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Why Treated Pilings and Composite Decking Are the Ultimate Combo for Your Waterfront Property



Waterfront properties present unique challenges when it comes to construction and maintenance. Choosing the right materials is crucial for ensuring longevity and durability. In this article, we will explore why treated pilings and composite decking are the ultimate combination for your waterfront property.

What Are Treated Pilings?

Definition and Purpose

Treated pilings are structural elements used to support piers, docks, and other waterfront structures. They are typically made from wood that has been treated with preservatives to resist decay and damage from water and insects.

Types of Treated Pilings

  • Creosote-Treated Pilings: Commonly used in marine environments for their high resistance to water.
  • CCA-Treated Pilings: Chromated copper arsenate-treated pilings, known for their durability.
  • ACQ-Treated Pilings: Alkaline copper quaternary-treated pilings, which are more environmentally friendly.

Benefits of Using Treated Pilings

Treated pilings offer several benefits, including resistance to rot and pests, extended lifespan, and cost-effectiveness. They are ideal for withstanding the harsh conditions of a waterfront environment.

What Is Composite Decking?

Definition and Composition

Composite decking is a man-made building product composed of recycled wood fibers and plastic. It is designed to look like wood but requires far less maintenance.

Types of Composite Decking

  • Capped Composite Decking: Features a protective outer layer for added durability.
  • Uncapped Composite Decking: Less expensive but more susceptible to staining and fading.

Advantages of Composite Decking

Composite decking is low-maintenance, resistant to rot and insects, and available in a variety of colors and styles. It is also eco-friendly, often made from recycled materials.

Why Treated Pilings Are Ideal for Waterfront Properties

Resistance to Water and Weather Elements

Treated pilings are specifically designed to withstand constant exposure to water, making them perfect for waterfront installations. The treatment process protects the wood from water damage and decay.

Longevity and Durability

Thanks to the preservation treatments, treated pilings can last for decades, providing a durable foundation for any waterfront structure.


Despite the initial investment, treated pilings offer long-term savings due to their durability and minimal maintenance requirements.

Why Composite Decking Is Perfect for Waterfront Areas

Low Maintenance Requirements

Unlike traditional wood decking, composite decking does not require regular staining, sealing, or painting. A simple wash now and then keeps it looking fresh.

Aesthetic Appeal

Composite decking comes in a variety of colors and finishes, allowing you to create a beautiful and cohesive look for your waterfront property.

Eco-Friendly Options

Many composite decking products are made from recycled materials, reducing the environmental impact of your construction project.

The Ultimate Combo: Treated Pilings and Composite Decking

Synergistic Benefits

When used together, treated pilings and composite decking create a robust and attractive structure that is resistant to the elements and requires minimal maintenance.

Enhanced Structural Integrity

Treated pilings provide a strong foundation, while composite decking offers a durable and appealing surface, making this combination ideal for docks and piers.

Visual Cohesion

Both materials can be selected to complement each other aesthetically, resulting in a seamless and attractive waterfront structure.

Installation Tips for Treated Pilings

Pre-Installation Considerations

Before installing treated pilings, ensure you have the appropriate permits and understand the local regulations. Choose the right type of piling for your specific needs.

Installation Process

  1. Site Preparation: Clear the area and mark the locations for the pilings.
  2. Driving the Pilings: Use a piling driver to install the pilings to the desired depth.
  3. Securing the Pilings: Ensure each piling is properly aligned and secured.

Maintenance Tips

Regularly inspect the pilings for any signs of damage or wear and perform necessary maintenance to extend their lifespan.

Installation Tips for Composite Decking

Planning and Design

Carefully plan the layout of your deck, considering factors such as size, shape, and orientation. Use quality materials and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Installation Steps

  1. Framing: Build a sturdy frame using treated lumber.
  2. Laying the Decking: Install the composite boards, ensuring proper spacing and alignment.
  3. Finishing Touches: Add trim and railings to complete the look.

Care and Maintenance

Clean the decking periodically with mild soap and water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or pressure washing.

Comparing Treated Pilings and Other Piling Options

Concrete Pilings

Concrete pilings are durable and resistant to water but can be more expensive and difficult to install.

Steel Pilings

Steel pilings offer high strength but are prone to rust and require regular maintenance.

Wood Pilings

Untreated wood pilings are less expensive but lack the durability and resistance of treated pilings.

Comparing Composite Decking and Other Decking Options

Wood Decking

Wood decking offers a natural look but requires regular maintenance and is susceptible to rot and pests.

PVC Decking

PVC decking is low-maintenance and resistant to water but can be more expensive and lacks the natural appearance of wood.

Aluminum Decking

Aluminum decking is highly durable and low-maintenance but can be costly and may not provide the same aesthetic appeal as composite or wood decking.

Cost Analysis of Treated Pilings and Composite Decking

Initial Costs

Both treated pilings and composite decking have higher upfront costs compared to untreated wood, but their longevity and low maintenance needs make them a worthwhile investment.

Long-Term Value

The durability and low maintenance requirements of these materials translate to long-term savings, making them cost-effective choices for waterfront properties.

ROI Considerations

Investing in treated pilings and composite decking can increase the value of your property, offering a good return on investment over time.

Environmental Impact

Sustainability of Treated Pilings

Many treated pilings are made from sustainably sourced wood and treated with environmentally friendly preservatives.

Eco-Friendliness of Composite Decking

Composite decking often incorporates recycled materials, reducing waste and promoting sustainability.

Making Environmentally Conscious Choices

Choosing treated pilings and composite decking helps minimize environmental impact while providing durable and attractive solutions for your waterfront property.

Case Studies and Real-Life Applications

Success Stories from Homeowners

Many homeowners have successfully used treated pilings and composite decking to create beautiful, durable waterfront structures.

Examples from Public Projects

Public projects, such as piers and boardwalks, often utilize these materials for their strength and longevity.

Lessons Learned

Learning from real-life applications can provide valuable insights and tips for your own project.

Common Myths About Treated Pilings and Composite Decking

Debunking Myths

There are several misconceptions about treated pilings and composite decking. For example, some believe that treated pilings are harmful to the environment, but modern treatments are much safer.

Providing Facts

Providing accurate information helps homeowners make informed decisions about their waterfront projects.


Treated pilings and composite decking from Bayou City Lumber offer the perfect combination of durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance for waterfront properties. Their synergistic benefits make them an ideal choice for creating beautiful, long-lasting structures.


How long do treated pilings last?

Treated pilings can last several decades, depending on the treatment and environmental conditions.

Is composite decking slippery when wet?

Most composite decking has textured surfaces to reduce slipperiness, making it safe for use around water.

Can treated pilings be used in saltwater?

Yes, treated pilings are specifically designed to withstand the harsh conditions of saltwater environments.

What is the best way to clean composite decking?

Use mild soap and water with a soft brush or cloth to clean composite decking. Avoid using harsh chemicals or high-pressure washers.

Are treated pilings environmentally friendly?

Modern treated pilings are treated with environmentally safe preservatives and are often made from sustainably sourced wood.