5 Of The Best Sustainable Decking Materials For Seattle’s Climate

5 Of The Best Sustainable Decking Materials For Seattle’s Climate Seattle has a unique climate. Months of heavy rain and […]

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5 Of The Best Sustainable Decking Materials For Seattle’s Climate

Seattle has a unique climate. Months of heavy rain and full sun exposure during the summer pose significant challenges for maintaining a deck. Choosing the right sustainable decking material is a priority to ensure your deck remains durable and safe throughout the year. The best material should withstand the wettest winters and the sunniest summers. All while still providing excellent grip to prevent slips during rainy conditions.

It’s also essential to consider sustainability and eco-friendliness when building a deck. Sustainable decking materials can help reduce environmental impact and offer low maintenance and longevity. In this guide, we’ll explore five of the best sustainable decking materials suited for Seattle’s climate. This will help you make an informed decision for your outdoor space.

Challenges of Deck Owners in Seattle’s Climate

Seattle’s weather can be particularly harsh on outdoor structures like decks. Here are some of the key challenges deck owners face:

  • Heavy Rainfall and Moisture: Long periods of rain can lead to moisture buildup, which can cause wood to rot and promote mold and mildew growth.
  • Full Sun Exposure in Summer: Intense sun can cause fading and warping of decking materials.
  • Slippery Surfaces: Rain and moisture can make deck surfaces slippery, increasing the risk of slips and falls.
  • Maintenance Requirements: Seattle has a mix of soggy, wet weather and dry conditions. This means decks require regular maintenance to stay safe and in good condition.

1. Composite Decking

Composite decking is a popular choice for homeowners who want a low-maintenance decking solution. Made from a blend of wood fibers and plastic, composite decking offers the aesthetic appeal of wood without the associated upkeep.

This sustainable decking material is remarkable in its ability to stand up to bad weather conditions. This quality makes it suitable for Seattle’s climate, which experiences both heavy rainfall and full sun exposure.

How it holds up to Seattle’s weather challenges:

  • Composite decking does not rot or attract insects, ensuring a longer lifespan even in moist conditions.
  • The blend of materials provides greater stability and reduces the risk of warping.
  • Many composite decking products have grooved surfaces. This improves traction, making them safer in wet conditions.

Things to consider when choosing composite decking material:

  • Moss and Slickness: In Seattle’s damp environment, composite decking can become mossy or slick. Regular cleaning, such as power washing, is necessary to maintain a safe surface.
  • Quality Variations: Composite decking quality can vary between different product lines and manufacturers. Investing in higher-end options typically results in better durability and performance.

Composite Decking Brands to Try

Several reputable brands offer composite decking that meets the needs of Seattle homeowners:

  • Trex: Known for its durability and wide range of styles, Trex is a leading brand in composite decking.
  • TimberTech: Offers high-quality decking with a focus on sustainability and aesthetic appeal.
  • Fiberon: Provides durable composite decking options that are resistant to moisture and wear.

Sustainable Decking Materials

2. PVC Decking

PVC decking is made entirely from polyvinyl chloride. This offers a robust and low-maintenance decking solution. Known for its durability and resistance to moisture, PVC decking is an excellent option for Seattle’s wet climate.

This sustainable decking material is designed to handle both heavy rain and full sun exposure. Without compromising its integrity or appearance.

How it holds up to Seattle’s weather challenges:

  • PVC decking provides superior grip, making it safer to walk on during rainy weather.
  • Unlike wood, PVC does not absorb water, reducing the risk of mold and mildew growth.
  • PVC decking retains its color and structural integrity even under prolonged sun exposure. Preventing fading and warping.

Things to consider when choosing  PVC decking material:

PVC decking also has some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Slippery When Frosty: PVC offers excellent traction in most conditions, it can become slippery when frost forms on the surface.
  • Higher Cost: Although PVC decking can be more expensive than composite or wood options, it often comes with longer warranties and better performance.

