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Wood Material Options for Your Denver Decking Needs

June 8, 2016

When it comes to decking, wood has been the traditional favorite. And while there are more choices now, lots of builders and homeowners still choose economical, natural products for their decking needs. It pays to know your available wood decking options, no matter whether you're breaking ground this summer or still sketching out ideas. Here at My Denver Landscaper, we want to give you some information about the top two wood choices for your decking needs. We are your Denver service experts fully qualified to deliver and maintain impressive, functional, and enduring outdoor environments, to include your new or renovated deck.

Pressure-Treated Lumber

According to Arch Treatment Technologies, a leading producer of wood preservatives, approximately 75% of all new decks are finished with pressure-treated (PT) lumber. So despite all the recent competition in decking materials, this green-tinted wood is still the number one decking material sold today.

Most PT decking is milled from southern yellow pine, and then chemically treated to resist rot, fungus and wood-boring bugs. The widespread popularity of PT lumber isn't surprising, because it's affordable, readily available everywhere, and easy to cut and fasten with nails or screws.

The downside of PT lumber is that it's not very stable. It has a tendency to crack, split and warp. It also requires regular maintenance to prolong the life and look of your deck. This will include an annual power washing and an application of stain or wood preservative every two or three years.

For more than 60 years PT lumber was infused with chromated copper arsenate (CCA), a suspected carcinogen. However, CCA hasn't been used in residential lumber since December 2003. Today's PT lumber is treated with safer, less toxic chemicals, such as alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ) or copper azole. A newer carbon-based, nonmetallic preservative is also available in a limited number of products.

Redwood and Cedar

Both of these western softwoods are prized for their natural color and beauty. They are also popular because they aren't pumped full of chemicals or preservatives. Both species contain tannins and oils that make them naturally resistant to rot, decay and voracious insects.

However, the level of weather- and bug-resistance is directly related to the amount of heartwood in the boards. Heartwood grows closer to the center of the tree, and is relatively hard and very resistant to decay. Sapwood grows in the outer part of the tree, near the bark, and is softer and more susceptible to decay.

The California Redwood Association (CRA) recommends using sapwood-streaked construction common or deck common redwood for decking. For decking that's 100% heartwood, the CRA suggests using construction heart redwood.
Redwood and cedar require an annual power washing and a coat of finish every three to four years. To maintain the wood's natural color you'll have to apply a stain. If you don't apply a stain, both redwood and cedar will eventually weather to a soft silvery gray.

Give My Denver Landscapers, LLC a call for a free estimate for all of your Denver decking needs. We will meet or exceed your expectations. Each project we undertake is managed with detailed professional attention. Once My Denver Landscaper undertakes a project, we dedicate all of our skills, experience and full resources to seeing it through to a successful completion in the most efficient, methodical and thorough manner. Call us today: 720-882-5772.

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