We answer the common question: “How long does decking last?”
If you’re thinking about installing a timber deck area, you might rightly be asking yourself “How long does decking last?” The answer to this question is not a short one and there are a number of factors to take into account.
Choose correctly treated decking boards
As with many projects of this kind, they are only as good as the materials that you use. Skimping on your product specification is a certain way to shorten the life of your timber deck. Familiarise yourself with the Use Class system, which is an industry explanation and standard as to how timber should be pressure treated for different applications, species and locations. In general, decking boards should be preservative treated to Use Class 3. Structural posts that go into the ground should be treated to Use Class 4. All DeckWright Anti-Slip decking is treated to Use Class 3 prior to being anti-slipped.
Choose the right deck fixings
Choose deck fixings that are designed for the job – you can purchase deck screws for example that will not corrode over time, leaving unsightly rust marks on your timber deck. We’d recommend screws over nails as it is more robust and allows you to easily take up a single board if required at any time.
Install your timber deck properly
There is a great deal of help available, should you intend to install your timber deck yourself. It is a worthy investment to spend some time familiarising yourself with the various stages and asking any questions. If you’re not confident to do this, there are many businesses and builders that will install your deck for you – just be sure to choose someone carefully.
With regard to life of decking, there is a key point to note. If you have to cut your deck board at all, ensure that you surface treat the cut ends to maximise the life of the timber and protect it from deterioration. This is also true of any structural posts and balustrades.
Maintain your timber deck throughout its life
Regular sweeping and clearing of any build-up of grime and dead leaves will prevent your timber deck from deteriorating. Such debris can also become a slip hazard, should you not have opted for non slip decking. A well maintained deck also looks at its best, providing some motivation to keep on top of such tasks.
And the answer is…
So, back to the original question of “How long does decking last?” Using the correctly specified materials and paying attention to installation and ongoing maintenance, you can expect your timber deck to have a service life of at least 15 years and up to 30 years. Local environmental factors will of course have an impact on this life and you should always make regular checks of your decking to identify any deterioration promptly so that it can be quickly rectified.