If you plan to add a deck onto your home, you may be wondering what the best decking material is. This is a complicated question, and depends heavily on your personal style, and your budget. While all decking options are good, some do outlast others. Let’s look at the different types of decking, their lifespan, and the maintenance associated with them.
Pressure Treated Wood
Pressure treated wood is a great, economical option for decking. Different types of wood can be used for a different look, but pressure treated lumber is the most common, and most economical option. Wood decks can last up to 15 years with the proper maintenance, making them a solid option, but by far the least durable of the decking material options. Pressure treated wood also has to be cleaned regularly, and if you want a stained look, stains will have to be reapplied as the sun will bleach the wood over time.
Composite decking is made of recycled materials, such as wood shavings and plastic, making it an eco-friendly option. Composite decking is often created to look like wood, however it retains its color and overall is much more durable than wood. Composite decking can last up to 25 years and requires little to no maintenance. Cleaning may be necessary simply from an aesthetic standpoint, but the longevity of the deck does not depend on it.
Plastic lumber is another decking option with a long lifespan. This product generally comes with a 50 year warranty, however in most cases decks last around 30-35 years. With the warranty however, comes a higher price tag, but peace of mind and no upkeep expenses.
Steel or aluminum is another option for decking that far surpasses the other decking options for longevity and durability. These decks are very expensive but can last up to 60 years if maintained correctly. Steel/aluminum decks need routine desalting and recoating to stay in tip top shape.
Adding a deck onto your home is exciting, but deciding what decking material to use can be stressful. Which material you choose is dependent on a number of factors, such as budget, preference, how long you intend to stay in your home, etc. If you are ready to get started on your deck and discuss all of your options, call us at North American Deck & Patio, your experienced Maryland deck builder, today!