Warmer weather is on the way and you may be planning to tackle some outdoor home maintenance projects. This spring, build a deck to extend your living spaces to the outdoors. You’ll have many materials to choose from. Here are the pros and cons of common materials for your deck.
The Most Popular Deck Material is Pressure-Treated Lumber
Pressure-treated wood has been chemically treated to resist wood-destroying insects and rot. It can last upwards of 15 years and is the most commonly used material for decking. It’s easy to work with. However, because most pressure-treated lumber is pine, it is prone to splintering and warping over time. Proper, regular maintenance will help extend the lifespan of this type of decking. It will require painting or re-staining and occasional sealing.
Composite Materials for Your Deck
Composite materials are becoming more popular. This material is usually made from a blend of wood scraps and plastic, though some composites are completely plastic. The biggest advantage of composite decking is that it is easy to clean and requires very little maintenance. It doesn’t splinter and won’t require painting, staining, or sealing. The plastics can get hot in direct sunlight, making this type of decking occasionally uncomfortable for bare feet. The decking cannot easily be painted and it doesn’t stain well, though the original color may fade over time.
Aluminum, though not a traditional decking material, is being used more frequently for decks. Aluminum is strong and very low maintenance. It won’t rust, splinter, or crack, and aluminum isn’t conducive to mold or mildew growth. Aesthetically, this decking provides a modern, sleek design. The disadvantages of aluminum are that it can be noisy when walked on and it becomes slippery when wet.