Composite materials are a popular choice for decking, as they’re less susceptible to warping and decay. They also don’t splinter as easily as softwood. Still, some builders think cedar is too soft for a deck’s surface, and it scratches easily and dents easily. Redwood exhibits many characteristics of Western red cedar but has straighter grain and fewer knots. Redwood is also more expensive. Cedar is also not available in the Midwest, and redwood is a popular choice for decks.
Unlike composites and plastic, Ipe wood is very durable. It retains less heat than other decking materials, so it maintains a consistent temperature even during extreme heat or cold. It also doesn’t crack or develop splinters like composite or plastic. Ipe wood is also relatively eco-friendly and can last 50 years or more. So, if you’re considering building a deck, ipe wood may be the way to go.
Composite decking is the best choice if you live in a wet climate. Since composites are essentially impermeable, they can resist mold better than wood. To avoid mold, you should install composite decking two feet above the ground. You’ll need to install ventilation around the deck to prevent decay from growing. Mold isn’t tough to remove, but you must keep a clean area to minimize the risk of mold growth.
Composite decking is also more environmentally friendly. It’s made up of recycled wood and plastic, requiring less energy to produce. Composite decking is available in a variety of colors. You can choose dark-colored composite decking for borders while lighter-colored composites for steps. These materials can be used year-round. Choosing a lighter color will minimize the risk of heat absorption and prevent premature rotting.
Wooden decks require a great deal of maintenance. It’s hard to keep them looking like new all the time. Wooden decks require painting or resealing, which is an added cost and hassle. Composite decking requires little maintenance and can be cleaned with soap and water. If you need to clean your deck, you can wash it with water and detergent. And if you’re looking to save some money, composite decking is the best choice.
Softwood is one of the cheapest options for decking. Moreover, it comes from fast-growing trees, making it more environmentally friendly than hardwood decking. Softwood decking is also easy to work with. However, it does have a few disadvantages, such as its low density, which makes it weaker. However softwood is the most economical option for decking, but it does have some downsides.
Hardwood or composite material is a good choice if you have the budget. Hardwood materials require high maintenance levels, while softwood ones are easy to maintain. Hardwood decking is also more expensive than softwood materials. However, softwood decking is easier to install and is cheaper. Hardwoods do not float, but they do require a lot of maintenance. A hardwood deck is durable, but it’s also costly.
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