0 to 30 years, but when constructed from treated wood or composite materials, it may endure as long as 50 years. Before beginning work on your deck, it is imperative that you have a solid understanding of the various building materials available to you. A deck is a form of long-term investment, and you can expect to take pleasure in it for many years to come.
Because both wood and composite materials come in a variety of characteristics, price and quality are not the only considerations in this decision-making process. It is common knowledge that composite materials require less maintenance than other types of materials; as a result, their prices are typically greater. However, they do require some level of maintenance, and other considerations must also be taken into account. Let’s take a look at some of the considerations that go into selecting the appropriate deck material for your outdoor space.
The organic and welcoming appearance of real wood is a major selling point for many homeowners when choosing a material for their decks. It just feels good. On the other hand, there are two distinct categories of wood. When building a deck out of wood, the kind of lumber you use is one of the most crucial factors in determining how long the deck will last and how much upkeep it will require.
Treated lumber, commonly known as “PT” lumber (which stands for “pressure-treated”), is a popular choice that doesn’t break the bank. The fir used to make PT wood is treated with chemicals that prevent rotting and insect infestation. You can stain it to make it a more appealing color than its natural shade, which is a shade that is between brown and green.
However, there is a rationale behind why this is the least expensive alternative for decking. Because it is prone to warping, splitting, and cracking, it requires frequent maintenance to keep it in good condition.
If you are interested in going the natural route, you should select a wood that is resistant to the elements, such as cedar or redwood. These kinds of decks have a lovely look and texture, and they are resistant to warping, cracking, and other forms of damage that can be caused by the weather. In general, redwood is more expensive than cedar, and the cost of constructing a deck out of any of these two species of wood is approximately three times that of treated lumber.
Ipe wood from Brazil is a very expensive hardwood that may also be used for decking; in addition to being naturally resistant to rot, it is also much tougher and, as a result, more long-lasting than either redwood or cedar. Because it is imported from South America, Ipe might have a price tag that is up to four times higher than the choice of using cedar or redwood.
The use of composite decking materials, which are typically made up of a mixture of recycled plastic and wood fibers, is becoming increasingly common. Although a deck made from these materials is not “natural” and will not have the potential beauty of a deck made from genuine wood, you can choose from a variety of colors to achieve the appearance of a more natural deck. According to many accounts, further advances in this sort of decking have made both its appearance and its overall feel quite appealing.
The fact that composite materials require very little upkeep, such as sanding, refinishing, or staining, is the most compelling argument in favor of using them. In addition, it typically includes a warranty of at least twenty years and frequently even a lifetime guarantee. The negative is, as you might assume, the expense, which is typically twice as much as natural wood decks and may go as high as approximately four times as much depending on the quality and the warranty.
All decks, including composite, require some care. Natural wood decks are the most difficult to maintain since they need to be refinished every year. This can involve sanding, which is followed by the removal of the previous finish and the application of the new finish. It is not a bad investment to make if you enjoy the beauty of natural wood and are willing to put in the effort to maintain it.
A deck made of pressure-treated wood only needs to be refinished every other year with a clear sealer or stain, which is half the upkeep required for a deck made of raw wood. No refinishing is necessary for decks made of composite materials. However, these materials have the potential to become mold breeding grounds if they are not cleaned at least once every three to four years.