Best Decking System for Canadian Weather

Best Decking for Canada

Being Canadian and living in Canada is pretty awesome! As Canadians our one main complaints is the weather. Snow and freezing temperatures limit our ability to enjoy our backyards and certainly limit our opportunities to use them. So the less time we spend maintaining them during the nice weather, the better.

Decks are a big part of our backyard features, so we should explore the best decking system for Canadian weather.

There are 3 basic types of cladding materials available for decks; wood, composite and stone. By far a stone deck is the best decking system for Canadian weather.

When it comes to the effects of weather on materials, there are three main factors that come into play. First, exposure to the sun can break down the integrity of certain materials, causing them to fade over time. Second, the temperature changes can cause expansion and contraction of the material and third, the freeze thaw cycle can happen quickly and repeatedly, putting further stress on your deck.

When thinking about the best decking system for Canadian weather, wood – regardless of whether it is pressure treated, cedar or exotic hard woods – is at the bottom of the list. They are the most affected by the environmental conditions – expanding, letting moisture in, drying and cracking and if you add sudden freeze-thaw cycle to that, wood breaks down and deteriorates rapidly compared to other products. A wood deck requires regular maintenance, which results in the homeowner spending much of their valuable time doing it or hiring a company to do it for them.

A composite deck is a step up from wood when it comes to the best decking for Canadian weather. Depending on the make and brand, you will find them to be made of ground plastics, wood fibres and glue. Composite decking is very susceptible to expansion and contraction depending on temperatures. Many homeowners who install composite decking in the heat of the summer, taking extra time to ensure the spacing, cuts and miters are done just perfect are shocked to see how things separate and come apart when the temperatures drop. Conversely, when installed in colder temperatures and if the spacing, cuts and miters are tight – as the temperatures increase, this will cause the composite decking to expand and buckle. Another factor is how hot the composite decking gets, especially darker colours. We were told by one contractor that he actually fried an egg on composite decking – we did not believe it until we tried it for ourselves.

The best decking by far for Canadian weather is stone! Stone is not affected by temperature changes as it does not expand or contract. It does not require sealers or stains and cleaning it is as simple as pressure washing it off. It does not get as hot as composite, but like anything – the darker the colour the more heat it will absorb. It will not scratch or scuff like wood or composite, and if an area stains you just need to remove and exchange a few of the affected stones as opposed to changing complete decking boards. Porcelain Pavers are at the high end of stone for decking, and these tiles are virtually indestructible. They will not absorb moisture or water, will not scratch and will not stain. They are perfect for our Canadian environment and for those of us wanting to use our decks over the winter, you can even use ice melt products.

The bottom line is as Canadians we love spending time outdoors and enjoying our backyards. So, when it comes to choosing the best decking for Canadian weather you will not go wrong with choosing stone!