Although wood has traditionally been associated with decks, it is a material that requires maintenance to keep it healthy and looking its best. In wet environments, wood can be subject to decay; where it's hot, wood can crack and splinter from exposure to the sun's ultra-violet rays. A deck that's not properly sealed can be host to mildew. Painted surfaces need extra upkeep. And the natural color of nearly any wood deck will fade in time.
One practical alternative to the drawbacks of wood is a synthetic decking material such as a PVC vinyl. Formulated to be weather-resistant and virtually maintenance-free, PVC vinyl decks are durable, do not crack or warp, and never need painting. This type of decking is available with traditional or contemporary looks and offers a number of railing designs that can harmonize with a variety of house styles.