Fireproof Decks for a San Diego, California, Home

Answered by Jeffrey ~ March 1, 2011 ~ Comments

We're trying to be fire-wise in our new home in the hills outside of San Diego, California. We're specifying stucco walls and tile roofing. Our decks will cantilever over steep grassy slopes. What's the best material for fire-resistant decks?

Bill S. ~ San Diego, California

Jeffrey Anderson

Hi Bill. Finding fire-resistant decking material isn't an easy task. There are a number of companies that sell lumber that has been treated with a fire retardant chemical, but most of the products must be used inside and not exposed to the weather. This lumber from companies such as FirePro and Dricon is good for interior framing and roof rafters, but not very good as decking material.

SaferWood is a company that provides fire-resistant wood that is advertised as being able to be used outside. I have never used their wood myself so I can't speak as to how it holds up to the weather or just how fire-resistant it is. Another company you might want to investigate as they may not be too far from your location in San Diego is EcoBlu of Vista, California. I don't see any decking material advertised on their Web site, but they may have something you can use.

Once you decide on a material for the structural components of your deck you may want to consider composite materials for the decking boards and railing. There are several companies that produce fire-resistant products that are popular in California and San Diego as they pass the state and county fire regulations.

You may want to take a look at products from these companies:

  1. Timbertech--XLM
  2. Trex--Trex Accents
  3. GAF/ELK
I haven't used Timbertech or GAF, but have had very good results with Trex. All three companies produce "green" decking material and because they're composite, they never need to be stained or sealed. I think any of the three would be an excellent choice for your deck.

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