When talking about aluminum deck construction there are so many things that come to mind such as what it is made of, what are the pros and cons, and what is the upfront cost of installing it. Aluminum can be obtained from several minerals available out, but the most common raw material is bauxite. The process of producing aluminum is broken down into three stages, with the first step being extraction of bauxites from the soil. Next, the bauxites are processed into alumina or aluminum oxide. And finally, aluminum is obtained through known as electrolytic reduction, which is a process in which aluminum oxide is broken down into its component using electric current.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg on how aluminum is produced but let’s talk about the big issue: why choose aluminum deck construction.
Why Choosing Aluminum Deck Construction?
Aluminum can be a great and unique deck-building material when compared with some of its common competitors out there. Apart from its low maintenance requirements, aluminum also has a great lifespan which makes it the best material for most projects. But that isn’t to suggest it comes without any cons.
If you’re wondering whether aluminum is the perfect material for your deck building projects, here are some of the top reasons to choose aluminum:
Aluminum Decks Have a Longer Lifespan than Wood
Having a deck that will last longer is the joy of many homeowners, yourself included.
Unlike woo, aluminum doesn’t absorb moisture or get destroyed by exposure to sun, mildew, and moisture like wood does. More so, aluminum comes with in-built water-diverting channels so water doesn’t remain standing on the deck.
Moisture, sun exposure, and mildew destroy wood decks in a few years. Wood absorbs any moisture it’s exposed to, whether it comes from the sky or an ill-placed sprinkler. Absorbing water softens the wood and causes it to swell. If the wood stays soaked for a long time, mildew will grow on the wood and discolor the surface. When the wood lays in direct sunlight, it dries out. This constant cycle of swelling and drying can cause the wood to crack and splinter over time.
Aluminum decks cannot absorb moisture. And in fact, some aluminum decking materials have water-diverting channels built in. If you have an area underneath the deck you don’t want wet, these aluminum decks could be what you have been looking for.
Aluminum Decks Don’t Attract Pests
Another good part of the Aluminum deck is the fact that it doesn’t attract pests and other insects as wood does. And when attacked by insects and other infestations, wood gets easily damaged and the lifespan and quality of wooden decks get reduced. So if you consider the fact that the Aluminum deck is safe from all these damages, then you know it is the best alternative for wooden decks.
Aluminum Decks Are Easy to Sustain
When it comes to sustainability, aluminum decks are more sustainable than wood. There is always a wide availability of aluminum for building your decks and for other projects you may ever need it for. Since we all understand
the benefits of wood preservation in our ecosystem, having piles of aluminum sitting there unused does the world no good. But trees are very important in our lives and the earth’s ecosystem. Without trees, we wouldn’t be here as there wouldn’t be oxygen in the air for us to live. But we don’t have to worry about using aluminum for our decks to save many trees’ lives which in turn will be useful for our environment and our existence.
Aluminum Decks Require Low Maintenance
Wooden decks require a lot of effort, time, and resources to maintain than aluminum decks. You need a lot of cleaning, resealing, and repairing to keep your wooden decks stable and fresh. And doing this can be expensive and energy-sapping for you. Unlike wood, an aluminum deck is easy to maintain. All you need to do to maintain an aluminum deck is to simply hose it down and that’s all.
Some Cons About Aluminum Decks Worth Mentioning
In case you’re wondering if aluminum is without any drawbacks, here are some of the cons about aluminum decks worth mentioning:
- Requires higher upfront cost than most of its competitors
- Not as attractive as wooden decks
- Not widely available in some markets
- Doesn’t feel the same way as wood under the foot
Types of Aluminum Decks
Just like other decking materials, aluminum decking comes in a variety of options. Some of the most popular aluminum decks categories are as follows:
Aluminum Decking Boards
Unlike waterproof aluminum decking, aluminum decking boards are not designed to create a dry space under the deck instead they have a gap and channel designed to direct water. More so, this type of decking comes in a wide variety of sizes and they allow you to add a waterproof drainage system to it later if you choose to. In other words, by not incurring the cost of adding a waterproof drainage system upfront, you can reduce your cost of installation if you choose this type of decking material.
Waterproof Aluminum Decking
This type of aluminum decking is engineered to be water-resistant and, in most cases, they are designed in such a way that they have a watertight area underneath them. Also, this aluminum deck is created using an interlocking system that leaves no space and channels for directing water. So if you’re a person who lives in an area with heavy rain, this decking material option will be your most suitable choice. However, you should have in the back of your mind that aluminum decking can be so expensive during installation and so you should factor this cost into your project costs.
Aluminum Deck Frame
This type of aluminum decking is almost similar to aluminum decking boards. Although an aluminum decking frame comes with its pros and cons, it has some advantages over the wood deck frame in that it is resistant to cracking or warping. Except for the higher upfront cost and scarcity of aluminum substructures, this type of decking frame is far better than wood.
Aluminum Decking Finishes
One of the common examples of where aluminum decking finishes can be found is in a powder-coated plank. Powder coat adds lots of value to aluminum decking in terms of providing texture, providing a wide range of color options, and as well as reducing falls and slips. While there is another example of aluminum decking finish like the mill finished aluminum, this type of aluminum finish is not as inspiring and attractive as the powder coat, and, as such, it can only be used for the project in which color, style or aesthetic value is negotiable. In other words, it’s commonly found in non-residential structures, and it also depends on your tastes or needs. A typical example of a project where mill-finished decking can be found or used is marine. The biggest con of aluminum decking finishes is that you don’t have many finishes to select from.