Story at a glance:

  • Wahoo Decks makes aluminum decking with watertight options, allowing for more usable dry space.
  • Traditional decking materials are prone to wearing, warping, cracking, and insect issues.
  • Wahoo aluminum decking is lightweight, fire-resistant, and durable, among other benefits.

It is possible to say goodbye to the regular power washing, staining, and sanding often required of an outdoor deck. Lightweight, corrosion-resistant, durable, easy-to-install, water-and-fire-resistant aluminum decking is helping people to get outside without the hassle.

It’s long been known that when people spend time outdoors, they are happier and healthier. And that is part of what drives the team at Wahoo Decks to make it even easier to enjoy being outside—in any weather—with their aluminum decking and deck drainage systems.

Wahoo’s aluminum decking products are easy to maintain and include watertight options, opening up a new world of possibilities for outdoor spaces. That space under the deck that often went to waste can now be used as an additional entertainment space, work area, reliable storage, or anything your heart desires.

The Wahoo Decks team is no stranger to manufacturing products that hold up in extreme weather. A division of parent company Wahoo Docks, the decking division came about after designers started inquiring about using the aluminum floating-dock products for outdoor decking spaces. “There is a lot of appeal in using this incredibly low-maintenance, durable product in residential applications,” says Kyle Graf, multifamily account manager for Wahoo Decks.

Graf recently spoke with gb&d about the many benefits of using aluminum for your next residential or multifamily decking project.

Why choose aluminum over other traditional decking materials?

wahoo decks gbd magazine docks glass rail

Photo courtesy of Wahoo Decks

The biggest appeal is the low maintenance aspect of aluminum. Traditional decking materials are prone to wearing, warping, cracking, and insect issues. Our aluminum decking is lightweight, fire-resistant, very low-maintenance, and durable. Compared to most traditional decking out there, we like to say Wahoo aluminum decks will outlast the house they are attached to. The panels won’t rust. The powder-coated surface might wear, but the structural integrity will never degrade.

What about a watertight option?

The aluminum deck boards of the AridDek® Waterproof Deck System interlock to create a watertight surface. This creates a dry under deck for more usable and enjoyable outdoor living space, even when it’s raining.

Our DryjoistEZ® Deck Drainage System also provides a watertight deck, with the added features of a finished ceiling below and the flexibility to use a traditional deck surface.

People often use this space for outdoor kitchens, relaxing sitting areas, or lawnmower/tool storage. There are other ways to create a waterproof deck, but we are unique in that ours is reliable for a very long time. Other systems require regular maintenance or replacement to continue to be waterproof. If you don’t require a waterproof under deck, we have our Fortis® Aluminum Decking, which functions just like traditional decking, but with the added benefit of aluminum: deck boards stay cooler to the touch year-round, the system requires minimal maintenance, and your deck surface won’t rot, chip, warp, or splinter..

When is it best to use aluminum decking?


Wahoo Decks provided 19 prefabricated balconies, 14 Juliet balconies, and 400 feet of additional railing on residential project The Yard in Omaha. Photo courtesy of Wahoo Decks

Our aluminum decking products are great for anyone who is looking for a highly durable, low-maintenance option. We see many retirement-aged folks who want something they can install and not have to re-stain or pressure wash. They don’t want to spend the money each year to re-seal, re-paint, etc.

Aluminum lasts much longer than traditional composite boards or wood. It is also common for people to use our product when looking to expand outdoor living spaces. Our watertight and drainage options allow for more usable dry space.

Aluminum decking is also popular in multifamily residences. In 2016 we did a project on a complex called The Yard in Omaha. The team was so pleased with the work we did on a previous project, they pulled the same details and applied them to this project. The project had 19 prefabricated balconies, 14 Juliet balconies, and 400 feet of additional railing.

Aluminum balconies provide a modern, industrial look compared to traditional wood decking materials or poured concrete. Aluminum can give a property more of an urban-type feel. Our aluminum decks are very quick to install once they get to the job site, saving contractors time and money. Several can be installed in a day.

We caution people against using aluminum decking adjacent to pools or spas, as the chemicals can corrode the aluminum enough that the powder coat will eventually separate. Once separated, there is nothing you can do to restore the decking.

What should an architect know when specifying an aluminum decking project?

Those using our AridDek Waterproof Deck System to create a dry under deck will need to do a few things differently when framing the deck and structure. The boards must be oriented to have some slope, allowing for drainage. Contractors have to pay close attention to the flashing details. Proper slope and tight connections are crucial to ensure the AridDek boards function as intended.

What maintenance is necessary for an aluminum deck?


Fortis is an aluminum deck board for outdoor living spaces that don’t require a dry area underneath. Photo courtesy of Wahoo Decks

Aluminum is more resistant to the elements, especially water and sunlight, than traditional decking materials like composite and wood. It is also resistant to pests and fire. The powder-coated finish on the AridDek Waterproof Deck System and Fortis Aluminum Decking boards never needs to be stained or sealed. It does, however, need to be washed periodically with mild soap and a soft brush or sponge. Pressure washing and chemical cleaners are not required and not recommended as they can damage the paint or cause abrasions. If the powder coat does get nicked or scratched, we offer touch-up paints that can be used to make small repairs.

What misconceptions do people have about aluminum decks?

People assume that because aluminum is metal it will be hotter to touch than other decking options. In reality aluminum is cooler. PVC, wood, and composite deck boards retain more heat. Aluminum is not dense, so it reflects the heat better. Its cooler tendency makes it a safer option for families and pets. That being said, if it is 100 degrees in Texas it will be cooler than the other decking options but might still not be cool to touch.

How does Wahoo Decks emphasize sustainability?

Everything we do is aluminum. We cut, fabricate, and ship all of our products from a single facility in Dahlonega, Georgia. This allows us to be very efficient with our use of materials, and whatever aluminum is leftover we try to use on the next project. If a piece is too short or small, then it is recycled. These sustainable practices are very efficient and we have very little landfill waste. You can’t recycle wood like that. The finished aluminum product will hold up for a very long time. It does not need to be replaced or rebuilt, also cutting down on waste. All of our aluminum is supplied by a company that is carbon neutral.