Some top brands offering PVC decking include:

  • Azek: Known for its exceptional durability and variety of styles, Azek is a preferred choice for many homeowners.
  • Wolf: Offers highly durable and textured PVC decking. It’s known to provide excellent traction and is resistant to stains and scratches.

Sustainable Decking Materials

3. Natural Wood Decking

Natural wood decking remains a popular choice for its timeless beauty and warmth. Common options include cedar, redwood, and pressure-treated wood, each offering distinct characteristics.

The bottom line is that natural wood requires more maintenance than composite or PVC decking. But it provides an authentic and classic look that many homeowners love.

How it holds up to Seattle’s weather challenges:

  • Natural wood can be treated with sealants and stains to improve its moisture and insect damage resistance.
  • Properly maintained wood can withstand temperature fluctuations without significant warping.
  • Wood naturally provides good traction, although it can become slippery when wet.

Things to consider when choosing natural wood decking material:

  • Regular Maintenance Required: Natural wood decking requires regular staining, sealing, and cleaning. If not done yearly, you could face issues with rot, insect damage, and warping.
  • Environmental Impact: Harvesting natural wood can be damaging to the environment, even more so than its synthetic counterparts.

Popular natural wood options include:

  • Cedar: Known for its natural resistance to rot and insects.
  • Redwood: Offers a beautiful appearance and durability.
  • Pressure-Treated Wood: Treated to resist rot and insect damage, making it a cost-effective option.

Sustainable Decking Materials

4. Modified Wood Decking

Modified wood decking involves treating natural wood with chemical or extreme heat to make it stronger and more stable.

How it holds up to Seattle’s weather challenges:

  • The modification process significantly enhances the wood’s ability to withstand moisture and pests.
  • Modified wood requires less frequent maintenance to maintain its natural appearance.
  • Many modified wood products are sourced from sustainable forests. This has a lower impact on the environment.

Things to consider when choosing modified wood decking material:

  • Higher Cost: Modified wood is typically more expensive than traditional wood. But because it offers longer-lasting performance, it might be a good option for you.
  • Availability: It may be less readily available in some regions compared to other decking materials.

Some options for modified wood decking include:

  • Thermally Modified Wood: Treated with heat to improve durability and stability.
  • Accoya: Acetylated wood is known for its exceptional durability and environmental credentials.

Sustainable Decking Materials

5. Recycled and Sustainable Options

Recycled and sustainable decking options are made from recycled or sustainably sourced materials. This provides homeowners with an eco-friendly choice.

These sustainable decking materials include recycled plastic decking and bamboo composite decking. Both are designed to minimize environmental impact while offering durability and low maintenance.

How It holds up to Seattle’s weather challenges:

  • Reduces waste and resource consumption by using recycled materials.
  • These materials often resist moisture, mold, and mildew.
  • Recycled and sustainable decking materials are engineered to withstand temperature fluctuations.

Things to consider when choosing recycled decking material:

  • Quality and Performance: Different products perform differently. So, it’s important to research and choose reputable brands.
  • Potential Higher Cost: Some sustainable options may be more expensive upfront. But because they are sturdy, they last longer, offering long-term savings.

Examples of recycled and sustainable decking materials include:

  • Recycled Plastic Decking: Made from recycled plastic materials, offering durability and low maintenance.
  • Bamboo Composite Decking: Combines bamboo fibers with plastic for a sustainable and durable deck.

Sustainable Decking Materials

Choose Olympic Decks to Build a Sustainable Deck

Choosing the right decking material for Seattle’s climate involves a lot of thought and consideration. The specific weather challenges and the benefits of each material should weigh into your decision.

When you prioritize sustainability, you can enjoy a beautiful, safe, and durable deck year-round. Contact Olympic Decks for professional advice and installation of sustainable decking materials. Our team of experts is ready to help you create the perfect outdoor space for your home.

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