How long should my decking last?

If you have just installed decking, you are probably relishing the days spent basking in the sunshine or chatting with friends under a starry sky. A deck is the perfect way to create a more functional garden, and there is no doubt that you will want to make the most of it! But you might be asking yourself how long this space will last. Wood, as we all know, doesn’t last forever, but for how long can you enjoy your decking?

How Long Does Timber Decking Last?

A timber deck is generally a long-lasting structure. If installed correctly and maintained properly, it could be a feature in your garden for well over twenty years! That gives you plenty of time for summer barbeques, roasted marshmallows on bonfire night and priceless evenings spent laughing with the people you love. 

But the lifespan of your decking will vary depending on a number of factors. If you don’t take care of it, your wood may fall apart in just a few years. Let us take a look at what you need to be aware of to ensure your decking sticks around for longer.

Most Timber Will Be Pressure Treated

Most timber used for decking will be pressure treated softwood. This is an industrial process that creates a more durable wood by adding a preservative as another layer of protection, thus making it fit for outdoor decking use.

Some Species Are More Naturally Durable

Regardless of treatments, there are some species of timber which will simply last longer, and some which will not. The longer-lasting timber is usually more expensive but in the long term may cost you less as you don’t have to replace the wood as often. Two very common timber species for decking which are naturally durable are Ipe and Balau. These are both great choices and do well in outdoor applications, making them ideal for your decking. What’s more, they don’t require heavy chemical treatments as do the standard Pine decking found at DIY stores.

Use the Correct Fixings

It is not just the wood that plays a part in how long your decking will last, but the fixings as well! Make sure you use high-quality metal fixings which are resistant to corrosion or are stainless steel. If you are unsure which metal to use, it is always best to check with the timber manufacturer to prevent any issues.

Invest in highly durable joists

Decking joists are long planks of wood that form the foundations of your decking. Ensuring that you choose a highly durable material which is strong and resistant to wear and tear is essential. Any timber used for joists should be pressure treated to a higher specification (use-class 4) as they are in closer contact with the ground. Good foundations are the key to building any long-lasting structure, decking being no exception! 

Keep Up Regular Maintenance

Last, but certainly not least, is maintenance. The work you put into your deck will always be rewarded with a longer lifespan and can make a huge difference in the appearance of your timber too. Use a stiff brush regularly to sweep your decking and remove any build-up of grime, moss and debris. This is especially important in areas which are shaded where dampness can create more of a problem. Review your timber annually for damage, and re-apply treatments and staining as needed to maintain durability.

Invest in Quality Timber With EcoChoice

If you are looking for a durable timber species with which to build your decking, we can help. Our team are timber experts and can give you plenty of advice to help you make the right choice. Reach out today and we will be more than happy to help!

Image: Radoslav Cajkovic /



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