Selecting the appropriate deck material is of utmost importance when building a deck in Tacoma, as it must be able to withstand the region’s distinct climate.
Tacoma’s weather can be unpredictable, with a combination of rain, moisture, and occasional temperature fluctuations. There are some essential materials that must be chosen by your deck builder to build you a long lasting deck. In this blog post, we will explore the best deck materials for Tacoma’s climate, their advantages, and factors to consider when making your decision.
1. Cedar: The Natural Beauty with Durability
Cedar is a popular choice for deck construction in Tacoma due to its natural beauty and exceptional durability. Cedar is naturally resistant to rot, decay, and insect damage, making it an excellent choice for the damp and rainy climate of the region. It also has a distinct aroma and attractive grain patterns that add character to any deck. Regular maintenance, such as staining and sealing, can further enhance cedar’s longevity and appearance.
When maintaining cedar decking in Tacoma’s climate, it’s important to follow proper cleaning techniques. For comprehensive guidance on how to clean cedar decking, check out G&B Quality Cedar Products.
2. Composite Decking: Low Maintenance and High Performance
Composite decking has gained popularity in recent years due to its low maintenance requirements and impressive performance in various climates, including Tacoma. Composite decking is resistant to moisture, rot, and pests. It does not require staining or sealing, making it a convenient option for homeowners looking to minimize upkeep while still achieving an attractive deck.
3. Pressure-Treated Wood: Affordable and Resilient
Pressure-treated wood is another commonly used material for Tacoma decks. It undergoes a treatment process that enhances its resistance to rot, decay, and insects. Just keep in mind that this type of material requires regular maintenance, such as sealing and staining, to protect it from the effects of moisture.
4. Tropical Hardwoods: Exotic Beauty and Exceptional Durability
For those seeking a deck material that combines beauty and durability, tropical hardwoods like Ipe, Cumaru, and Tigerwood are excellent options. While they come at a higher price point, tropical hardwoods offer exceptional resistance to rot, decay, and insect damage. Additionally, tropical hardwoods have stunning colors, grains, and natural oils that contribute to their unique aesthetic appeal.
Factors to Consider:
Maintenance Requirements: Consider the amount of maintenance you are willing to invest in your deck material of choice. Some materials require regular sealing, staining, or periodic cleaning, while others are low maintenance.
Longevity: Evaluate the expected lifespan of each material and weigh it against your long-term investment goals.
Aesthetic Appeal: Take into account the desired look and feel of your deck, as different materials offer distinct visual characteristics.
Budget: Consider the upfront costs and long-term expenses associated with each material, including installation, maintenance, and repairs.
Deck Maintenance Tips for Tacoma Homeowners
Now that we talked about some of the materials recommended by most of the deck builders in Tacoma, let’s take a look at some deck maintenance tips for homeowners living in Tacoma. No matter what material your deck deck is built of, it will require maintenance over time. Here we are sharing five essential deck maintenance tips specifically tailored to Tacoma homeowners:
1. Regular Cleaning:
Regular cleaning removes dirt, debris, and mold that can accumulate on your deck over time. Use a broom or leaf blower to sweep away leaves, dust, and other debris regularly. For a deeper clean, a mixture of mild detergent and warm water can be used to scrub the deck surface with a stiff brush. Rinse thoroughly with water to remove any residue. Avoid using harsh chemicals that could damage the deck’s finish.
2. Inspect and Repair:
Perform regular inspections of your deck to identify any signs of damage or wear. Check for loose or damaged boards, nails or screws, and unstable railings. Address any issues promptly by replacing damaged boards and tightening or replacing fasteners as needed. Ensure that railings are secure and stable, providing a safe environment for everyone using the deck.
3. Protect from Moisture:
Tacoma’s climate means moisture is a constant challenge for deck owners. Apply a high-quality water repellent or sealer to your deck annually or as recommended by the manufacturer. This protective barrier will help prevent water absorption, minimizing the risk of rot, mold, and warping. Pay particular attention to areas prone to water accumulation, such as joints, corners, and areas near planters or downspouts.
4. Stain or Seal:
Depending on the material, applying a stain or sealant to your deck provides an extra layer of protection against the elements. Choose a stain or sealant specifically designed for exterior wood surfaces and suitable for Tacoma’s climate. Before applying, ensure the deck is thoroughly cleaned and dry. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application, and reapply as recommended to maintain its effectiveness.
5. Remove Snow and Ice:
Use a plastic shovel or a broom with soft bristles to avoid scratching or damaging the surface. Avoid using metal shovels or sharp tools that could cause harm. Additionally, be cautious when using de-icing products, as some chemicals can be corrosive and harmful to the deck. Choose a product specifically formulated for use on wooden surfaces.
Choosing the right deck material for Tacoma’s climate is crucial for ensuring the longevity, beauty, and functionality of your outdoor space. All of the options we described in this blog offer their unique advantages and considerations. Assessing factors such as maintenance requirements, durability, aesthetics, and budget will help you make an informed decision. We recommend you talk to your local deck builder in Tacoma about these options. They might be able to give you more information or options for your decking project. By selecting the appropriate deck material, you can create a stunning and enduring outdoor retreat in Tacoma that withstands the challenges of the local climate.