Omaha Deck Builder
WHAT TYPE OF DECK LASTS THE LONGEST?
If you're building a new deck, you're probably wondering which deck material will last the longest. There are so many options available that the task can appear daunting, and you want to make sure you're making the right decision.
Cement decking has the longest lifespan, with an average lifespan of 60 years or more. It is long-lasting and resistant to the elements, so the higher price is justified. The lifespan of the decking will be affected by the climate, type of cement used, and maintenance of the cement.
You may still be wondering how to extend the life of your deck material or what the next most durable deck material would be if you aren't into cement. Aluminum and plastic lumber are excellent secondary materials. Continue reading to learn more about cement and possible alternatives.
Cement: A Long-Lasting Deck Material
Cement is the most long-lasting decking material on the market. It is built to withstand extreme weather, from storms to bitter cold in the winter, and nothing short of time or human excavation will wear it down.
Cement decking is the best option if you are certain about the location of your deck and have no plans to move it for the next 60 years. You will be able to enjoy your deck in all of its glory for many decades.
Cement: Pros and Cons
Although cement is the longest-lasting deck material, a longer lifespan does not always imply a better decking material. You will decide whether cement is best for you based on where you live, your needs, and any other personal factors.
Pros of Cement Decking:
• Longevity: When done correctly, cement decking can last up to 70 years, giving it the longest lifespan of any decking material.
• Versatile: Cement decking can be used in a variety of ways, including being poured into any type of mold to create a design.
• Easy Maintenance: Cement decking is simple to maintain and clean.
• Cash value: Cement decking provides the best value for money to the consumer.
Cons of Cement Decking:
• Bland appearance: If you want a more colorful or vibrant option, cement is not for you.
• High Initial Cost: Cement decking is the most expensive upfront, but it lasts the longest, making it a better long-term investment.
• Summer: If you live in a hot climate or your deck will be in the sun most of the time, wear shoes at all times. Cement heats up quickly, reaching temperatures of 135°F.
What Affects Cement Durability?
When caring for your cement decking, you'll want to keep a few things in mind to ensure that it lasts as long as possible. Cement is long-lasting, but you can make it last even longer by keeping the following tips in mind.
The durability of concrete:
• Abrasion: Over time, concrete will begin to deteriorate, which can be accelerated by increased abrasion caused by other factors. The most common cause of cement abrasion is materials being dragged across the cement on a regular basis.
• Temperature Changes: Cement is extremely sensitive to temperature changes caused by freezing and thawing during the winter. If the cement used is not resistant to freeze-thaw cycles, it will crack and erode more quickly.
• Precipitation: While rain does not directly damage cement, it does cause the steel rebars embedded in cement to erode faster, compromising structural integrity.
• Chemicals: Although most cement is chemically resistant; some substances can cause deterioration. Concrete with low permeability is less likely to deteriorate when exposed to various chemicals.
How to Take Care of Cement
While cement is a naturally long-lasting and durable material, you can extend the life of your cement decking by performing some basic maintenance. Your decking will last much longer if you follow these important cement care tips.
Cement Care Tips:
• Clean the cement at least once a year. Cleaning will help remove dirt and grime from the cement, preventing it from turning gray and dingy.
• As soon as possible, repair any cracks that appear in your cement. Repairing the cracks prevents water from entering the cracks and causing deterioration of your decking.
• Ensure that the cement joints are completely sealed. Sealed joints will prevent deterioration caused by water and dirt, as well as weed growth through joint cracks.
• Sealing the cement surface will help repel water, prevent sun bleaching, and make it more resistant to abrasion.
Choosing the Right Cement – Climate
You may be wondering how to choose the right cement now that you've decided cement is the right material for your deck. Different types of cement are best for different projects, and your needs will determine which type of cement you require.
The first factor to consider is the climate in which you currently reside. Is it getting warmer or colder? Do you have long, cold winters where you live? Do summer temperatures reach high degrees?
If you live in a cold climate, high-early-strength cement should be considered because it sets much faster and will hold up better during the cold months. In contrast, if you live in a hot climate, you should avoid using high-early-strength cement because it sets too quickly for proper finishing.
Alternatives to Cement Decking
If you want a long-lasting decking material but don't want to use cement, consider the following options. Keep in mind that these materials will necessitate different maintenance routines and will last less time than cement.
• Aluminum/Steel: Steel is the second most long-lasting deck material, with an average lifespan of 60+ years. Aluminum has a life expectancy of 30 years or less. It is, however, the most expensive option available and does necessitate basic maintenance to ensure its longevity.
• Plastic Lumber: Plastic lumber has a 30-year lifespan and requires only occasional cleaning because it is water-resistant and will not rot. It ranges from $5 to $9 per square foot, depending on where you live and where you buy the decking.
• Composite Decking: Composite decking has a short lifespan, lasting only about 25 years before it needs to be replaced. It is, however, low-maintenance, and the decking boards are slip-resistant. It will cost between $4 and $6 per square foot.
• Pressure-Treated Decking: This is standard decking that only lasts about 15 years before needing to be replaced. It also requires the most upkeep of any of the options listed here, requiring re-painting or re-staining every 2 – 3 years. However, it will only cost you about $2 – $6 per square foot.
Finding the right decking can be difficult, but this article will have taught you everything you need to know about selecting the right cement decking for your area and how to properly care for it. If you want to learn more, contact Omaha Deck Builders, your dependable deck contractor in Omaha, NE!