This is the design we typically build in the City of Belle Isle. Since we’ve worked in the area before, we know the maximum square footage in Belle Isle is 500 for the terminal platform. We designed a deck in this size and offered our opinions on the customization. The Barrett's and Fender Marine chose to install UltraWood high-grade Southern Yellow Pine Decking.
Choosing the right deck materials
While many materials can be used to make decks, wood is the most collectively utilized. The common wood choices for decking are redwood, cedar, and pressure-treated lumber.
Redwood is more expensive since you can only find it readily in the western United States. If you get your hands on it, its beautiful red color would need to be reserved by reapplying sealers over time. Redwood isn’t only a great choice because of its rich color, but its strength also resists warping from the elements.
Cedar has been used in decking for generations. Its natural resistance to rot and insects makes it a desirable option for building. This type of wood is best used for steps, rails, and fencing because it is soft and may splinter. However, cedar along with redwood have an old generation of trees, as old as 250 years old, that are being endangered since they are choice materials to use.
Pressure-treated lumber is also insect and rot resistant. It is the cheapest of the three listed since it is readily available around the country. This wood is used as a support system for decks because it holds up well. Unfortunately, pressure-treated lumber is a lesser grade since it is made from a mixture of wood. If purchased at a cheap quality, it is prone to shrinkage and warping.
Maintaining a deck
Over time, decks take a lot of damage with heavy foot traffic, sunlight, and pooled moisture that can attract pollen, mold and fungus. It’s important to take preventative measures to preserve your decks lifespan. Some points to keep in mind:
- Don’t let dirt get trapped on the deck. Flower pots can leak dirt from their drainage holes and trap debris between the deck and pot trapping moisture and embedding the dirt.
- Always use a grease trap when grilling on the deck. Grease is very hard and sometimes impossible to remove.
- Make sure you clean and seal your deck regularly. It’s best to get it professionally done as it will last up to three years and protect against rain and sun.
- Don’t apply paint or solid stains to your deck. These applications always peel off. Oil stains are the best option for protection and look because they fade gradually.
- Replace old, rotted boards as soon as possible to avoid having to replace the whole deck later. Same attitude applies to regular maintenance like tightening loose boards or railings.