How Long Is a Deck Supposed to Last?

Whether you’re installing a brand-new outdoor deck or replacing an old one, you’re making a significant investment in time and money—an investment that you expect to provide long-term benefits that will eventually compensate for the initial expense. There’s no doubt that these benefits are substantial: A well-tended deck will increase the value of your property, while also giving you a comfortable area to relax and relish the outdoors.

It’s only natural to ask, however, how long you can reasonably expect to enjoy this lovely environment. How many years can you get out of your deck? As with so many home improvement matters, the answer depends on a number of factors.

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The Lifespan of Wood

Many decks are made of wood, often cedar or mahogany. Given the right conditions and proper TLC, these decking materials should last for over a decade—sometimes even 30 years or more. But there are a variety of reasons why your wood deck could age prematurely and experience advanced deterioration well before this milestone is reached.

Moisture is common cause of premature aging in deck materials. If your deck is sheltered from the sun, then moisture tends to linger on the wood for a while before it dries. Platform (or “floating”) decks, which are installed just off the ground, also have a habit of retaining excessive levels of damaging moisture.

On the other hand, decks that are continuously exposed to the sun will sustain UV damage, leading to warped, cracked boards. So how do you prevent needing a full deck restoration prematurely?

Preventing Premature Aging

Applying the correct type of coating as needed will help lengthen the lifespan of your decking materials. The Deck Wizard team has developed a three-coat process that is highly effective in resisting wear and tear from the elements. To minimize maintenance demands, you may wish to consider using composite deck boards, which are far less vulnerable than wood to the harmful effects of moisture and sunlight. These materials can last 20 years or more—without the need for routine maintenance.

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