Wood decks have been built in the United States for over 50 years. They are commonly used for family gatherings, outdoor cooking and provide wonderful outdoor living space to entertain visitors. Wood decks in Colorado Springs are most often built with Cedar, Redwood or Pressure-treated wood.
How Weather In Colorado Springs Affects Decking Material
Colorado Springs has it all when it comes to its climate. The city possesses a climate condition in which people have difficulty protecting any wood construction from weather elements, particularly their decks.
Since Colorado is situated at a higher elevation and altitude than many cities, the city is more prone to UV ray exposure at 4% making wood decks more prone to withering. Thus, turning decks grey in color. When wood decks turn grey, it’s a sign that damage is already in the wood’s cellular structure.
Similarly, the snow yields up to 190 inches per year during winter. Hence, turning small deck cracks into larger ones. Damage on decks in Colorado and other cold-weather states is caused by the cycle of freezing and refreezing.
Common Decking Material used in Colorado
Cedar is known as a soft wood that has been used as a decking material for many generations due to its look, smell, and distinctive color.
- It is naturally resistant to insects and rot which makes it perfect for people who would love to have their decks last for a long time.
- It also used for vertical elements such as railing, planters, and fencing.
- It cannot easily warp.
- Compared to other wood that needs to be maintained every year, it requires less maintenance.
- Unlike other wood decks, it doesn’t need to undergo the staining process.
However, cedar wood decks also have some disadvantages that cause drawbacks:
- Its texture is very soft compared to other decking materials that cause the wood to easily disintegrate.
- Due to its popularity, cedar is close to being considered an endangered species.
- Over time, the material fades and turns into a weathered grey color.
Discover why Redwood decking can be an advantage to your home:
- Since Redwood is known to be naturally stable, it is resistant to warping.
- Its texture helps prevent people from slipping on its surface. Making it safe for families who live with children and elderly.
- Unlike other types of wood deck, redwood keeps itself from burning even when exposed to direct heat and sunlight. Similar to cedar, it naturally resists insects.
- This kind of wood is known to be fire resistant.
- Without the chemicals for staining, it is considered to be non-toxic.
But despite its advantages in the market, it has its own fair share of disadvantages:
- Due to the Redwood’s resistance to warping, it is the most expensive decking material compared to other decking materials available in the market.
- Redwoods are considered highly endangered species.
- Redwood needs to be maintained periodically to keep it elegant-looking over time.
Pressure-treated wood decks have been around since 1930. This type of wood deck has been under the process of “pressure-treatment” to prevent insects and rot. The main elements of this wood deck are copper, arsenic, and chromium.
Ever since its conception, it has been a widely used decking material across the United States due to these factors:
- It is the cheapest wood deck on the market.
- Installing this type of wood deck is less expensive since deck builders have the lowest up-front costs with this material.
Despite its inexpensive labor and materials, there are negative factors you need to consider:
- The tendency of the pressure-treated boards to warp, split and crack is faster than that of the cedar.
- This kind of board is prone to scratches and stains.
- It has a life expectancy of up to 10 to 15 years only.
Exotic Decking Material That Can be Used
Besides the major decking materials mentioned above. There are other exotic decking materials that can be used such as Ipe, Tigerwood, and Mahogany.
Ipe or Brazilian walnut is a kind of wood that originates from South and Central America. It is known for its resistance to weather conditions, abrasions, insects, and rot.
Besides its resistance from easily getting damaged, here are some of its advantages:
- It is low maintenance.
- Compared to composite wood decking, it lasts longer.
- It can be used even if you’re around water since it is dense. Thus, water cannot penetrate it.
- It is scratch resistant and fire resistant.
Tigerwood or Brazilian Koa is one of the finest woods available on the market. As its name goes by, it has reddish-brown and golden-brown color with brown and black streaks. Similar to rosewood, cedar, and Ipe, it is resistant to insects and rot. Without preservatives, tigerwood decks can last up to thirty years.
- Similar to other woods, it is easy to clean & maintain.
- It is also resistant to the sun’s UV rays.
- Due to its highly dense characteristic, it prevents cracking, warping and splintering.
- Unlike cedars and rosewood which are close to being endangered species, it has been responsibly harvested.
Compared to Ipe and Tigerwood, Mahogany is softer and more durable than the cedar and redwood. This kind of wood has no “knots” allowing it to have a neat, polished look.
The advantages of Mahogany are:
- It is considered as the most stable hardwood due to its unusual resistance to weather conditions. Hence, it can withstand all weather conditions without easily getting warped.
- It is naturally resistant to pests, molds, and rot.
How Long Will My Wood Deck Last in the Pikes Peak Region
The lifespan of wood decks will depend on the wood’s quality and how owners religiously follow its maintenance.
Cedar and Redwood decks without maintenance can only last for 10 to 15 years. However, they can last up to 25 to 40 years if carefully cared for.
On the other hand, Mahogany and Ipe can last for 40 years. Pressure-Treated wood will usually between 10 and 15 years.