Let’s face it. The worst enemy of our home’s interior are our kids and pets. All that’s required to maintain the inside of our home is a little dusting, vacuuming and cleaning. For the external parts of our home, however, different methods are necessary to prevent wear and tear, like choosing materials that can withstand weathering in the first place.
Outdoor decks, for instance, are often subjected to different forms of abuse. The materials used to make the deck should be firm enough to remain in good condition, rain or shine, and resist changes in temperature. Wood has been the primary decking material used for outdoor locations, but other options are now available for deck builders.
Wood Decking Materials
Natural wood is the most popular decking material for outdoor use because it’s study and easy to manipulate. Deck builders also get aesthetic benefits from wood since it easily blends with any kind of home exterior and each type has different qualities. The only problem with wood is its tendency to depreciate quickly if treatment is not enough.
Fortunately, pressure-treated wood decking materials are now available. PT lumber is composed of Southern Yellow Pine treated with a chemical called ACQ that makes the wood resistant to rotting and insect damage. The only downside of PT decking materials is their tendency to shrink or crack more easily, as opposed to non-treated wood. Better wood options are also available; Redwood and Western Red Cedar are among them, which are naturally resistant to rotting and insect damage so they last longer.
Composite Decking Materials
Composite decking materials are gaining popularity these days since they last for a long time and are also environment-friendly. Some of them are made to appear like wood, so you don’t need to worry about the appearance of the resulting outdoor deck. At times, plastic is mixed with wood to attain a balance between aesthetics and resistance to weathering.
The only downside to using composite decking materials is they often require special methods of cutting and fastening. They can’t be stained, but most of them come in various solid colors, which may work to your advantage when trying to cut painting costs.
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