How Long Do Decks Last in the Harrisburg, PA Region?

When it comes to the length of time that a deck will last, especially in the Harrisburg, PA area, it really depends on a few factors. The temperate climate of this area means your deck could potentially be rained on, snowed on, frozen and thawed, hailed on, pretty much the whole spectrum of possible weather! So in this central PA climate, your deck is going to get punished. That is a given in this situation. Of the things that can be controlled, the first and most important factor is the type of deck you decide on, those two options being a wooden deck or a composite deck. 

A wood deck typically has a usable life between 10 and 20 years in general, but since we’re talking about Harrisburg, PA weather, we would err on the lower end of that since it’s going to get hot, cold, etc. At the end of the day wood really gives you that natural look and feel that is preferred by many homeowners, but there are going to be cons that go along with the pros. One of those cons of course is that the useful life is much shorter than say, a composite deck. Which brings us to the question: How long does a composite deck last?

The amazing thing about composite is that, regardless of the climate, the material is going to hold up through it all. This thing can get soaked, frozen, the sun can beam down on it, it’s going to stay strong. It will actually most likely even outlast how long you’ll be in your home! Composite decks tend to last over 20 years, sometimes over 30 years!

a wood deck in harrisburg

But what if you choose a wood deck but want to find a way to extend its life? There are a few ways you can do that:

  • Wash and Sweep it Every Week 

This is so the dirt and other debris that accumulates outside doesn’t cause wear in the wood material. Almost like brushing your teeth to prevent cavities, except it’s for your deck!

  • Watch Out Where You Plant Trees

Trees are awesome, but if you plant them too close to a wood deck, or even a composite one for that matter, their roots and branches may start interfering and weakening the structure of the deck. So keep this in mind when deciding to plant one or when deciding where to put your deck.

  • Take a Power Washer To It

Even if you sweep it weekly, there’s still going to be stuff that accumulates throughout the season, so at the end of the season, make sure you power wash it to remove that buildup.

  • Check For Any Cracks

The weather in Harrisburg is going to wreak havoc on that wood, so keeping up with any cracks or dry rot is going to be important. 

So that’s how long a deck lasts in the Harrisburg area, along with a few tips on how to extend the life of your deck. 

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