Reviving Your Cedar Siding: A Professional Guide to Power Washing for a Fresh Look

Reviving Your Cedar Siding: A Professional Guide to Power Washing for a Fresh Look

Transforming the aesthetic appeal of your home often begins with the exterior. When reviving the charm of cedar siding, the key lies in the rejuvenating power of a thorough power wash. Power washing offers a professional touch to breathe new life into your siding. It helps unveil the hidden beauty beneath years of weathering and grime.

In this guide, we’ll navigate the ins and outs of power washing as we provide you with the essential know-how to embark on a journey that promises cleanliness and a fresh and vibrant look for your cedar-clad haven. 


Can I Power Wash Cedar Siding?

The answer is a solid yes, but there’s a catch. As a gorgeous and robust material, Cedar needs some TLC to stay in top-notch shape. Power washing can do wonders, but here’s the lowdown.

First things first, check your cedar’s condition. If it’s in good condition without rot or decay in sight, then power washing is your ticket to getting rid of years of dirt and grime. But, if your wood’s seen better days, hold off on the power play.

Now, the nitty-gritty of power washing: using a pressure washer with a low PSI (around 1800) is the key. Adhering to this will be the key to cleaning your cedar without harming the wood. 

You should also pick a mild detergent mix to play nice with your cedar. Mild detergents are gentle, but they do get the job done.

In a nutshell, power washing your cedar siding can revive its glory, but play it smart. Check the wood, pick the right gear, and be gentle about it.

Soft Washing vs Hard Washing Cedar Siding

Would cranking up the pressure washer to the max be the shortcut to sparkling cedar siding? Not so fast! It turns out that a heavy-duty approach can backfire when it comes to this softwood exterior.

Cedar siding is a bit of a delicate soul, and going all out with a high-pressure wash is a no-go. Soft washing is the ideal way to go. 

Factors To Consider Before Pressure Washing Your Cedar Siding

When it comes to pampering your cedar siding, it’s not a one-size-fits-all game. Before breaking out the pressure washer, let’s dive into the factors you should consider.

First up, know your wood. If your cedar is softwood, go easy with 1800 psi or below. But, if you’re dealing with the tougher hardwood, you can kick it up a notch to 3000 psi. Softwood may be easy to clean but delicate, so handle them carefully.

Now, buckle up if your siding is the shake cedar siding type. It takes more TLC since it loves playing host to mold and mildew.

And don’t forget your pressure washer. If it’s got multiple settings, dial it down to the lowest. For the solo-setting people, no worries; just take a step back and spray from a higher angle. Less pressure, more love for your cedar siding.

Understanding your wood, siding type, and pressure washer settings are essential before power washing your cedar siding.


How to Power Wash Cedar Siding: Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Prep Your Space: Seal off doors, windows, and anything you don’t want wet. And hey, hydrate your plants extra – they’ll thank you later. Double-check your water hookup to the pressure washer, too.
  2. Test the Waters: Start with the pressure washer on the lowest setting if it’s your first cedar-cleaning rodeo. Give a small section a trial run. Bump up the pressure if needed, but stay within the safe zone for soft and hardwoods.
  3. Wet the Siding: Splash some water or use the lowest PSI on your pressure washer to pre-wet your cedar canvas.
  4. Apply the Cleaning solution: Grab your cleaning agent – avoid using regular bleach. Sodium hydroxide, oxygen bleach, or a wooden surface-friendly solution will do. Coat your siding and let it sit for about 15 minutes for softwoods and 25 minutes for hardwoods.
  5. Let the Solution Set: Don’t rush! Let the solution work magic, but don’t let it dry out. Timing depends on your gut feeling and the weather.
  6. Rinse: With low-pressure finesse, rinse from top to bottom. Hit the stubborn spots twice if needed.
  7. Repeat as Necessary: For the stubborn stuff, don’t hesitate to repeat steps 4-6 on different days. Tweak your solution and timing until you get that Cedar-looking, brand-spanking new Cedar Siding.


Precautions In Using A Pressure Washer on Cedar Siding

Before you unleash the power washer on your cedar siding, let’s talk precautions. Check out the tips below:

  1. Don’t Drown It: Resist the urge to linger too long in one spot. Excessive water might sneak into cracks only to play hide-and-seek with moisture and weaken your cedar over time.
  2. Gentle on Stains: Tough stains can be tempting to tackle with max pressure, but hold your horses. High-pressure water can leave a mark and not the good kind. Keep it moderate.
  3. Follow the Grain: Imagine you’re painting with the grain, not against it. Moving the nozzle in line with the wood helps avoid creating permanent dents. No one wants a cedar siding with a history of power washing pit stops!
  4. Bottoms Up: When applying that cleaning solution, start from the bottom and work your way up. Rinse it off? Top to bottom. 
  5. Tough Stains? Go Bottom to Top: Start at the bottom if you’re battling stubborn stains with just water. Let that water seep beneath the stain before working your way up. Then, rinse it all away from top to bottom.

Remember, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsure, there’s no shame in calling in the pros for a round or two. Watch them work their magic; you’ll be a cedar-cleaning pro in no time. 



For those seeking expert assistance with their Cedar Siding, consider the professionals at Longhouse Cedar. With a wealth of experience, cutting-edge techniques, and a commitment to what we do, Longhouse Cedar is your trusted partner in providing custom cut cedar products. 

Choose Cedar Siding for a natural, long-lasting, and stunning exterior!