Building a Deck? The 4 Best Decking Material Options

The Best Types of Decking Materials and Their Benefits

Summertime is launch season for outdoor home improvement projects. Decks are great for upgrading because they give a place for families to relax outdoors, which also increases a home’s curb appeal. Before you rush out to buy materials, make sure you know what the best materials are for the project.

Lumber Materials

Treated Lumber
Pressure-treated lumber is the #1 go-to choice for decking materials. The wood is incredibly easy to fasten together, cost-effective, and treated chemically with ACQ, a safe copper azole. ACQ reduces mold growth, termites, and other destructive forces of nature. On the downside, treated lumber is less stable than other wood materials, which makes it prone to curling and warping. To keep the deck lasting for the long haul, regular maintenance is required. You should power-wash the deck at least once per year and reapply a powerful, exterior coating at least once every five years.
Cedar and Redwood
Heartwood cedar and redwood boards, the lumber that grows at the tree’s core, is more resistant than treated lumber and lasts about three times longer. It still requires an annual wash, and to retain the wood’s color you will need to use a clear stain which is less protective than an exterior paint. However, if the natural wood look is important to you, this lumber is unbeatable.

Plastic Decking Materials

Composite
These boards are created using a compressed mixture of wood scraps and plastic. It requires far less upkeep because it does not need to be painted. The plastic holds the wood so it won’t splinter. Though more expensive and heavier than regular lumber, it only needs cleaning occasionally to prevent mildew growth.
Plastic
Requiring almost zero upkeep and no chance of splinters, plastic is a great option for easy-clean decking. Plastic decking feels different to walk on and registers a different sound when walking. No bolts or screws are required, either, but plastic will expand and contract during temperature changes. While perhaps less common, polystyrene is another type of plastic. This decking is light and very durable. The surface is non-slip, even after a strong rainfall. A different kind of plastic altogether, polystyrene looks and sounds more like real wood.
For more questions about decking material, call decking experts HB Services at (703) 764 – 0498.

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