You can expect the wood joists and beams under wood decking to last 20 to 30 years, with an average of 25 years. which can be 50% to as much as double the life of the decking. The life of the deck structure will be cut in half if it is built close to, or directly on, the ground, due to moisture rising continuously up from the ground.
Also, you may find when replacing deck boards that there are areas of wood rot under the boards due to trapped water, and this may make getting a good fastener connection problematic in places.
Here’s a graph comparing the life expectancy of a wood deck structure to other deck/patio materials.
Go to our blog post What is the average lifespan of the parts of a house? for rating of other house components. To understand the basis, potential use, and limitations of lifespan ratings, see our blog post How accurate are the average life expectancy ratings of home components? Are they actually useful?
To learn more about deck safety, see our blog What are the warning signs of a dangerous deck?
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To learn more about exterior walls and structures, see these other blog posts:
• What is the average lifespan of a house foundation?
• What causes vertical cracks in fiber cement siding planks?
• What causes raised white lines of residue on a block wall that are crusty and crumbling?
• What is the difference between soil subsidence, heave, creep, and settlement?
• How much ventilation is required for the under-floor crawl space of a home?
• What causes stair-step cracks in a block or brick wall?
• What causes a horizontal crack in a block or brick wall?
• How can I tell if a diagonal crack in drywall at the corner of a window or door indicates a structural problem?
• What causes the surface of old bricks to erode away into sandy powder?
• What are the pros and cons of concrete block versus wood frame construction?
• Should I buy a house with a crawl space?
• Why is my stucco cracking?
• There's cracks running along the home's concrete tie beam. What's wrong?
• What would cause long horizontal lines of brick mortar to fall out?
• How do I recognize serious structural problems in a house?
• What is engineered wood siding?
• Should I buy a house that has had foundation repair?
• What is a "continuous load path”?
• Should I buy a house with asbestos siding?
• How can I tell if cracks in the garage floor are a problem or not?
• What do you look for when inspecting vinyl siding?
• Why is housewrap installed on exterior walls under the siding?
• Why did so many concrete block homes collapse in Mexico Beach during Hurricane Michael?
• How can I tell if the concrete block walls of my house have vertical steel and concrete reinforcement?
• Should I buy a house with structural problems?
• What are those powdery white areas on my brick walls?
• What causes cracks in the walls and floors of a house?
• How can I tell if the exterior walls of a house are concrete block (CBS) or wood or brick?
• What are the common problems of different types of house foundations?
• How can I tell whether my house foundation problems are caused by a sinkhole or expansive clay soil?
Visit our EXTERIOR WALLS AND STRUCTURE page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.