Your deck should last many years if the proper materials and the correct construction methods were used to build it. Also, proper maintenance, like cleaning away algae from the boards and using a high quality deck weather sealer, can add years onto a decks life span.
Your decking boards are the part of a deck that is most exposed to the elements, including UV rays from the sun. When signs of wear and weathering start appearing on your wood decking, you can give your deck a fresh new look and take care of any safety issues that may have turned up. Issues, such as nails popping up, deteriorating boards, and corrosion to fasteners, not only look unsightly but they can cause your deck to become unsafe to use.
If the structural framework that supports your deck, including the ledger board, all the frame’s fasteners, and the railings are in good structural condition and meet your local building code, the appearance of your deck can be renewed by replacing the old decking boards. According to Remodeling magazine, a deck can be one of the best home improvement projects you can make for your house, in regard to its return on investment value. So taking good care of it makes a lot of sense.
It is always wise to have your deck periodically inspected for safety. Professionals like a home inspector or a residential structural engineer can give your deck a structural and code inspection.
You can replace your old decking boards with a new wood or composite decking surface. Either of these materials can be used with the structural wood framing of your existing deck. The wood decking can be cedar (like western red cedar) or pressure-treated boards. Wood is a very traditional architectural choice and has a very classic appearance.
Composite decking products are made from wood fibers and recycled plastic. Some more closely resemble real wood than others. Composite decking has improved in performance and appearance over the years since arriving on the construction scene. They have become more resistant to fading, and have become more durable to resist warping and cracking. You may want to research the composite decking products of manufacturers like TimberTech and Trex.
Both choices of decking, whether wood or composite, will require corrosive resistant fasteners, such as stainless steel or double hot-dipped galvanized nails or screws. Special decking screws, with a rustoleum paint coating, are also available for composite decking.
Composite decking was created to provide a low-maintenance alternative to wood decking. Wood decking would need to have a weather protection product or a high quality exterior stain applied periodically.
Both materials would require regular cleaning with a mild non-chlorine cleaner. A deck brush can be used for wood decking. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning composite decking.