Published by Bayou City Lumber on February 16, 2016
An outdoor deck is a great addition to any home. It provides a place to cook outside on the grill during the heat of summer, to host parties and socialize, and to take in the view while having a nice dinner outdoors. It can also add significant value to a home, when built properly.
In order to provide years of service, a deck must be able to withstand the elements with minimal maintenance, resist damage from insects, fungus and moisture, and remain structurally sound through its expected lifespan.
Traditionally, decks have been made with pressure-treated lumber that uses harsh chemicals to protect it from the elements, or expensive woods like Douglas fir or cedar, which naturally resist the weather. Even when these products are used, however, there is significant maintenance required, such as routinely applying deck sealant, and they still will eventually need to be replaced.
Fortunately, there are now long-lasting alternatives available, in the form of composite products, such as Fiberon decking. Here are just a few of the advantages that Fiberon decking has to offer over natural wood products:
#1 Longer Life
After building the perfect deck on your home, and gong through the expense and hassle of hiring contractors and waiting for the finished product, the chances are good that you want it to last for a long time, instead of having to do it all again in a few years. Pressure-treated decking typically lasts about 10 to 15 years when exposed to the elements, even with regular maintenance, and other wood products may last even less time. Fiberon decking, on the other hand, can last 25 years or longer with minimal maintenance. It features a natural wood look that does not require regular resealing, unlike wood products, and the boards will not twist or warp.
#2 Less Maintenance
Decks made from pressure-treated lumber or other types of wood require far more maintenance than Fiberon decking. Every few years, deck sealant needs to be reapplied, a process that consists of cleaning the deck, replacing any damaged or worn lumber, sanding the surface and applying the sealant with brushes or rollers. Averaged out, wood decking requires about 30 hours of maintenance a year. If you do it yourself, it can be messy and challenging, and if you hire a contractor to do it, it can be inconvenient and costly. With Fiberon decking, you need only a few hours of maintenance a year, about 2 to 4, which consists of a thorough cleaning with soap and water. It never needs to be refinished, and maintenance costs are a fraction of those for wood decks.
#3 Better Value
When considering the overall costs of adding a deck to your home, you should think about more than just the cost of the materials and installation, and calculate the ongoing maintenance costs, as well. Though pressure-treated lumber and other wood products may cost less than Fiberon decking initially, by the time the ongoing maintenance and labor costs are calculated into the price, along with wood’s shorter lifespan, Fiberon decking proves to be a much better long-term value. It will last about twice as long as wood, and require much less maintenance over its lifespan.
Natural wood is a limited resource, which requires a great amount of energy to grow and harvest, and due to its shorter lifespan, it will need to be replaced more often than composite decking, adding more material to the waste stream. Fiberon decking, however, is made with a combination of lumber mill scraps, which would otherwise be discarded, recycled plastics, and other sustainable materials. This not only makes it environmentally-friendly compared to using real wood, but its composite manufacturing also leads to a product that is stronger, less prone to warping or twisting, and that is much longer-lasting that standard decking products. Additionally, the specialized manufacturing produces no waste water, eliminating the environmental damage that can be caused by other manufacturing techniques.
#5 Increased Safety
Wood decking can be prone to structural failure as the wood eventually starts to rot away or crack due to environmental exposure, insects or fungal growth. It can also cause injuries when the wood splinters, and the chemicals used for preserving it may cause negative health effects, especially during the sanding and resealing process. Due to its composite construction, Fiberon decking is stronger than wood and less prone to structural failure caused by the elements. It has no toxic chemicals in the finished product, making it safe for your family and environmentally-friendly, and its smooth surface will not cause splinters, like natural wood will.
#6 Looks Like Natural Wood
With wood decking, you can apply several different types of stains and sealants, but you are limited to the natural grain of the wood. With Fiberon decking, there are several varieties of natural-looking hardwood and exotic wood grains available, with many different color and finish options to choose from. Unlike other composite decking materials, Fiberon decking is created to perfectly mimic real wood designs, with natural-looking variances in the finish and color, so that it looks like actual wood instead of the same pattern repeated over and over. You can choose from single-color boards, reversible boards, or several mulct-chromatic options.
#7 Easy to Install
Fiberon decking installs as easily as pressure-treated decking and other wood products, and the company offers step-by-step installation instructions, design tools and other valuable resources. The manufacturer offers industry-leading innovations, like hidden fasteners, and a full line of products to finish your deck off perfectly, including fasteners, railings and lighting that are specially-designed for the Fiberon decking system.
With all of these great advantages compared to pressure-treated or natural wood products, Fiberon decking is well-worth considering when you are planning to add a deck to your home. Not only does it last much longer than wood, but it is easier to maintain, available in many different finishes, environmentally friendly, and safer for your family. Though it may be more expensive to purchase at first, compared to standard wood products, when the reduced amount of maintenance is considered, and its longer lifespan, Fiberon decking is a great value.