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“Green” is all the rage, and deck materials have varying degrees of "greenness.” The following information will help you decide what materials you want for your “green” deck in Arlington, VA.
Redwood or Cedar
Upside: Naturally bug and rot resistant, and doesn’t require a great deal of pesticides to maintain them.
Downside: Usually has to be transported long distances, and will have higher energy costs associated with getting them to the building site. Keeping the original appearance of these decking materials will require staining or preserving with oil every two or three years. Both of these woods can be recycled.
Pressure Treated Pine (PTP)
Upside: This is the most popular choice for new decks everywhere in the country. PTP is inexpensive and readily available everywhere. (FYI - pressure treated lumber used to be treated with Chromated Copper Arsenate - a known carcinogen - to preserve and protect the wood; however, since 2003 pressure treated wood is now preserved with less toxic chemicals.)
Downside: PTP requires staining every three years to preserve its appearance, and it can't be recycled due to the chemicals used to preserve it.
Exotic hardwoods - Ipe (ee-pay), cumaru, red tauri and Philippine Mahogany:
Upside: These woods are extremely hard (so hard they are difficult to work with which may increase building costs), naturally resistant to bugs and rot for long lasting qualities, and provide an appearance very different from North American grown woods.
Downside: Transportation costs may be a concern, but their long life, potential for recycling, and the fact they are so dense they don't require staining makes them "green" choices.
Upside: Wood composite is made from recycled products and helps keep plastic out of landfills. Made from waste wood milling fiber and agricultural products combined with plastics from grocery bags and milk containers, this product makes a long lasting, totally bug and maintenance free deck that will never rot.
Downside: Once combined, wood fibers and plastic can't be separated, and at the end of the deck's life, it has to be scrapped.
Upside: Plastic decking is made from 100 per cent plastic (either virgin or recycled) and contains absolutely no organic material. It is usually manufactured close to home, long lasting, totally rot and insect free, and never needs maintenance or staining. At the end of its useful life, the decking itself can be recycled again.
Downside: While it does include recycled materials, plastic decking is made from a non-renewable resource.
Upside: Aluminum will never rot, warp or crack, and is obviously insect resistant. Aluminum decking is available in lots of colors, and is made in a powder-coated finish is virtually indestructible – and a lot cooler in the sun. And aluminum is totally recyclable.
Downside: Aluminum is pretty expensive in most areas, usually aluminum costs significantly more than any of the other options.
For more information on "green" decks in Arlington, VA, please contact Hal Co Fence. Serving Arlington, Virginia and all of Northern Virginia, as well as Washington DC, the Hal Co Fence deck experts will work with you to create the “green” deck that is perfect for your Arlington, Virginia home.