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Deck maintenance: wood vs. composite

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When designing a deck, one of the first decisions you’ll make is what material to use. The two most popular deck materials are pressure-treated lumber and composite decking. The biggest difference between these two deck materials is the level of maintenance required. Keep reading to compare the maintenance needs of wood and composite and determine the best-suited material for your deck project.

Maintenance Task



Regularly sweep deck yes yes
Inspect deck for loose or damaged boards yes yes
Replace damaged deck boards yes yes
Replace rusting hardware yes yes
Power wash deck at low setting in spring yes yes
Clean out gaps between boards yes yes
Rearrange furniture and grill occasionally to avoid fading deck surfaces yes yes
Redirect downspouts away from deck posts to avoid moisture damage and rot yes yes
Use a sparks screen on backyard fire pit to keep embers from flying onto deck yes yes
Remove mould or algae in shady areas yes yes
Avoid using rugs or mats that can trap moisture (especially natural fibres) yes
Deep clean with a commercial deck scrub cleaner yes
Sand the deck prior to staining yes
Stain or seal deck every few years yes
Apply a deck brightener every few years to remove discoloration of wood tanning yes

Visit your local TIMBER MART Dealer to find the right decking material for your project. Our deck experts can explain the composite decking options available and help you choose the right brand, colour and finish.

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