How Durable Are Wood Decks?

How Durable Are Wood Decks?

How long do wood decks really last? It all depends on the type of wood, your environment, and care.

If you have never had a deck before but are interested in building one on your property, you will naturally need to choose what material to build it with. Wood is the most popular deck material, as it is a natural material with a natural look and feel. At the same time, the material’s quality might also concern you. How durable are wood decks, and how long do they last?  

What You Can’t Avoid

The inevitable. No deck will last forever, although it can last a long time, given the conditions. Unfortunately, a wood deck will eventually warp, splinter, and break down over time. Moisture, the sun’s rays, and the general wear and tear from the elements will have their effect. However, you can choose what wood species you use and understand other factors that affect its longevity.

Three Types of Wood Decks

Pressure-Treated Pine

The most affordable decking material out there is pressure-treated pine. The most common species used for this type of wood decking are Southern Yellow pine and Douglas fir. These wood planks go into a chamber where they are infused with preserving chemicals. To some extent, this chemical treatment enhances their resistance to moisture, insects, etc.


Cedar is arguably the best type of wood for decks. Redwood is its western alternative. Cedar has natural resins that protect it against rotting and insect damage. Plus, it’s aromatic! Cedar is more expensive than pine and is prone to scratching, but it is a tried and true option.


Mahogany and ipe are two of the most common exotic woods used for decks. How durable are wood decks made with exotic woods? They typically last just as long as other decks, although they require less maintenance: as long as 40-50 years! However, exotic woods are very hard and with a more challenging installation comes a higher price tag.

Factors That Affect Lifespan


Keep in mind that other factors such as location also affect a deck’s lifespan. If your wood deck is under heavy shade trees, it will take longer to dry off. On the other hand, a deck in the sun can fade more quickly. If the deck is close to the ground, moisture will affect it faster.


Lumber is not all the same quality. Ask your deck contractor for more information regarding wood quality, what you can expect to pay for different grades, and how long each might last.


You can’t expect a wood deck to last as long as it might without proper maintenance. All three types of wood decks will need sealing and cleaning once every two or three years. 

Call Mid-Atlantic Deck & Fence For Your New Deck or Fence!

Mid-Atlantic Deck & Fence has almost 30 years of experience in building beautiful custom fences, gazebos, screened-in porches, and decks throughout the state of Maryland. We have the expertise to design your dream fence or custom deck and have it installed in a headache-free process. Give us a call at 1-800-833-9310 or visit us online for a quote today! We offer many different styles of fencing and decking, in addition to custom options designed specifically to suit your preferences and tastes. To see examples of our work and get more tips on how to choose the right decking for your family, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Houzz, Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

Tags: , ,