The Best Deck Materials for Ocean Air Environments

The ocean is one of the most attractive features about California. The blue waters, warm weather, and smell of ocean air draws millions of visitors and makes our shoreline property some of the most valuable and desirable in the entire country. Many of these beachfront properties, both commercial and residential, are outfitted with decks that overlook the sea, offering spectacular views and enjoyable space.

However, these decks face a significant problem: constant, unrelenting exposure to ocean air. Ocean air is extremely humid, and sometimes is full of fog or marine layer, which imbues deck materials with moisture that can cause extra expansion, expedite wood rot, and even wear away at the structural integrity. If you have an ocean-view deck, you’ll want to choose a material that’s both resistant to the immense heat California beaches can experience and the almost-constant barrage of moisture.

Here are a few deck materials that are particularly good for decks in areas located in close proximity to beaches.

Synthetic Boards

Wooden plank-style decks are a pretty common design choice near beaches due to their laid-back, coastal feel. However, traditional wood is a pretty awful material to actually use since it tends to rot so quickly. Synthetic boards, however, are rapidly becoming a pretty popular choice since they’re made of a mixture of recycled plastics, wood fibers, and other materials that are less influenced by heat, less prone to water intrusion and rot, and can withstand a heavy barrage of moisture both from humid air and marine layer.

Concrete Pavers

Concrete pavers are quickly becoming a popular low-cost choice in beachfront decks, particularly for patios, pool decks, and rooftop installations. Pavers are inexpensive, have a classic look to them, and can be easily maintained and replaced. They’re extremely durable to heat and moisture as well, two of the toughest elements for a deck to survive. However, they are heavy and require a pretty sturdy deck space, which makes them generally only advisable for well-supported deck structures and patios built on ground level.

Poured Concrete

Poured concrete is a great material for those who have the extra money and time to invest in a truly durable and long-lasting deck. Concrete can be formed into nearly any shape, is extraordinarily strong, and water and heat have very little effect on it as long as the deck surface is regularly inspected for cracks and given a waterproof seal. However, this is a pretty expensive option as well, and may not be suitable for all applications.


Vinyl is an extremely popular material that’s used to make almost everything. It’s extremely flexible, being made in a wide variety of different styles and colors to match any look you’re going for (even wooden-style decks), easy to install, and fairly inexpensive. It also never needs painting, resists staining, and even has significant heat rejection properties, making it a popular choice for California summers! However, over time it can start to sag, particularly in heavy use conditions, so you may want to think twice before installing this material as it may need replacement sooner than others.

Learn more about the great deck material options available to you by calling Capital Deck & Stair Waterproofing at (888) 508-2966 today!

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