How Long Do Wood Decks Last?
According to Washington D.C. based consulting firm Webb Analytics, roughly one-quarter of US homes have at least one deck on their property, with wood products making up nearly 77% of all the decking materials used today. That’s a lot of lumber! It also demonstrates just how this most beautiful and natural of materials has captured our imagination (and our wallets and purses).
A question that comes up on a regular basis is how long do wood decks lasts and linked to this question is the cost of maintenance and what part sustainability plays.
So, this blog is dedicated to how long you can expect your wood deck to last and also how Accoya® Color can give you great value for money and peace of mind. In addition to Accoya we will look at the two main types of wood that are used for decking, that is, softwoods and hardwoods.
Why don’t wood decks last forever?
In one word, ‘biology’. We’re talking about natural wood decking here in this blog, not plastic composite materials. As wood is an organic product, it will be subject to the same laws of nature as everything else that’s natural. All wood rots and decays in time – this process can be put off through treatment but it’s true to say that the softer the wood, the faster it will decay and break down. The lumber that is used for installations becomes food for insects such as termites and also for fungi. The mold that we see on old wood is the by-product of fungi feeding off our property! This mold can in time weaken the structure and some types of allergenic mold can be unhealthy with allergic reactions and asthma being triggered in some cases.
Another issue that has to be factored in is ‘weathering’ – all timber silvers down in time as the sun’s UV rays take an effect and although this is often a cosmetic issue it needs to be considered in overall maintenance.
Durability is the key here – that is, how tough the wood is and how much it resists the attention paid to it by insects such as termites and by fungi.
What is the maintenance needed?
It all depends on the type of wood being installed and how rigorously the maintenance schedule is followed (even the best-intentioned homeowner can fall behind in maintenance). The average lifespan of a wood deck is between 10 to 15 years, but this will vary with regards to the type of wood used. Softwoods such as cedar and redwoods won’t last as long and should be pressure treated first. Hardwoods such as Ipe and mahogany are more expensive because they grow slower than softwoods and they are denser – their durability is naturally increased (but many hardwoods such as Ipe are now considered unsustainable from over use).
Typical maintenance activities include regular inspection of the surface and substructure, looking for joist issues or excess moisture. Regular sweeping of the surface and cleaning with a deck cleaning solution to kill mold and bacteria is recommended. Sanding is also sometimes needed.
Is there a natural wood product that takes away this pain for me?
Yes, it’s called Accoya® Color and this natural timber is supplied with a warranty against rot and decay! If you love a real wood deck, then Accoya is for you. It’s made from highly sustainable FSC®-sourced timber that starts out life as a fast-growing softwood and is then modified using a unique patented process called acetylation that turns the wood into Accoya. This is the ultimate in environmentally friendly timber as the material is 100% organic wood and all of it can be recycled at the end of its very long life.
Accoya Color is supplied in a beautiful grey color that comes from a non-toxic color pigment that has been examined by The Danish Technological Institute that confirms no toxic elements are used. The coloring goes all the way through the wood and there is no need for a surface coating which is a real bonus for homeowners who are time-poor.
Accoya Color is supplied with a warranty against rot and decay, even in-ground installations. This means that the timber is ideal for humid locations such as swimming pool surrounds. Accoya timber has been used for years without any rot and so is ideal for decking too.
It’s also ready to use ‘straight out of the box’ which means no expensive pre-installation treatments against termites or mold and very little need for annual maintenance programs (apart from the usual sweeping up of leaf litter, etc). As it’s a low maintenance deck material, it means that homeowners have peace of mind as to lower costs after installation and a reassuring lack of chemical treatments needed to keep it looking pristine.
Low maintenance, highly sustainable and long-lasting…Accoya Color definitely takes the pain away.
Where to Buy
You can buy Accoya and Accoya products from our selection of distributors or manufacturers in your region. Use our map search tool to find your nearest Accoya supplier.
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