Category Archives: Pressure Treated Decking

Is There Such Thing as a Maintenance-Free Deck?

This is probably the question asked most often by both our potential and current customers, along with the entire internet. Everyone wants a maintenance-free deck that once it’s installed, you do absolutely nothing and it’ll stay looking just like the first time you stepped on it.

This popular belief was pioneered by some of the manufacturers of synthetic decking products, promising a maintenance-free, trouble-free surface that would last for years without lifting a finger. These fantastic claims resonated well because people were tired of the same Southern Yellow Pine, Cedar or Douglas Fir that would need yearly stripping, sealing and painting just to try to keep it together for a few years.

However, the properties that make these woods popular for construction don’t apply to exterior use.  They need to be painted or sealed constantly to protect the wood, otherwise it will deteriorate, splinter, crack, and rot beyond repair. Though cheap initially, the cost of maintenance and the enduring hard work has proven these species unsuitable.

We recommend Pressure Treated wood only for deck framing.
We recommend Pressure Treated wood only for deck framing.

The wonderful thing about our decking is that it maintains its structural integrity as the decades pass. This means there’s none of the deterioration that is typical with species like Southern Yellow Pine. Our decking weathers beautifully to grey, but it stays solid. With our hardwood choices of Ipe, Cumaru, Tigerwood, Garapa, and Massaranduba, you can expect to have one of the densest and strongest woods available on the market. All of these woods are at least 2x stronger and much denser than any of the common wood used for decks.


Having a desire for a low-maintenance material is when our Brazilian hardwood decking becomes most enticing. Using any of our species of hardwoods won’t promise you a deck that, without any help, will be pristine for many decades. We are realistic and we know that our decking needs some maintenance, no matter how minimal it is. The maintenance you can expect with our hardwoods is to have to rinse off the deck with warm water.  

If you leave the deck without cleaning for months, you may need to use a cleaner and brightener solution. Don’t worry, this is a powder that dissolves in warm water and gets applied with a mop; if you can mop a floor you can use these solutions. Finally, to keep the color of any of our woods, you will need to re-apply Ipe Oil once every year to two years depending on how much sun your deck sees.

This oil acts as a sunscreen, and brings out the rich tones of the wood’s grain. Unlike most other products on the market, this oil doesn’t need a million things before it’s applied. If your deck is clean, just apply it again!

What we offer is a no compromise decking material that lasts well over 30 years, is 100% natural, low-maintenance, and can always be repaired should there be any scratches or gouges. Even more importantly, compared to any other material, if our hardwood is left to fade, it can always be returned to its original color.

Ipe vs Pressure Treated Pine: A Knock Out

When you see these two materials side by side, it's obvious which one is superior.

When you see these two materials side by side, it’s obvious which one is superior.

Doing a full comparison between Ipe and Pressure Treated Pine for decking is like comparing Kobe beef and a McDonald’s beef patty. Pressure treated pine works well as the frame of your decking but not as the decking itself. Pressure treated pine lasts only for about 5-10 years and must be constantly stained and finished. Ipe on the other hand, is an all-natural wood, proven to last over 75 years without any chemical treatment. The Coney Island boardwalk was in service since the 1940s! Boards from that landmark boardwalk have been reclaimed and reused for many applications from patio furniture to indoor flooring.

Continue reading

The 7 Deadly Sins of Deck Building: Sin #2 – Wrath

Which on of these materials do you want for your deck?
Which one of these materials do you want for your deck?

You’ve had it! Your deck is an eyesore. Boards are cracking and splitting, there’s some green stuff that has overtaken a board over in the corner, and screws and have rusted their way through the railing. You’re so angry you could go out in your backyard and just start hammering your way through this monstrosity.

Slow down! This is the perfect opportunity to take that rage and turn it into something positive. Show your old deck who’s boss and replace it with a stronger, more durable material.

First things first, contact a local licensed contractor that is familiar with demolition and construction of decks. They are the professionals and know exactly what permits and safety precautions need to be taken to ensure everything is done properly.

The most important decision to make when building a new deck is choosing the material the deck will be constructed with.

Pressure Treated Pine, Cedar, & Redwood

These are common materials used in deck construction. They look great at first, but they require lots of maintenance to keep them looking fresh. They are quick to split, decay, and rot. And if for any reason your grill gets tipped over on your deck, there’s no saving it.

Composite & PVC Decking

Composite and PVC decking materials are trying to take over the decking market. They boast a “no maintenance” promise and swear up and down the product will last 25+ years. Composite materials have traces of wood grain in each board where moisture gets trapped, causing mold and swelling of the boards. The colors fade, and just like I mentioned above, if your grill tips over on your deck and hot charcoal flies everywhere, not only are your deck boards ruined, the burning plastic releases toxic fumes into the air.

Stay Calm with Decking Materials

With you can select from any one of our sustainably harvested, exotic hardwood decking materials. For instance, Ipe is proven to last 75+ years with no treatment, has up to a Class A Fire Rating, and is naturally resistant to mold and decay. Not only does it have the structural integrity you need in a decking material, but it looks gorgeous as well!

Choosing the right material for the job is the first step with designing your new deck. Do you want to replace your deck in the next 15 years, or do you want your deck to outlive you?

Why NOW Is The Best Time To Replace Your Old Deck

Do you think replacing this deck is a good idea?

