How Long Does a Wood Deck Last?
California isn’t called the “Golden State” for nothing. As a homeowner in our beautiful state, you likely want to make the most of your outdoor space and enjoy the weather that so many other places envy.
Chances are, your home already has a wood deck – or you’re thinking about installing one. Not only does a deck expand your living space and add to the home’s value, but it also allows you to enjoy California’s temperate climate every day.
The question is, how long does a wood deck last? If you’re going to install a new one, or you moved into a house that already has a deck, you’re likely wondering when you’ll need to consider replacing it.
You can typically expect a deck to last for at least a decade. However, the lifespan of a deck depends heavily on its materials, as well as how you maintain and seal it over the years.
Caring for Different Types of Wood Decks
Ipe decks are predominantly known for their durability. One of the hardest woods available, ipe wood is naturally resistant to insects, rot, and many other materials that can compromise its lifespan. Its protective, natural oils preserve it over the years, which means ipe decks can be expected to last as long as 75 years under the right care.
To preserve the life of ipe decks, homeowners should regularly sweep away dirt and debris, as well as items that could sit on the wood and rust over time. We also recommend keeping an eye out for mold growth, especially if your property receives a fair amount of rain.
If you love the color of your ipe deck and you want to preserve those exact hues, use a sealer on your deck every year or two. A strong sealant is formulated to penetrate ipe, even though it’s quite dense.
Redwood decks are lovely to look at and extremely popular throughout California. This kind of wood is stable and straight, as well as naturally resistant to wood-boring insects and harsh weathering. Furthermore, its high stability makes it less likely to warp or cup over time.
Typically, redwood decks last for about 30 years. However, if homeowners skip out on refinishing and sealing on a regular basis, redwood can blacken and turn more silver-grey in color than reddish-brown. This is especially common in areas that receive a lot of harsh sunlight.
Composite decks are made of recycled materials, such as wood shavings and plastics. Many people in California opt for these decks because they are eco-friendly but also because they retain their color and durability for many decades.
Although composite decks may look like they’re made from real wood, they tend to last longer – typically around 25 years. Additionally, composite materials do not need to be stained or sealed, which cuts down substantially on maintenance. As long as they are regularly washed and swept free of debris, composite decks can be long-lasting and beautiful for decades at a time.
Why Annual Deck Maintenance Matters
No wood deck lasts forever, but regular, comprehensive maintenance plays an enormous role in extending its life. It doesn’t matter if you have a deck that’s made of composite, ipe, redwood, or another material entirely – we always advise our clients to schedule annual maintenance.
Cleaning and resealing decks on a yearly basis help:
- Preserve the natural color of the wood
- Prevent graying or blackening
- Remote pollutants spread by the air
- Mitigate the risk of mold and mildew infections
Great deck maintenance service always consists of three primary elements: regular cleaning, sanding if necessary, and sealing. Of course, your deck’s maintenance needs can vary from others based on your location, weather conditions, daily care, and many other factors.
To learn what regular deck maintenance should look like on your property, reach out to our team. We’ll help you pick the best care plan for your deck based on its materials and environment. Our goal is always to maximize your deck’s lifespan through excellent maintenance.
How Proper Cleaning Extends a Deck’s Lifespan
When we speak of annual deck cleanings, we aren’t talking about a quick power wash. In fact, overly harsh pressure washers can damage the wood and compromise its sealants, especially if used by a non-professional.
The best way to clean your deck (of any material) is to allow wood deck professionals to skillfully sweep, clear, and power wash it with the necessary care. At Teak & Deck, we always use safe cleaners and brighteners to ensure the cleaning is effective and safe.
A proper deck cleaning should take place at least every 12 months, if not every 6 months due to heavy exposure to the elements. If your deck consistently experiences intense sunlight, heavy foot traffic, or substantial rain, we highly recommend scheduling more than one cleaning annually.
What’s the Difference Between Sealant Types?
As we mentioned, sealing wood decks on a regular basis also contributes to a longer lifespan. The primary function of any deck sealer is to repel moisture, which significantly reduces the risk of fungal growth and wood rot. Sealants also:
- Add additional protection from regular wear and tear
- Help prevent cracking from UV rays and sunlight
- Defend against insect infestations
- Enhance the natural appearance of the wood materials
However, not all wood sealers are equal in quality. There are many sealant products on the market, and we see far too many consumers select the wrong option for their deck. Not only should you use a sealant that works well with your deck’s materials, but you should also pick one that is meant for your property’s climate.
The best sealants should protect your deck for at least three to five years. Of course, different sealers offer different levels of protection against rain, sun, and other contaminants. Although high-quality sealants may be more expensive upfront, they can save homeowners money and pain down the road by better protecting decks.
Let Us Help You Extend Your Deck’s Life
At Teak & Deck Professionals, our goal is to preserve and maintain your deck for decades to come. We don’t just install and clean decks – we help homeowners understand how to maximize their aesthetics and durability.
Turn to us for annual maintenance, sealing services, and guidance when it comes to your deck. We’ve worked with more than 1,500 customers throughout San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles, and we’re ready to help you.