A deck addition is a lucrative home improvement to invest in. Decks look great, offer a great place to entertain guests and serve as a place to relax at the end of a difficult day. They extend your usable living space and functionality of the house.
Furthermore, when decks are properly taken care of from the time they are installed, they have the potential to give your property value a boost. In fact, it is estimated that you can recoup roughly 65 per cent of the total cost of a new deck when you decide to sell your home.
With that being said, a common question among homeowners who are considering the addition of a deck is how long it will last and what kind of maintenance is required to keep a deck looking great year after year. Below, we will delve into that and more.
Estimated Lifespan of Decking
Regarding how long decking will last, the timeframe all comes down to the type of material used to construct the deck.
For instance, a wood deck will have a different lifespan than a composite deck. Below, we will take a look at a few different popular decking materials, how long they last, and more.
Traditional wood has been the most common material used for the construction of decks. However, due to minimal maintenance desires and impressive material composition, engineered decks are becoming more popular.
Generally, a traditional wood deck will last somewhere between 10 and 15 years. However, it is important to keep in mind that the type of wood chosen will play a considerable role in the deck’s lifespan. The lifespan of a wood deck will also depend on the amount of maintenance and upkeep you put into it.
Wood is organic, which means it is more susceptible to the elements. This is particularly true with moisture, as excess moisture can cause the wood boards to warp, splinter, crack, grow mould and mildew, and rot. There are some types of wood that are more resistant to moisture. However, no wood out there is 100% impervious to the elements.
Despite the fact that wood may cost you more in the long run due to maintenance and replacement, many people prefer a wooden deck because of its natural charm and beauty.
Composite decking is a combination of recycled wood fibres and plastic film, which may include polyethylene or polypropylene. These plastics bind with the wood fibres to create a material that is strong, resilient, and more stable than full plastic decking.
There are usually two types of composite decking: uncapped and capped. Uncapped wood composite has exposed wood, making it more vulnerable to the elements. Capped wood composite boards are sealed within a plastic shell, boosting protection.
With composite decking, you don’t have to worry about expensive maintenance and replacement like you do with wood. This type of decking requires little maintenance, no sanding, no staining, and no re-sealing. In many cases, composite decking can look almost identical to wood boards with realistic grain patterns.
Due to its improved composition, composite decking is expected to last 25 to 30 years or more.
Capped polymer (PVC) decking is a popular choice for low-maintenance and non-organic materials. It is 100% engineered with no natural wood fibres. These materials are designed to be highly resistant to staining, colour fading, scratches, wood-boring insects, mould, and mildew.
Also available in capped and uncapped, polymer decking is more durable and performs better when capped due to the additional protection it offers. It is also lightweight, making it easier to transport and use.
Further, polymer decking requires very minimal maintenance in order to keep it looking and functioning well. Usually, this type of decking material will come with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer. Unfortunately, it is the most expensive option out of the three mentioned here, but this does ensure the highest possible quality and lifespan.
The upside of the higher initial cost? Due to the superior composition of the material, polymer decks can potentially last 50 years or more. Therefore, in the end, you may come out cheaper – here at Elevate Decking we are an approved Dekboard installer, which means we use the highest possible quality PVC for our installations.
Each type of decking has its pros and cons as well as life expectancies. While wood is the cheapest upfront, it won’t last nearly as long as composite or polymer and requires more maintenance. Composite and polymer decking have both come a long way over the years and can often achieve the natural appearance of wood.
In the end, though, the material choice for your deck will heavily depend on your budget, your climate, the aesthetic you want to achieve, and how much maintenance you want to do. If you don’t maintain your decking properly it will last significantly less time – so avoid beginner mistakes such as using fence paint on decking.
Regardless of whether you choose wood, composite, or polymer decking, we can help! Contact us today to learn more about the aforementioned decking material options or obtain a quote.