As you may have seen, the Poconos can experience brutal extremes of weather. The cold winters and the extreme heat of the summer can damage just about all decking material. We put together some good to know information about quality decking material to consider when you are in the market for a new deck.
1. Pressure Treated Lumber
Pressure Treated Lumber is wood that has been treated in order to maximize its durability. Pressure treatment protects wood from moisture and U.V. damage, wards off insects, and reduces the odds of fungal decay, making this a great option for Northeast PA backyards. The best part about this option is the price point. PTL is widely considered the most economical of possible deck materials. It will cost between $15 and $25 per square foot to have a PTL deck installed, depending on whether you’d like to add any extra features, like stairs or railings.
The downside, however, is that these decks aren’t particularly long-lasting and require a fair bit of maintenance, especially when compared to their synthetic counterparts. Though the material has undergone the pressure treatment process, they are still susceptible to water damage. Most retailers recommend that in addition to applying a water repellant on a yearly basis, you also re-sand, re-stain and reseal every 2-5 years. When this maintenance schedule is properly followed, these decks can last up to 20 years.
2. Redwood and Cedar
If you’re looking for an all-natural wood option, we recommend going with a redwood or cedar deck. These woods contain oils that naturally protect them from moisture and insects. As a result, these decks can remain chemical free and still hold up in harsh conditions. That being said, they are not entirely maintenance free. In addition to being power washed annually, these decks should be treated with a wood preservative and a stain to maintain their colour.
These decks are typically more aesthetically pleasing than those made from pressure treated wood, but they are also slightly more expensive – costing between $20 and $30 per square foot. There is a range of natural hardwood options.
3. Exotic Hardwood
Exotic hardwoods are the most expensive of the natural options, costing around $30 per square foot. Though beautiful, these hardwoods are dense and hard to work with. That being said, if you’re looking for something truly special for your backyard, this might be the best option for you.
Many deck specialists consider composite decks to be the best option for homeowners. Composite materials are made from a mix of recycled wood and reclaimed low-density plastic. Low-density plastic means that it doesn’t retain heat so it won’t get warped in the sun. Composite decks not only last longer than natural materials, but they also require far less maintenance. That being said, because they are made partially of wood, they can sustain damage from moisture.
Although this material is slightly more expensive, around $35 per square foot, you won’t have to worry about its longevity and you won’t have to pay for much maintenance. As an added bonus, it comes in an array of colours.
5. Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC)
Unlike composite decks, PVC decks are completely inorganic, making them virtually maintenance free. They aren’t susceptible to water or insect damage, they hold their colour, are easy to clean, and difficult to scratch. That being said, plastics typically don’t fare well in harsh climates. In the summer, the surface of these decks will heat up, and when exposed to extreme cold, PVC will become brittle and crack. Pricing depends on whether you’re looking for solid or hollow slats – however, high-end solid materials would likely be on par with the cost of a composite deck.
Soon, it’ll be summer once again, meaning it’s time to get your deck project started with the help from PA Certified Contractors. After all, what better way to enjoy the longer days and warmer nights than on a beautiful new deck in the comfort of your own backyard?
Serving Northeast PA, Monroe County, Northhampton County, Stroudsburg, East Stroudsburg, Mount Pocono, Lake Ariel, Tobyhanna areas.