When the warm summer months roll around, a well-built deck is one of the nicest features a home can have. And compared to other home renovation projects, installing a new deck remains within the price range of many homeowners. Yet before the work gets underway, you'll have to make a big decision about what type of material you intend to use.
Once upon a time, almost all decks were made out of wood, with pressure-treated lumber being the most popular choice. Today, however, more and more homeowners are opting for decks made out of composite decking. This material consists of a mixture of recycled plastic and wood fibers.
If you have plans to install or replace a deck on your property and would like to learn more about two of today's most popular decking materials, keep reading. This article will outline two key factors to bear in mind when deciding between pressure-treated lumber and composite decking.
Naturally, one of the things you'll want to know about a particular decking material is how well it will hold up as time goes on. Pressure-treated lumber has long dominated the industry in this regard. Pressuretreated lumber consists of wood that manufacturers have infused with wood preservative chemicals such as copper azole and alkaline copper quaternary.
The presence of these chemicals boosts the wood's resistance to water, one of the largest threats to a wooden deck. Pressure-treated wood also boasts more resistance to fungal growth and insect damage. Compared to untreated varieties of wood, pressure-treated wood shows a much better ability to resist the wearing effects of constant exposure to the elements.
As noteworthy as pressure-treated lumber's performance benefits may be, composite decking resides in another category altogether. This revolutionary material boasts an unparalleled degree of resistance to water and sun damage. Even pressure-treated lumber will eventually begin to break down as the result of exposure to such forces.
Pressure-treated lumber also displays poor dimensional stability. In other words, the decking tends to crack, split, and warp as the years go by. Composite decking has far superior attributes in this regard, with little chances of such problems developing. Composite decking also resists staining much more easily, meaning your deck will retain its original appearance for many years to come.
With the ever-rising costs of lumber, many people assume that composite decking is the less expensive of these two materials. Yet in terms of initial cost, composite decking actually turns out to be quite a bit more expensive. Whereas pressure-treated wood tends to cost between 15 and 25 dollars per square foot, composite decking may run as high as 45 dollars per square foot.
This seemingly drastic difference deters many homeowners from choosing composite decking. Yet when you consider the long-term costs, the difference between these two materials shrinks drastically. Simply put, pressure-treated lumber requires regular maintenance efforts in order to keep up its appearance and stability.
This kind of maintenance can end up costing quite a bit as time goes on. Composite decking needs a lot less maintenance. In fact, aside from regular cleanings, composite won't really need any maintenance at all. Unlike pressure-treated lumber, composite decking will never need to be sanded or sealed. Likewise, because composite decking resists color fading much better, you won't need to have your deck re-stained.
Pressure-treated lumber and composite decking differ in many ways, yet you can certainly make a highquality and long-lasting deck from either material. For more information and help about weighing the various factors as you choose the right material for your next deck project, contact Asheville's experts at AAC Building Materials.