Imagine beginning your day with a morning cup of tea on your deck, and the first rays of sunlight streaming in from right between the trees.

Yes, a deck can be a wonderful addition to your house as it will provide a place to play and unwind. But it can add to your monthly costs, and hence you need to plan well before building it.

It requires time to build one from scratch and needs proper maintenance if you want it to last long. However, do not worry anymore as we are here with a guide on how long decking lasts.

Here, we have discussed all the factors that can affect the durability of decking, which will help you understand and plan your actions accordingly. Also, you will know more about the cleaning process and effective ways to make decking boards last longer.

So, dive in!

What Can Affect The Decking’s Life?

Firstly, you will have to understand that the longevity of decks cannot exactly be measured as it will depend on the weather conditions, maintenance, and materials used. Wood or timber deck boards would last for around 15 years if you keep them well, and hardwood decks are more durable than softwood ones. However, a lot depends on the kind of joists, beams, and frames that are being used.

In this section, we will discuss the major factors that can affect the durability of your deck.

Hole In A Wood Deck

1. Rain, Ice and Snow In Winter

Ice, snow, and rain can be detrimental for wooden decks and can cause the wood to decay over time. Not only that, but if there are leaks or cracks on the surface, then the moisture can also seep through and lead to water damage.

This would generally happen in the winter or rainy season, and it is important that you clean up the space before that. Decking boards are usually made to be waterproof, but that does not cover every part. There will be certain parts or gaps, which will help the moisture penetrate the surface.

Hence, we will recommend that you check the joints and gaps on the flooring and cover them up with sealants. Ensure that there are no open spaces on the floor and hire professional services to coat the entire wooden surface with a waterproof layer.

2. Chemicals Used

While bathroom cleaning requires b chemicals that can immediately dissolve and clean dirt from the surface, using harsh chemicals on your wooden deck boards can cause large-scale damage. They can get discoloured within a few years, or the texture can change drastically. Besides, b chemicals can dissolve sealants and cause the sealed cracks or gaps to reappear.

Hence, only use gentle chemicals that are made for deck boards, or you can simply use mild soap and water to clean them once in a while.

3. Tearing And Scratching

If the deck is used very often, it will be prone to get scratched. This can happen because of moving chairs on the deck or by dropping something sharp on the floor.

There could also be scratches made by racquets, bats, or balls used by your kids who may play on the deck. Their sneakers could also lead to scratches, and hence, you need to be careful. We’d suggest covering the entire surface with carpets or rugs during your kids’ playtime. And if possible, ask them to play in the yard.

Furthermore, you could get rubber stoppers attached below your deck furniture to prevent them from scratching the surface beneath.

Regardless of how well you maintain the deck, accidents can happen at any time, so you should keep a regular check on the area. In this regard, you may notice warping, cracks, holes, or patches, which should be treated immediately to prevent further deterioration.

4. Inadequate Maintenance

Maintenance is the key to ensure a long life for any deck. For example, everyday cleaning will go a long way in keeping it safe and free from moulds and fungi growth. So, make sure that you sweep and wipe the entire area every day or on alternative days. Please do not allow water to remain stagnant on the surface and sweep off any leaves or branches that you find on the surface.

Power Cleaning Your Wooden Deck

This is because even a small set of leaves can quickly become a breeding ground for insects, and you do not want that. Wiping the entire area frequently will ensure that mould and algae do not grow in the corners. One great way to accomplish this basic cleaning is to get your kids to do the job for some extra pocket money!

Other than that, you can use a power hose to clean the place every once in a while. Always use it on the lowest setting so that the deck board is not affected by the high pressure

You can also use mild cleaning agents with water to ensure that the surface does not harbour any dirt or bacterial growth. However, read the pack well to check if the cleaner can be used on timber or wooden deck boards.

In case you feel that the deck would be difficult to maintain or you won’t be around to take care of the maintenance needs, then it’s better to opt for composite decking. Such decks require very little maintenance, and you don’t need to clean them every day.

5. Location

The placement of the deck should be such that it is not in complete shade or in full sunlight. If it sees complete shade, then it will take longer to dry whenever the surface gets wet. This would, in turn, lead to quick rotting or decaying of the wood.

On the other hand, if it sees a lot of sun rays, then the scorching sun might cause large-scale discolouration of the boards or may even melt the oil or sealers. This could lead to the formation of holes and crevices, which are absolutely not needed.

The ideal location to build a deck would be a spot that receives an ample amount of shade but with enough space for sunlight to stream in.

6. Quality of Wood

While good quality lumbar may be expensive, it is better to invest in it right at the beginning than changing the deck boards after every few years. When you select lumber for your deck, remember to check for any defects and choose those with the least amount of abnormalities.

Now, this process may be slightly time-consuming, but it will help a lot in the long run. Newer cracks and crevices will not develop easily, which will ultimately aid the maintenance process. Also, ensure that the wooden deck boards are placed further away from the ground so that they don’t absorb moisture from the ground. Otherwise, the longevity of the surface may be affected, and you would not want that.

Alternate Option

If you are willing to go over the budget or spend a good amount of money, you can get aluminium or steel decks for your outdoor space.

Although they are very expensive, they will make for a very durable option. Steel decks, in particular, can last for 60 years if maintained well, Plus, they can be coloured and decorated with modern fittings to complement contemporary and modern houses.

Steel Deck Frame

The Lifespan Of Your Decking

Remember that regular cleaning and maintenance will go a long way in keeping your deck safe and in good shape for years to come. Also, there are different materials that can be used to construct decks, and you can opt for composite or plastic lumber if you feel regular maintenance is not possible.

Such decks can last for around 30- 35 years, and you do not have to worry about frequent decaying or algae growth due to rain. However, they tend to be more expensive, and the upkeep will also cost you a lot. So, remember this when making a new deck.

We will soon be back with more informative reads. Keep a watch on this space to get all the new updates. Also, let us know about any issues that you may face with your decks in the comment section below.

Goodbye and take care!

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