Did you know that there are an estimated 40 MILLION decks in the United States that are more than 20 years old?

A great majority of these decks were constructed using lumber that is just not good enough for long term use. To make matters worse, many of these old pressure treated decks used chemicals that are now seen as potentially dangerous. Do you think this is marketing hype? Do you think we’re just trying to get you to buy our hardwood decking?

While being cynical is popular these days, our intent is strictly to inform you of the danger posed by these old decks.

Here is the story of one tragedy every person who owns one of these older decks should read right now: Toxic Tragedy Prompts New Treated Lumber Warnings

If you, or your neighbor owns one of these older decks, you might seriously want to consider replacing your deck. Many professional contractors are out there who can help you with your deck renovation. If you have any questions, or need advice, give us a call, or leave a comment below. We’d love to help you.

Pool Decking Options

Brazilian Cumaru Pool Decking
Exotic woods like Cumaru are great for pool decking.

If you’re looking for pool decking, hardwoods offer excellent benefits that will keep you, your guests, and children safe.

Many times, people who settle for plastic decking have to pay extra attention to the decking that surrounds their pool. It’s not hard to imagine that wet plastic composite decking could act more like a “slip and slide” than a safe-to-grip surface you can depend on. Even pressure treated decking is a inferior option. When you factor in the chemicals used to make the material, plus the fact that splits and cracks are fast to appear on the surface, softer woods like pressure treated pine are not the best for families.

So, what makes exotic wood decking a better option?

Hardwoods like Cumaru (pictured above) and Tigerwood are reliable hardwoods to put around your pool for a number of factors:

  1. They are dense materials that are sturdy enough to handle being exposed to pool water
  2. Fast-drying material that is also naturally slip resistant
  3. Resistance to mold, decay extends the look and life of the hardwood pool deck
  4. Durable decking materials also resist checks and splits
  5. When treated with a deck oil like Ipe Oil™ or Messmers, you get added water repellency

NOTE: Be sure to allow your wood decking to acclimate to your local climate prior to installation. Once your material has settled and is at the appropriate moisture content, you can proceed with installation.

If you want to learn more about what exotic hardwoods like Cumaru and Tigerwood have to offer, feel free to give us a call: 1-877-232-3915

5 Simple Ways to Save When You Buy Decking

How to Buy Wood Decking

The research this homeowner did prior to buying Ipe has paid off.

It’s almost Summer and thousands of homeowners across the country are getting ready to start working on their deck. Some will be remodeling and many will be building a deck for the first time. But, before hammer goes to nail, the question you must answer is, “What kind of material is best for decking?”

Should you go with real wood decking, or composite “wood” decking? Regular readers of this blog already know the limitations and problems that plague composite deck materials. Let’s face it; if plastic decking were so good, wood decking would be obsolete. But, because of the documented issues that both composite and PVC decking face, many people are opting for real wood deck materials.

So, let’s say that you chose to buy wood decking. What material should you choose, and what pitfalls are to be avoided when buying decking?

Here are 5 Ways to Save Money When You Buy Decking: Continue reading

5 Questions to Ask Before You Buy A Home with a Deck

Solid wood deck made of Tigerwood.
This Tigerwood deck was built to code, has a strong support, & is durable enough to last over 40 years. Its striking looks & function also add to the home’s selling appeal.

Are you in the market for a home and coming across properties that have a deck previously installed?

Don’t be shy about asking these questions. You will save yourself valuable time, money, and future headaches. You also give the current owner a chance to explain the history of the deck. After all, you wouldn’t dream of walking into a used car lot and buy a car, no questions asked. Likewise, when buying a home with a deck, you need to know its history.

Here are The 5 Most Important Things to Know Before You Buy a Home with a Deck:

  1. What is the age of the deck? Obviously, the older the deck, the closer you want it inspected. Older decks deserve more scrutiny because of structural issues. Be sure to ask if it was every subject to insect attack. You’d also want to know if any part of the deck had been replaced.
  2. What is deck’s overall condition? Is it still structurally stable? Don’t just look at the deck’s surface to gauge its health. Take a good look “under the hood.” You or your home inspector should look under the deck and check out the condition of the joists and other support components. Are things starting to rot or rust? Is decay visible? Hopefully, the posts are also in good condition.
  3. Does it meet current building codes? This one is very important and can bite you in the you know where if you ever try to sell a home with a deck that isn’t up to code. The last thing you want also is to pay a fine, or have difficulty selling your home in the future.  You might want to look at an up-to-date survey, too.
  4. What kind of deck is it? If you’re looking at an old pressure treated deck, then you will have to be aware of the many chemicals and other problems that plague pressure-treated decking. Are you looking at a composite deck? Older composite decking may not be the best, or have that much longer of a lifespan. As for wood decking, they have been proven to be more dependable, but you should still be diligent.
  5. I love the home…but is the deck worth keeping / maintaining? If you found the home of your dreams, but the deck needs some work or repairs, seek a professional contractor’s advice to see how much it would cost to tear down and/or replace the deck. You might want to keep looking if you

All these question will help determine how much longer the deck will last, how much work will go in to getting it where you want, or if your better off starting over.

The point is, don’t just give those decks a passing glance. If you have to, jump up and down on the decking. If by looking at it, you’d rather NOT do that, then you might want to keep looking at other homes.

If you have any other questions you feel should be asked, or your own deck stories to tell, please comment below. Your experience can help other people.