Even though there are many different types of materials to use, pressure-treated wood is used in approximately 75 percent of all new decks. The reason PT lumber is popular isn't a mystery: it's readily available, affordable, and easy to cut for use with nails or screws. PT lumber starts out by being milled from Southern Yellow Pine and then chemically treated to resist fungus, bugs, and rot. Most people buy PT wood in two by six and and one-and-a-quarter by six inch dimensions. You might be wondering why wouldn't purchase pressure-treated lumber, but the reason being is it isn't dimensionally stable. That means that it has a tendency to split, warp, and crack. Additionally, if your deck is made from pressure-treated wood, it will need routine maintenance in the form of power washing and applying a wood-stain to preserve the deck every two to three years.
Redwood and Cedar
If you're someone who wants to stay away from as many chemicals and preservatives as possible, these natural woods are perfect for you. Redwood and other Cedars are both sought after for their deep, rich color and natural look without the use of chemicals. Natural woods are able to stay healthy due to their oils and resistant properties. However, these resistant properties are related to how much heartwood is involved in your deck. Heartwood comes from the inner section of the tree and is very resistant to rot and decay. As stated by the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association, the four best grades of cedar for decking are architect clear, custom cedar, architect knotty, and custom knotty.
These woods get their name because they are typically from exotic locations and dense. They are naturally durable and resist both rot and wood-destroying insects. Tropical Hardwoods such as Philippine Mahogany, Cumaru, and Tigerwood are very heavy and difficult to drill, which is why they aren't a more popular choice. They can also be expensive when compared to the pressure-treated lumber mentioned above.
For any questions on which material to build your deck from, or if you're interested in a synthetic material, please contact us or call 541.767.1611 and we'll be happy to help.
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