How Long Does a Deck Last?

The thrill of a gorgeous new deck needs to last for as long as possible. Wondering how long you can expect to enjoy your new deck? Your deck budget sometimes depends on how long you need your deck to last, as more expensive decks include higher-end materials, drainage systems, and rock-solid engineering. Spending more upfront often means spending less for maintenance, upkeep, and an earlier replacement.

Lower deck level in backyard with outdoor furniture

Deckscapes of Northern Virginia builds beautiful outdoor living spaces. Our top-quality decks stand the test of time. However, the exact amount of time you can expect your deck to last depends on some of the choices you make. Let’s dig into your deck’s lifetime and the variables that influence it.

Deck Materials

The lifetime of your deck depends on the materials you use to build it. Here are the common types of decks we build in Northern Virginia:

Wood Decks - Pressure-treated lumber or natural wood like cedar, redwood, ipe, and mahogany are common for decks. 

Composite Decks - Composite decks such as Trex are made from recycled plastics, sawdust, wood fiber, and other materials manufactured to give the look of real wood with superior longevity. 

PVC Decks - PVC decks are entirely manufactured materials for ultimate long-lasting beauty.

Up-close view of wood decking material

How Long Do Wood Decks Last?

When well-maintained, a wood deck will last an average of 10-15 years. With a little extra TLC and vigilance, you may be able to help your deck last longer than the average wood deck. However, you'll always be fighting a battle against checking, cracking, warping, bending, and twisting with annual maintenance and diligence.

Factors that Affect How Long a Wood Deck Lasts

Type of Wood

The type of wood you use to build your deck will impact its longevity. Softer woods, like pressure-treated lumber, cedar, and redwood, are more susceptible to dents and dings that add up to more serious damage. Harder woods, such as ipe, might last three times as long, though you’ll have a more significant upfront investment in your deck materials. You could use a wider range of woods under enclosed or covered spaces because they will experience reduced exposure to the elements.

Lifespan of Composite Deck

Composite decking costs more than lumber, but your initial investment buys you many more years to enjoy your deck. Popular composite deck companies like Trex and TimberTech offer limited warranties that last between 25 and 50 years, depending on your product. You can reasonably expect your composite deck to last 25-30 years, though it may well look lovely for much longer. You'll also spend little time on maintenance and upkeep, as your deck requires only a quick sweep or power wash to get it ready for the season. Deckscapes is a Trex Platinum Pro Partner, which means we've achieved their highest contractor standards and training and can take on even the most complicated projects with composite decking.

Large backyard deck with composite material and pergola

How Long Does a PVC Deck Last?

Depending on the circumstances, synthetic decking like PVC could match, exceed, or fall short of the longevity benchmarks of composite decking. PVC is an entirely engineered material, and it could hold up against moisture and insects better than anything that nature created. However, PVC can warp and split and may discolor when in contact with certain materials like rubber (as in your chair footings or a welcome mat). You can expect your PVC deck to last 25-30 years.

What Can I Do To Make My Deck Last Longer?

You’re not completely at the mercy of chance when it comes to your deck’s longevity. Your deck will last longer with appropriate upkeep. Here are the most important things you can do to make your deck last longer.

Custom raised white deck with under deck living space

Protect Your Deck From Harsh Weather

Joist tape is vital to protecting your deck frame. Sealing exposed joists and stair stringers from moisture is critical for minimizing opportunities for moisture to accelerate decay.  

Think winter is a bad time to work on your deck? Think again. Repairing or building a deck is possible in any season. Fall and winter deck repairs mean that your deck is fresh and ready for primetime when the weather warms up.

Create Excellent Under-Deck Drainage

Intentional drainage is vital for a dry, long-lasting deck. We highly suggest you go a step further and install an under-deck drainage system. Creating a purposeful water-removal system for your deck contributes to its longevity and creates a usable space you can count on for storage or outdoor living space.

Under deck rain system and outdoor kitchen

Steel Framing

Steel framing has become a popular choice for deck construction because it offers several advantages over traditional wood framing. Steel is a stronger and more durable material than wood, and is less susceptible to rot, decay, and insect damage. This means that decks built with steel framing are likely to last longer and require less maintenance than those built with wood framing.

At Deckscapes, we offer New Castle Steel as an option our deck framing, which is a high-quality, American-made product. This light-gauge, power-coated, aluminum product offers several benefits, including superior strength, durability, and resistance to weathering and corrosion. Additionally, Deckscapes' steel frames come with a 15-year structural warranty, compared to a 2-year warranty for wood frames.

Perform Regular Inspections and Make Prompt Repairs

You should inspect your decks, porches, and patios as part of your spring preparation for outdoor fun and your winterization efforts in the fall. Spotting potential problems while they’re small allows you to intervene before a situation worsens, and you lose out on seasons of fun while you repair or rebuild your deck.

Build it Right the First Time

A quality deck stands the test of time. Calling a professional to build your luxury outdoor space gives you the peace of mind that your deck will last, and you’ll be covered under your manufacturer’s warranty with proper installation.

Shot of raised deck with curved white railing with brown deck stain

You Need The Deck-Building Experts of Northern Virginia

We don’t dabble in decks. As our name suggests, Deckscapes make our living off of them. Our expertise gives us the edge we need to create one-of-a-kind luxury outdoor living spaces that thrill for many years. Ready to design and create your dream deck scape in Northern Virginia? We can’t wait to show you what we can do!

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