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How Long Does a Wood Deck Last on Average?

May 4, 2021

Consistently, right around 25% of American single-family homes are built with a deck. People love to spend time outside while staying home, so it can be a great addition to any house.

Before you make such a big investment, however, you need to know how long it will continue to look good as part of your home. Basically, knowing if it’s worth the money or not can help you make your decision. 

How long does a wood deck last? Is there a way to maintain it so it lasts longer?

To learn more about the lifespan of a deck made from wood and installation information, keep reading below. 

What Impacts the Life of a Wood Deck?

To determine the wood deck lifespan in the Charleston or Myrtle Beach region, you have to first think about the location. 

If you’re planning to install your deck in an area that gets limited sun and a lot of moisture, this will lead to a shorter lifespan. Decks that are made of wood need to be able to dry out so that the wood doesn’t warp or rot.

You also need to consider the type of wood used because they are not all going to require the same maintenance. As a result, they don’t all last for the same amount of time either, and some types of wood can lead to a longer deck lifespan. 

Lastly, how close should your deck be to the ground? If it’s sitting right on the ground, this is a bad idea because it will soak up all of the water from the soil and there won’t be any type of ventilation after rain.

How Long Does a Wood Deck Last on Average?

If you’re installing your deck in an area that gets a good amount of sunlight, doesn’t sit close to the ground, and is maintained properly, it will last longer.

Deck installation in Charleston or Myrtle Beach means you’re dealing with humidity as well, so you need to think about the type of wood you choose carefully. 

Let’s talk about the average lifespan for wood decks made from various types of commonly used wood.

Tropical Hardwood

If you want to use a wood like tigerwood or Ipe, you’ll be making a good choice. These hardwoods are naturally resistant to pests and rot, and they are also some of the most durable wood options on the market because it is so dense. 

Because tropical hardwoods are so hard, they are less likely to get damaged from general wear and tear as well. They don’t stain easily, but you can apply a UV finish if you want them to keep their natural color for years to come.

A tropical hardwood deck can be expected to last anywhere from 30 to 50 years.

Redwood or Cedar

These are softwoods, so they are not quite as sturdy as the tropical hardwood options. However, they are still resistant to rot and certain types of pests when the heartwood is used. 

People like these for decks because of their color. Both of these woods have a very rich, deep tint that is unique and can be bold in an outdoor space. 

Redwood and cedar decks can still be impacted by rain or snow, so they must be sealed to protect the integrity of the wood. 

A redwood or cedar deck can be expected to last about 25 years. If the deck is not maintained well, the number drops closer to 10 years. 


Because mahogany is also a type of hardwood, it works well for a deck. It is a rot-resistant, dense wood.

The available colors make it appealing to many homeowners, but it also is popular because of affordability. Many hardwoods are expensive, but mahogany is generally considered a good value for a wood deck. 

A mahogany deck is expected to last anywhere from 20 to 40 years, depending on how well it is maintained. 

Pressure-Treated Lumber

One of the best things about building a deck with Contract Exteriors is that they only use the higher grade pressure-treated wood options. 

Pressure-treated lumber is the best material you can choose when you want to build a deck. It is wood that has been pressure-treated using chemicals to repel insects, outdoor elements, and rot. 

Pressure-treated lumber decks can last as long as 50 years when sealed and cleaned correctly. 

What Can You Do to Make Your Deck Last Longer?

To improve the lifespan of a deck, you have to take care of it. Some types of decks are easier to care for than others.

For a wood deck, you’ll want to wash the deck with an appropriate cleaner once a year. Before washing, remove debris from between the boards, cover any nearby shrubs with a tarp, and sweep your deck. 

Thoroughly and evenly apply the cleaner to your deck using something that’ll make it easier for you to get an even coat, such as a paint roller. Don’t forget the railings! 

After about two days have passed, you can seal the deck again, and it’s ready to go! Maintaining your deck doesn’t have to be difficult, but it is something that you’ll want to remember to do every year. 

Are You Interested in Getting a Wood Deck?

Having a wood deck for your home’s exterior can be the perfect way to enjoy your outdoor area and make the most of your home in the Charleston or Myrtle Beach region.

How long does a wood deck last? It lasts as long as you care for it! With our pressure-treated wood deck options, you can have a pristine deck for decades to come.

Are you interested in learning more? If so, contact us today, and let us help you get started on building the deck of your dreams. 

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