Treated lumber is still the most economical material for decking. For every $100.00 spent on deck boards. you can expect to spend $200.00 for cedar and anywhere from $500.00 - $700.00 for a low maintenance decking. For treated lumber, you can expect about 15 years before your decking may need to be replaced.
Treated lumber will fade in colour over a few years and develop an algae type of growth on it if it is in a shady area. The wood will absorb stains and can be difficult to clean. I personally would not recommend sealing the surface of the lumber. Applying a sealer may prevent the wood from absorbing stains and moisture from the top surface, but does not stop the moisture from being absorbed through the bottom surface of the decking. In fact, it may prevent the lumber from drying out, causing the trapped moisture to freeze and expand, thus splitting the lumber.
If you want long term great looks and enjoyment of your deck PVC decking is the way to go. once you factor in the cost of applying and reapplying the colour or sealer at least every few years, the lime you spend applying it. Let’s face it you’re probably doing it on your summer vacation, and who wants to waste their vacation.
If you’re just looking for a deck to get you by for a decade or so it is the way to go. But, do yourself a favour and do not apply any coating to it you will regret it. Your local Home Hardware Building Centre has a great deck cleaner that works great to bring your deck back to a near new look.
Ask for Activox deck cleaner.