My dad started ripping it out this week in hopes of replacing it by mid summer. The new version will be smaller at about 1200 square feet. I just spoke with him about it and he mentioned he was considering using pressure treated this time around.... I'm trying to convince him otherwise.
...he isn't happy with the lifespan of the outgoing deck and has been looking to engineered products such as pressure treated and laminated products (trex, hardi board/deck). We both agreed that the laminated/composite products don't last in the climate as we've seen some examples of them being destroyed by freeze thaw cycles within a few years. Things are very wet here, a maritime climate that sees freezing temps through most of the winter often with multiple freeze/thaws toward the beginning and end of the cold season...not a rainforest but stuff rots quickly compared to drier places with similar temps/winters. He is considering going with some kind of alternate (possibly steel or aluminum) beam as well if it could be more resilient.
...I know that there must be an example of a design that could last longer in our climate...
What is the longest that an exposed (no cover, ideally a natural finish) deck of untreated materials last in this climate? What could one honestly expect to get out of a deck constructed using these practices and materials? ]For all I know 15 years is a reasonable lifespan for a deck of this kind in this climate..anybody have experience in this space?
Are there design practices which could help mitigate the issues and extend the life?
Are there any safe, proven engineered materials to use that are worth it or could significantly extend the life of the structure?
I'm hoping that even if the lifespan of a 'natural' built deck can't compare to one built of engineered products I can convince him based on safety and cost savings of using locally available non manufactured materials. I'm really hoping however that a 'natural' built deck CAN compare to those other products...
... SigmaDek has come up in conversation. Its basically brand new as far as I can tell and more or less unproven but any opinions on it would be great...
What are best design practices for building a deck with longevity in mind using eastern white cedar?
possibly leaving a gap between the decking of at least 1/8" to make sure it drains properly.
what about a borax treatment 10 years in?
is there some kind of non-toxic oil, stain, or seal that could help the situation?