintaining a safe distance away from the sidings, will also reduce the risks of damaging them.

Since linseed oil increases redwood’s susceptibility to mildew, applying it on redwood sidings is inadvisable. Doing so will simply make it harder to maintain the aesthetic appeal of your sidings. It may thus result in higher maintenance costs.

Yes, redwood expands and contracts. In fact, it is a great siding material because it can expand and contract without warping, splitting, or cracking.

An easy way of making new redwood look old is to stain it. There are a lot of wood staining products in the market that are specifically designed for use on redwoods, and applying them on redwood will transform its look.

If you don’t want to use a commercial stain, you can make yours. You can do this by dipping steel wool into white vinegar. The steel wool will break down in the vinegar, and it will create a solution which when applied to the sidings, will give it an aged look.

Yes, redwood turns grey with time. This usually happens after the redwood has been exposed constantly to ultraviolet rays. Consequently, it gradually loses its deep reddish color and turns grey.

Ben McInerney
Author: Ben McInerney - is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.