Decks and fences on Painters in NWA need regular care to maintain their appearance, durability, and safety. They can also help prevent damage from weather, pests, and other environmental factors.
This wood privacy fence features a gridded pattern that helps it stand out and keep it from feeling too traditional. Its neutral green color coordinates with the house trim and chair colors, letting green plants pop.
Natural wood is the original and still the most popular type of decking material. It is durable, feels good under bare feet, and has a warm, inviting appearance. However, it can splinter and be subject to damage from termites and wood rot. Wood must also be stained or painted periodically, which adds to maintenance costs.
To combat the problems associated with natural wood, some species, like redwood and cedar, are treated to make them more durable and resistant to the elements. These materials cost more upfront but can last a lifetime with proper care.
Another type of wood used for decks is pressure-treated (PT) wood, available at most lumber outlets. PT wood is made from softwoods, usually pine or spruce, pretreated with a chemical preservation mixture to protect it against termites, rot, and other insect attack. Some PT wood also has a built-in water repellent to help it stay looking new for longer.
There is a green alternative called Ipe for those concerned about the environmental impact of using wood. This exotic wood is sustainably harvested from the rainforest and has a Class A fire rating, which makes it more resistant to dents and scratches than other materials. It also has a low moisture content, which helps it resist rotting and swelling. Ipe is more expensive than other wood options, but if sustainability and longevity are important to you, it could be a smarter long-term investment.
While PT wood can last a lifetime if properly maintained, natural hardwoods like Ipe or Cumaru are more durable and attractive. In addition, PT wood can be susceptible to mold and mildew when exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods.
Composites are a newer decking material that offers more durability than wood, manufactured from plastic and waste wood fibers. They come in a variety of natural-looking colors and grain patterns. They can be installed over existing decks and don’t require staining or painting. They can be a bit more slippery than natural wood and must be scrubbed regularly to avoid mildew, but they are lighter in weight than traditional wood.
Iron decking is a term used to describe steel framing. It is commonly found in commercial buildings as well as residential structures. It is usually galvanized (G-30, G-60, or G-90) or painted with a paint-lock coating. The coating is applied to the surface of the metal to prevent rust and provide an easy-to-clean surface. The coating also prevents the buildup of oily deposits, which can inhibit the adhesion of paint.
This material is an excellent choice for areas prone to flooding, tornadoes, earthquakes, and severe weather. It is also more durable than lumber and can withstand much pressure. This makes it a better choice for framing decks and houses.
It is also more aesthetically pleasing than wood. Homeowners find that it adds a modern look to their property. It can be easily shaped to create eye-catching designs. Unlike wood, it is moisture-resistant and doesn’t need treatment against mold or termites. Additionally, it can be used as a structural diaphragm to transfer loads and reduce the weight on shear walls.
Consider a vinyl option if you’re looking for a high-quality deck to keep your home’s exterior looking great without requiring much maintenance. Polyvinyl chloride, commonly called vinyl, is an extremely durable material popular with homeowners and contractors alike. Vinyl decks are not only water resistant, but they will also resist rot and other environmental damage that organic materials frequently fall prey to. They are also a great choice for homeowners in more humid or rainy areas, as they are highly moisture-resistant.
Vinyl decks come in various colors and styles so that you can find the perfect look for your home. You can even find products that are made to resemble wood for a more natural feel. They are comfortable walking barefoot and will not leave unsightly or dangerous splinters behind. They can be installed as easily as a wooden deck and require little homeowner maintenance.
While vinyl can be more expensive than traditional wood, it is a more affordable option in the long run. It is also extremely low-maintenance, requiring only infrequent washes to keep it clean and debris-free. Wood, however, requires regular cleaning and staining to maintain its beauty.
When choosing a vinyl deck, look at the quality of the product’s underside. Many vinyl decks are applied with glue over a plywood base, which can make or break the product’s durability. If the underside is improperly constructed, the vinyl could crack or become discolored.
Another consideration with vinyl is its ability to stand up to sunlight. Unlike treated wood, which may fade or discolor over time, vinyl decks are formulated with UV inhibitors that prevent rapid degradation. It is important to look for a brand like Duradek that includes these ingredients in the bottom ply of their membrane and check that the manufacturer offers an appearance warranty.
While some professional contractors believe that wood will remain the top choice for decks, it is important to consider alternatives when making this decision. With so much competition on the market, non-traditional materials can provide homeowners with a more durable and attractive alternative to their traditional wood decks.
Concrete is a durable material that can be poured and stamped to create a beautiful surface for outdoor patios. It is easy to clean and can resist damage from heavy outdoor furniture. It can also be skid-resistant, a plus for areas with lots of foot traffic. Concrete decks are relatively fast to install, especially if precast slabs are used. However, there are several important factors to consider before installing concrete decking.
Concrete decks are made from concrete that is mixed with aggregate. The aggregate is typically a type of rock, clay, or sand. It is mixed with cement to form a paste that can be poured and formed into the desired shape. The cement is often colored to enhance the appearance and provide traction. A sealer can be added to the top of the concrete to protect it further.
When the concrete is poured, it is sometimes spread over metal form decking attached to the beams. This forms a flange that helps stabilize the concrete during construction and, in locations where the deck spans perpendicular to the beams, may serve as transverse reinforcement through diaphragm action.
This type of metal form deck is usually smooth and does not have the embossments that characterize corrugated metal decking. However, a specialized metal deck type has a ribbed profile and is designed to help support the concrete. It is often installed with shear studs, also called Nelson studs. These are placed in the flange of the deck, and they are difficult to identify by scanning the deck.
Insulating concrete has been mixed with an insulating agent such as vermiculite or zone. It is normally poured over the metal deck before installing rigid board insulation. The concrete acts as a bonding agent and helps the insulation to adhere to the metal deck.
If the wood that makes up your railing is damaged, it may be time to replace it completely. This is particularly true if spindles that run vertically through your railing are broken or missing. Even a single spindle can cause a fall, so having this damage repaired is something you should prioritize.
While a deck replacement is more expensive than repairing the existing railing, it will be much safer for everyone using your deck. A professional can help you determine whether your deck is ready for a full replacement or whether repairs are more cost-effective.
No matter what kind of railing you have on your deck, keeping up with maintenance and inspections is crucial. This will help you spot problems before they turn into major issues that could endanger the safety of your family and friends. Be sure to keep up with regular cleaning to prevent dirt and other debris from building up over time and contributing to loose or damaged parts of your railings.