Decking boards are designed to make your deck more appealing, contributing to the aesthetics of your outdoors. The construction industry is always dynamic, with unprecedented growth rates by the day. With it comes with the exponential growth of decking boards’ options that are available to you if you are in the market to buy decking boards. This growth has brought forth increased production of composite decking boards, hardwood imports, plastic decking boards, lumber boards and more options available options for you to choose from.
5 types of decking boards you should know
If you are in the market for decking boards, then these five types of decking boards should be well-known to you. They are designed to suit various needs. The five types of decking boards are:
- Pressure-treated lumber boards: This is the best-selling board on the market today. It is a green-tinted ubiquitous wood that consists of a larger percentage of pressure-treated lumber. It is relatively easy to cut, fasten and drill through, and it is readily available all across the country. It comes in different shapes and sizes, but the most common sizes are the 2x6s and the 5/4×6-in sizes. The most probable disadvantage about the pressure-treated lumber is that it is dimensionally stable and because of that it has a tendency of cracking. Therefore, it calls for routine maintenance and repairs.
- Redwood and cedar boards: This board is naturally beautiful and rich in colour, free from any preservatives and chemicals-making it a viable option for the purists. It contains certain oils and tannins that are responsible for making them resistant to rot, voracious insects and decay. However, it requires a yearly finished coating and power washing to protect the surface from weathering. It also reduces the chances of checking. Application of stains also plays a vital role in enriching its natural colour.
- Tropical hardwood boards: These are exotic boards and such hardwoods as red tamari, cumaru, massaranduba and Philippine mahogany are rich-grained. This trait makes them very durable and resistant to rot or insects. They are dense, hence tedious to cut through or drill or fastening screws. These boards are relatively expensive when compared to pressure-treated lumber. However, these boards do not accept stains because of their dense nature although you can use oil-based penetrative stains that are specifically designed for hardwood boards.
- Composite boards: These form the fast-growing type of boards, mostly made from polyvinyl chlorides and polyethene and come in a variety of colours. Some good examples of composite decking boards include Trex, Veranda, and CorrectDeck that are made from wood fibres and recycled plastics. These boards are weathered and resistant to stain, but it cannot split, warp, splinter or rot.
- Aluminium boards: They are a rare type of boards, and good examples are AridDeck and VersaDeck boards. These boards do not warp, check, crack, splinter or rust. They are highly slip-resistant and are extremely weathered. They are powder-coated, a factor that enables them last a very long time.
8 Reasons why you should avoid low-quality decking boards
Now that you know the five major types of decking boards, here are eight very vital reasons why it is important to avoid low-quality decking boards even as you scout for your most suitable board for your deck:
- Low-quality decking boards tend to weaken over time when exposed to sunlight and UV rays. Continuous exposure to sunlight will make them start fading significantly. This causes the boards to discolour. Discolorations on the decking boards are not visually appealing to look at.
- Low-quality decking boards often feel unnatural, and many find them much less appealing as compared to high-quality boards. A good quality decking board adds to the aesthetics of our deck.
- These boards are easily susceptible to long-term wear. Unlike good quality boards, they cannot be repaired and they will start calling for re-staining, re-painting and re-sanding but will start to wear out with time. This will force you to replace them after just a brief service time.
- These boards are generally too soft, meaning that they easily scratch and gouge. These make them vulnerable to foot traffic marks, children playing and pets. They cannot be resurfaced at all. This beats the logic of using decking boards if it cannot sustain all these factors.
- They are generally cumbersome to handle. They are made from heavy materials, which will call for more labour when replacing or fitting them. The labour costs attributed to these fittings will generally be higher than fitting lighter decking boards.
- The surfaces to these low-quality decking boards tend to get too hot when the temperatures are high due to exposure to direct sunlight. It makes them very uncomfortable, especially when walking barefoot. However, the effect is much stronger if the boards are made using darker colours since they absorb a larger percentage of the heat as compared to lighter boards which just reflect off most of the sun rays.
- Low-quality decking boards are highly prone to weathering. Over time, these boards will need replacement to enable you to maintain their appeal since weathering disintegrates them. This calls for a lot of maintenance-related activities like re-painting and re-staining after a very short duration. It is a very labour intensive and expensive endeavour since a lot of working hours and materials will be used to fix the damaged boards.
- The inability to strip back these boards makes them very unreliable. This renders them useless after just a short period of time. A good quality decking board should give you proper service time.
A good quality decking board means that you will get to spend most of your time outdoors enjoying your serene environment rather than spending most of that time invested in maintaining your deck. It is important to do adequate research before you head to go shopping for your decking boards. This involves going out of your way to seek professional advice on the specific boards that will suit your deck. This will go a long way in minimising maintenance costs and saving your time after you are done fixing your decking boards. Good quality decking boards will bring you a delightfully pleasant deck for a very long time. That is why it is important to avoid low-quality decking boards.