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Decking Q&A with David Costa

Question: What does pressure treated mean when referring to exterior decking?

Answer: Pressure Treated Decking is Yellow pine that has been ‘Kiln Dried’ to remove it’s natural moisture, then put a large tank with chemical laden water. The sealed tank is put under extreme pressure, and the mixture is forced back into the cells of the wood, which then becomes insect and rot resistant.

Q: My pressure Treated decking is ‘cracked’ and doesn’t look nice. Does it need to be replaced?

A: The cracking is most likely what is called ‘checking’. It is the natural cells and grain of the wood opening up. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s ruined, but could be rough on your bare feet and unsightly. Many people pressure wash and stain/seal their decks regularly. Unfortunately, sometimes that is your only choice, especially if the deck is subject to the extreme elements.

Q: I’m considering building a deck, or renovating my current one. What is a good choice for decking material?

A: It depends on your needs. If cost is your primary concern, then Pressure Treated Yellow pine is your best choice. If low maintenance and longevity is your priority, a composite (TimberTech) or PVC (Azek) is your best choice. If Extreme quality is important to you, then choose a hardwood such as Ipe.