5 biggest myths about decking materials
(BPT) – Whether you’ve decided this is the year you’ll add a deck to your home, or you’re still pondering the project, as soon as you say the words: “I want to build a deck,” you’ll start hearing and reading lots of advice. Some of it will be useful, like: “build the biggest deck you can afford” and “add features that fit your lifestyle.” However, you’ll likely hear conflicting opinions about what material to use.
Should you go with natural or composite decking? Your choice will affect how the deck looks and functions through its entire service life. And beware: there’s a lot of misinformation out there regarding wood versus composites. So as you weigh your options, make sure you know fact from fiction. Here, then, are the five biggest myths about wood.
Myth No. 1 — Wood is too expensive.
Domestic softwoods remain one of the most cost-effective decking options on the market. For example, a durable, long-lasting Western Red Cedar deck is considerably less expensive than a synthetic deck. And since composite manufacturers try really hard to mimic wood’s natural beauty with faux grain etc., it begs the question why pay more for a knock-off?
Moreover, according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report, wood decks retain more of their value than composites when it comes time to sell.
Myth No. 2 — Wood needs too much maintenance.
Of course there is no such thing as “no maintenance.” But naturally rot-resistant woods require less maintenance than you may think. True, you’ll need to remove grime from the surface and between boards from time to time, as well as give your wood deck a thorough cleaning as needed, but that’s about it.
You may also choose to add a finish in order to enhance the look of your deck. But for the lowest maintenance option possible, you can just let your deck weather naturally, and it will take on a rich silvered hue over time.
Myth No. 3 — Wood’s beauty can be easily duplicated.
Wrong. Multiple national studies show that wood remains the top choice for deck building. Why? Its natural beauty just can’t be beat. Nothing looks, feels or smells like cedar.
Myth No. 4 — Composites are just as ecofriendly as wood.
Wood is the only building material that is 100 percent renewable and sustainable. Furthermore, untreated wood can be recycled at the end of its service life. By comparison, composite decking — even planks made from recycled materials — can’t be reused in any way after the deck’s service life is done.
In addition, wood actually improves air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) and emitting oxygen. That’s because when a tree is harvested, it traps carbon dioxide in its cells, keeping it out of the atmosphere.
Myth No. 5 – Wood is depleting forestland.
Not true. Real Cedar is harvested from the most sustainably managed forests in the world. In fact, more evergreen trees are growing in North America now than there were over 100 years ago.