June 30, 2021

How Long Do Decks Last?


How long does a deck last? Now that is a tricky question!
Are we talking about the deck frame? The deck boards? The deck railing? Or the deck as a whole?

Depending on what we are talking about and how well the deck was built, the time frame will vary. Let’s consider that you a #1 pressure treated wooden frame, decking, and railing. With this kind of build, if done correctly, you are looking at a 25 year lifespan. This is hardly the case though as building codes were not as strict or as enforced 25 years ago!

Elements that affect wood deck longevity:

  • Craftsmanship
  • Materials
  • Weather/Environment
  • Usage

Perfect Wood Deck Lifespan = 25 years


The average lifespan of a wood deck is around 10-15 years. Craftsmanship has a lot to do with those numbers. As mentioned before, in order for your deck to stand the test of time, your deck had to be built properly.

What does this mean?

It means the following:

  • Posts on Concrete Pier or Helical Piles
  • Protectvie Flashing Tape on Joist
  • Geotextile/Gravel Under the Sub-Substructure

Apart from how it is built, regular maintenance of the deck will help maintain its integrity.

What do these preventive measurements specifically do?

Posts

A post built on top of a concrete pier or helical pile allows for the post to sit above ground away from the moisture of the ground opposed to a post dug underground.

low-maintenance-decks

backyard-deck-builders-near-me

Flashing Tape

The flashing tape on the joist diverts water that seeps through the boards to slide off of the joist to prevent moisture build up.

joists-deck-builders-near-me

Geotextile

A geotextile and gravel combo blocks weeds from growing under the sub-structure and reduces moisture build up.

geotextile-builder-deck

Building the Ideal Deck

If you want to guarantee that your deck will last you 25 years and beyond, there are ways to do that. For one, you can choose to go with composite or pvc deck boards. These products come with a 25-50 year warranty!

Check out our “Composite vs Wood” blog for in depth details. You can also upgrade your railing to Crystal, Aluminium, or Composite! Depending on the company and product you can get a 10-25 year warranty.

Check out “Which Railing is right for me” blog for more details. More importantly, you can build your frame with steel! The biggest downside of having a wood frame is that it will rot and it does not come with a warranty. Steel framing comes with a 25 year warranty! And will last 60+ years!

Check out Steel Framing vs Wood Framing for details.


Final Take Away

When it comes to wood framing, wood decking, wood railing your deck is susceptible to the elements and will not last you as long as you think it should. Craftsmanship also plays a large role in the durability of your deck.

How it was built and with what it was built affect lifespans. Now, we are not saying all decks will fail in 10 to 15 years but at bare minimum you should start considering an inspection of your deck once your deck has reached the 10-15 years.