No Maintenance Decking

So you’re in the market for a new deck and you want to install a decking product with no maintenance.

STOP RIGHT THERE…

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All exterior building products require maintenance of some sort of another.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS “NO MAINTENANCE” decking or railing. Even the most expensive, super duper top of the line synthetic products require cleaning to keep them looking good.

I have come across many poor souls who have called me to replace a composite deck that’s not that old because it looks like hell. Mostly because they completely neglected it for it’s entire life, but in some cases, they were told by whoever they bought it from that it was “maintenance free”. This bothers me deeply. To me, it’s akin to a car dealer telling a little old lady to buy a car because “this one never needs gas.”

There are plenty of dealers and contractors out there that use the words “maintenance free” way too freely. It’s a complete lie.

Whether it be decking or railing or siding, you have to perform some kind of routine maintenance on them. In many cases, it’s just cleaning.

Typically, the more you pay for a deck or rail product, the better it will perform long term. This means less frequent cleanings and when you finally do go to clean it, it will be require a lot less elbow grease.

The original composites (which are still on the market today) are probably the highest “low maintenance” product you can install while the newer, much more expensive PVC boards are the lowest maintenance option at the moment.

Let’s face it. Birds will poop on anything. They don’t discriminate. So until someone invents a self-cleaning deck board or railing system, you’re going to have to go out there and clean up the poop!

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About Greg DiBernardo
Greg DiBernardo is the owner of Peachtree Decks and Porches in Alpharetta, GA and specializes in custom deck building, porch construction and complete backyard renovations. His expertise has been recognized by key manufacturers in the deck industry who call on him to develop, refine and evaluate new deck related products. He's a regular contributor to Professional Deck Builder, The Journal of Light Construction, and Tools of the Trade magazines. Greg has also been featured on television, most notably on the DIY Network.

2 Responses to No Maintenance Decking

  1. Steve Seekins says:

    Greg,
    I have read your posts on capstock decking and wondered whether the issues with exposed ends swelling have been solved. I am getting ready to build a 1500 SF deck (some enclosed). I am also concerned about non-skid properties as there will be a 50′ long wheelchair ramp as well.

    • Hi Steve,

      We have installed A LOT (as in miles) of capstock composite decking and have not had any issues with end swelling. I do know of a few cases of it occurring and what I have seen, it was when there was a lack of ventilation between the deck boards and a drainage system or low to ground decks with little air movement under the decks.

      All of the deck boards are designed to provide traction under normal use. I would use your judgement by the look and texture of the boards you are thinking of using to gauge if they will provide a slipping issue on the ramp. I doubt any would, but certain brands have deeper graining than others.

      Greg

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