While wood decking is the most natural – and natural-looking type of decking available, some types of wood are preferred to use when installing a wood deck. Cedar and Redwood, for example, are the most popular and common types of lumbar used for decks in the Unites States, as they are resistant to insect damage without being chemically treated. There is also pressure-treated lumber available as a cheaper option for your wood deck, however; this lumbar will be immersed with chemicals to make it weather-resistant.
A traditional wood deck typically lasts 10-15 years, depending upon the type of wood you have chosen and your level of after-care. You will be expected to routinely inspect your deck, frequently clean or pressure wash your deck and sand/paint/re-seal annually, if not more often.
Polyvinyl Chloride, or PVC decking is less natural in appearance than wood decking because the planks are made from PVC plastic with absolutely no wood derivatives (created from inorganic material). In turn, PVC decks are resoundingly durable. PVC is the one main type of decking, but there are two common styles: capped or uncapped PVC decking. Uncapped decking will inevitably be exposed to the elements and can result in less resilience than a wood deck. In other words, capping provides an additional and very necessary layer of protection against the elements, mold, and mildew. Capped PVC decking is going to preserve better (though the cost will reflect its durability) because it has an added layer of protection.
A PVC capped deck’s lifespan is at minimum 25-30 years; many last 30-50 years dependent upon your fidelity of maintenance. You will want to power wash or clean your deck routinely to keep it free of debris, mold and mildew, but the maintenance needed would qualify as minimal.
We can all agree that a deck is both a beautiful, and functional accent for your yard. Whether you are a frequent entertainer, or just need some extra space for the kids, adding a deck is always a great decision. That said, the cost, durability and maintenance of your deck should be key factors in deciding what decking is the right fit for you. We encourage you to do your research and talk with the experts to help you better understand your options.