Your choice of wood as the decking material for your new deck is not a peculiar one. Many homeowners prefer wooden decking for its warm, tactile feel and variety of hues that appeal to a wide range of tastes.
As the only renewable building material, choosing wood for your decking is also good for the environment. Lumber also uses much less energy to mill than it takes to produce other building materials.
With that said, deck durability is a genuine concern with people who choose wood as their decking material. How well can it withstand sun and moisture damage? Just how long does a wood deck last?
What Is The Life Expectancy of a Wood Deck?
Your wooden deck’s life expectancy is a function of the type of wood you choose, the quality of the deck’s construction, its maintenance, and how well you protect it from moisture and sun damage.
By choosing Jay Fencing as your contractor for the wood deck project, you can be confident your deck will be well made, secure, and will spot a design that catches the eye.
As a decking material, wood is fairly long-lasting, especially if it’s pressure treated, which is what we recommend. With regular maintenance, we can give your wood deck a life expectancy of up to 15 years. For how well it boosts your property’s curb appeal and expands its livable space, that represents a fair return on your investment.
It’s also worth mentioning that wood decking comes in a range of options, all of which come with their unique qualities. That does mean, too, that some types of wood aren’t strong enough to use as decking material. You have to consider your choices carefully.
What Is The Best Wood for Decking?
Wood’s aesthetic qualities are undoubted. But for its suitability as a decking material, the type of wood you choose has to pass the durability test. Unless pressure-treated, softwoods are prone to rot and sun bleaching that you will not enjoy your deck for long before it falls apart.
After pressure-treated softwoods, which is the most popular, redwood and cedar are your two most viable decking options. Redwood is a durable, good looking decking material that will keep its shape, maintain its looks, and stay safe to use for up to 25 years. It is stable, does not warp, and makes a great option. The only wrinkle is it doesn’t come cheap.
In terms of maintenance, with the periodic reapplication of a sealer and regular cleaning, redwood will last the longest. Cedar, on the other hand, isn’t as hardy. Technically a softwood, the wood tends to splinter and is not as strong as redwood. But its natural resistance to rot is a redeeming quality.
As soft as it is, cedar won’t do well as your main decking material. However, if you use it for the guard rails that don’t have to support a lot of weight, it offers a good way to bring down the overall cost of your deck, especially if you are using the pricier redwood.
When Should I Replace My Wooden Deck?
With proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy long and reliable service from your wooden deck. But it will not last forever. At some point, you will have to replace the deck, either because of a tired, weathered look or weakening structural strength.
It is possible to extend your wooden deck’s life by replacing worn boards with new ones. That said, your deck is only as strong as the structure that supports it. For this reason, take care to regularly inspect your deck for structural damage on the posts and guard rails.
Signs that a wood deck’s best days are behind it include wood rot, noticeable damage and excessive wear, loose boards, rusted hardware, and loose railings.
And even without noticeable damage or structural instability, after 15 years of consistent use, your deck will eventually start to look its age. That will be a good time to invest in a new wood deck.
Jay Fencing is an experienced contractor for decks and other outdoor wooden structures. We have completed many projects throughout Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, Mississauga, Toronto, Hamilton and all of Southern Ontario.
We are excited you are considering adding a wood deck to your property and are happy to guide you through the many deck design and construction options available. Contact us today for a free consultation.