Living in a coastal area provides endless days of beautiful beach views and summer fun. However, as with all places, living in coastal areas has a few issues. One such issue is the type of decking you can use when you live near the ocean. The humid salty air can wreak havoc on certain types of decking, and it can get costly, so what is an affordable decking for the coast?
Some of the best decking materials for coastal areas that are durable and affordable include fiberglass decking, composite decking, and PVC decking. While some of the decking material might initially cost a little extra, the overall cost, including the maintenance, is much less and lasts longer.
If you are considering installing decking in your home, keeping the cost as low as possible while still getting quality decking is not always easy. After researching different kinds of decking, we were pleasantly surprised at the affordable decking materials you can install if you have a home near the ocean. That’s why we wanted to share the information we found.
What Is An Affordable Decking For The Coast?
When you want to install a deck in your yard but live in a coastal area, it would be better to consider the types of decking that will last the longest and still be affordable. Decks can deteriorate faster in areas where the air is salty and humid. Salt can have corrosive/deteriorating effects. It gets worse because the salty air in coastal areas is also humid.
The moisture mixed with the salt creates the salty sea spray that can eat away at wood, rust metal, and damage many types of building materials. Below we have gathered a list of the most durable and affordable decking materials you can use when living in a coastal area.
Fiberglass decking is made from fine glass fibers fused together using resins. The result is a high-quality decking material that will last years, and the salty ocean air has almost no negative effects on fiberglass. Fiberglass decking makes a great choice to use indoors and outdoors.
Benefits Of Using Fiberglass As Decking Material
When you are interested in installing a new deck, it’s important to know more about the kinds of deckings before choosing the material that suits your needs. Here are some benefits of installing fiberglass decking in a coastal area.
- Fiberglass decking is very durable. It gives your structural stability, and the decking won’t warp over time under varying temperatures.
- Fiberglass has resistant properties. It is waterproof, heat-resistant, mold, mildew, and fungus resistant, and won’t rot.
- It’s very affordable. Fiberglass is one of the most affordable building materials on the market, so if you are working on a budget, using fiberglass decking will save you money.
- It won’t fade or stain. Fiberglass won’t fade in the sun and won’t stain. You can easily clean up any spills.
- It’s environmentally friendly. Fiberglass is 100% recyclable, so you won’t be adding anything to your yard that will negatively affect the environment.
Drawbacks Of Using Fiberglass As Decking Material
Knowing all the benefits and drawbacks of your decking choices is a good thing, so below are a few disadvantages of using fiberglass decking.
- It is slippery when wet. You need to add rubber mats or runners to ensure you don’t slip and fall if it rains,
- The fiberglass gets hot. In the summertime, you might need to wear shoes when walking on the fiberglass decking as it absorbs heat and can thus get uncomfortably hot to walk on.
Composite Decking Material
Composite decking has become very popular in the last few years because of its durability, low maintenance, and long warranty period. Most composite decking consists of wood fibers mixed with plastic. The ratios are typically 50% wood fibers with 50% plastic, 25% wood fibers, 75% plastic, 75% wood, and 25% plastic.
The best ratios for coastal areas are 50% wood fibers with 50% plastic and 25% wood fibers with 75% plastic. It’s because the fewer wood fibers are in the mix, the longer the composite decking will last as wood tends to warp under extreme cold, or extreme heat attracts insects and absorb a bit of the moisture in the air that leads to mildew and mold growth.
Benefits Of Using Composite Decking Material
Composite decking can be a great decking choice for coastal areas, and here are some of the benefits:
- Composite decking has a UV protective top layer that protects the decking from the harsh rays of the sun and the other outdoor elements. It also keeps the decking from absorbing moisture.
- They come in many styles and different colors to suit any theme or atmosphere you want your decking to encompass.
- Composite decking is low maintenance as you only need to wash it now and then.
- Composite decking is a bit more expensive than fiberglass, but it’s still affordable.
Drawbacks Of Using Composite Decking Material
Composite decking has many benefits, but like any other decking material, it does have a few drawbacks.
- Composite decking that is the wrong ratio of wood fibers and plastic can deteriorate over time, so it’s important to use the right mix.
- Composite decking is slippery when wet, so you need to add rubber runners or a layer of anti-slip sealant.
- Some composite decks will grow mold in the gaps, and you will need to use a mold-resistant sealant once a year to keep the mold at bay.
PVC Decking Material
PVC decking is one of the best materials for coastal areas as it is made of 100% plastic. This decking is usually made from polyvinyl chloride and is extremely durable. This plastic decking comes in various colors and can be found in styles that closely resemble wood for those who like a more natural look.
Benefits Of Using PVC Decking Material
PVC decking has more benefits than drawbacks, and here are a few benefits to help you make an informed decision.
- PVC decking is mold, fungus, water, and rot-resistant, so you won’t need to worry about the decking being negatively affected by the elements.
- It’s durable and won’t warp over time.
- It won’t need staining or painting as it is resistant to fading.
- It’s very low maintenance; you only need to clean it now and then.
- It’s spill and stain-resistant, so you don’t need to worry that a spill will ruin the decking.
- PVC decking is more expensive than the other decking but is more affordable than wood decks.
Drawbacks Of Using PVC Decking Material
There are not many drawbacks to using PVC decking in a coastal area, but they are listed below.
- PVC decking can get hot during summer, so remember to wear shoes.
- PVC decking is slippery when wet, so you need to add an anti-slip sealant if your decking is near a pool.
- Some lesser quality PVC deckings look more fake and unnatural, so you can tell it’s plastic than flooring or wood.
When installing the best affordable decking for coastal areas, you need to install decking that won’t warp, rot, mold, or attract insects. The decking should also be durable when exposed to natural elements. Thus, the best decking choices include fiberglass, composite, and PVC decking.