When contemplating a new deck, many homeowners wonder what the lifespan of the deck may be. A new deck is an investment, so it’s understandable that you’d want to know just how long the investment to your outdoor living space will last… but the longevity of your wooden deck or composite deck all depends on the type of material used.
To help answer this question, let’s take a look at the two most popular decking material options: wood and composite.
Natural Wood Decking
How long will your wood deck last? In general wood decks last around 10 to 15 years, but some can last much, much longer. It all depends on the lumber quality, the climate your deck exists within, and how diligent a homeowner is with maintenance. It’s hard to compete with the natural warmth and appeal of organic materials, but we won’t lie to ya: wood decking requires a lot of TLC.
To make sure you protect your investment you’ll need to regularly power wash, stain and seal your natural deck surface every one to two years (and more if you live in an area that’s prone to storms, rain, or extreme sun and fluctuating temperatures).
Traditional wood deck materials usually include pressure treated lumber (typically yellow pine), softwoods such as cedar and redwood, and exotic woods such as mahogany and teak.
Here’s how they stack up:
- Pressure treated pine (Lifespan ~10-15+). A pressure treated deck usually include deck boards that have been infused with chemicals that repel incest damage and rain moisture, which can help increase the life span of the deck. To help your pressure treated wood last even longer and to avoid rotting wood you’ll need to apply water-repellant sealers annually and remove mold or mildew at the first sign growth.
- Softwoods (Lifespan ~10 years). Softwood wooden decks are less expensive than other wood types. These deck boards are also made from faster growing trees, so they’re more eco-friendly than hardwood decks. Woods such as cedar and redwood are a little bit more naturally resistant to rot and insect damage because of the naturally existing oils found in these species.But, softwoods aren’t as hardy as compared to their aptly named “hardwood” cousins and need much more regular maintenance. To keep this type of wooden deck up to snuff you’ll need to clean it and apply sealer at least twice a year.
- Hardwoods (Lifespan ~30+ years). These woods are extremely dense and are much more durable compared to pressure treated and softwoods. These types of wood require more minimal maintenance and with proper upkeep most homeowners can enjoy them for decades.
Composite is incredibly resistant to the fading, degradation, and general wear and tear of wood deck materials. In a nutshell… artificial decking materials means shorter “honey-do” lists which leaves time and energy for the fun things in life. Most professionals hail composite decks as the best decking material of all, and as a rule, the composite decking lifespan sits around 25 to 30 years (and longer) with proper, albeit low, maintenance.
Here’s how these two popular composite materials
- Trex. This is an eco-friendly option which is almost entirely made from recycled plastic and other materials (95%). These materials are also carefully processed to make sure you receive only the highest level of quality and performance. Most professionals agree this type of decking performs better than wood and requires much less maintenance which helps to lower your cost over time and helps the environment!
- Fiberon. Another sustainable option! Fiberon boards may be synthetic but they might fool you. The warm tones and grain patterns mimic that of genuine hardwoods, just without the fading, warping and rot you get with the real thing.
With regular cleaning, you’ll likely never have to replace your composite decking — which is great if you want to put your dollars towards other projects in your outdoor space. But, compared with wood deck boards, it’s much, much more expensive upfront. The good news is, composite decking often comes with a stain warranty and most deck construction companies offer financing options. It’s also versatile, which means the material may be a good option for other outdoor projects including pool and hot tub decks, balconies, archways, walls, and other features.
Still not sure which type of deck is best for you? Give us a call today and our experts can go over all the top decking options and help find a solution that best fits your budget and your needs in the long run. With Best Rate Repair, you’ll feel confident in your new deck!