With great concerns about the environment, eco-friendly ideas are now been encouraged in every industry. Whether it is cleaning supplies, industrial works or home designs, people want to reduce their negative effects on the environment. The same trend has been seen in deck building, where more people prefer eco-friendly deck materials. When you make the decision to build a deck, you will have numerous eco-friendly material options. All have their own advantages and disadvantages for building. This article will give an in-depth analysis of these eco-friendly materials and their benefits to the environment.
When thinking about an eco-friendly building material for your deck, natural wood should be your first option. This organic material fits perfectly into any environmentally conscious design you want to achieve. The good thing about natural wood is that it can be found in just about any type of climate. In addition to this, natural wood is a renewable resource, which can be recycled after use.
Despite these benefits, you should be very careful when choosing natural wood for your deck, as you want to be sure that it can stand up to your area’s weather conditions and heavy foot traffic. Moreover, natural wood is usually not pressure treated to stand up to insects and excess moisture. Doing this is beneficial because it makes the wood nontoxic, ensuring that it is easy to recycle after use. Nevertheless, it reduces your deck’s lifespan immensely, as the material will be susceptible to rot, termites, and other hazards. Another drawback is that natural wood is becoming more limited and although the material is eco-friendly, it is not environmentally responsible to cut down trees for wood.
Composite decking usually has a mixture of wood fibers and plastic. The good thing about this deck building material is that it saves you money in the long-term, as it not only requires less care, but also composite decks last a lifetime. Moreover, composite decking is resistant to insects and rot, and comes in many colors and textures. Composites are made from recycled materials such as plastic bags and plastic bottles. In addition, they do not use any virgin wood, but old pallets and mill waste. The sawdust and plastic are mixed together to produce a deck that is attractive, maintenance-free, and long lasting.
Despite these advantages, composite decking has its own downsides. First, composites are made from a combination of plastic and wood. Due to this, they are neither compostable nor recyclable. Therefore, any composite remnant is destined for the landfill.
Due to the scarcity and high cost of natural woods like redwood and cedar, manufacturers had to come up with a cheaper alternative – pressure-treated lumber. This deck building material is softer and chemically treated to repel rot, insects, and mold. Just like natural wood, pressure-treated lumber can be treated with finishes or stains.
Although pressure-treated lumber is cheap and long lasting, it comprises of toxic chemicals, which are neither good for you nor the environment. In the past, chemicals like copper arsenate and creosote were used. Today’s chemicals like copper azone and copper quat are less toxic but still not environmentally friendly. In addition to this, pressure-treated woods are toxic to manufacture, and dispose. Moreover, they cannot be recycled or burned.
Eco-Friendly Aluminum Deck Materials
Aluminum can also be a great deck building material, bearing in mind that aluminum products are so widely recycled. Aluminum decking materials come from aluminum, which can easily be recycled. Apart from being 100% recyclable, aluminum deck materials have no volatile organic compounds or harsh chemicals. After installing your deck, you do not have to worry about constant pressure washing or staining. It will be very easy to keep your deck beautiful and safe. Furthermore, eco-friendly aluminum does not chip, rust, rot, or splinter.
One of the greatest downsides of aluminum decking is that it is often noisy when exposed to a lot of pressure. It can also become quite slippery when ice forms on the surface. Moreover, it can be very tricky to install it.
Building a deck provides you with a great way to enjoy your outdoor living space. Going the eco-friendly way is very essential, as it assists to preserve the environment because there are no resources going to waste. It also helps with your budget since it can also minimize long-term maintenance costs. Furthermore, by working with eco-friendly materials, it means that your family will not be exposed to harmful products.