Composite decking is a deck alternative that offers lower maintenance and a longer lifespan. Manufacturers can replicate the look of wood, providing homeowners more options, especially those on a tight budget. Composite decking is a man-made material made of recycled plastic and recycled wood fibers. The materials used to build the composite decking make the product nearly rot resistant, which means only minor maintenances is needed to preserve its lifespan.
This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of composite decking to help you make the best decision for your outdoor space.
Advantages of Composite Decking
We’re all busy these days. People are hustling around the clock but wish they could spend some more time with family and friends. Hence, it is indeed valuable to have an outdoor space that requires only minimal maintenance.
In contrast, wood decking is prone to rot and mold, leading to lots of maintenance. With composite decking, you don’t have to worry much about this aspect as they are resistant to rot and easy to maintain. Beyond that, composite decks do not require resealing and repainting. However, we still suggest you clean your composite deck regularly, which can be done with soap and water.
Related Post: How Often Should Your Deck Be Resealed?
Durability & Lifespan
Every homeowner aims to have every part of their house as durable as possible. This is why composite decking makes an excellent choice. They make a durable option as they are made of plastic and wood. Wood decking can last up to 10-15 years, whereas composite decks can last up to 30 years or more. Furthermore, they do not stain or fade, making them a good option for families with children and pets.
It’s Environmentally friendly
Since composite decking is made of recycled plastic and wood, it is considered to be an environmentally friendly option. This means less energy and waste go into manufacturing when building this material. You can have the outdoor space of your dreams without worrying about harming the environment.
Disadvantages of Composite Decking
Some homeowners complain about the temperature of their composite decks. The truth is, composite decks retain and absorbs heat when exposed to direct sunlight. It’ll take hours for the boards to cool down before you can comfortably walk on them. Aside from preventing you and your loved ones from enjoying your investment on a sunny day, scorching decks can put your pets and kids at risk of burns.
Expansion and Contraction Leads to Damage
Composite decks have a higher rate of contraction and expansion caused by temperature swings. They move in great distances compared to traditional wood. The tendencies are your deck boards may bend, twist, and peel as soon as they expand. Damaged composite decks must be replaced immediately.
Susceptible to Mold
Most composite decking manufacturers label their products to be totally “mold-resistant,” but since they contain wood, they still have the tendency to moist and rot. Uncapped composite decks leave the primary ingredients vulnerable to rotting. Fully encapsulated composite boards, on the other hand, offer more protection. Still, moisture can enter the boards through their holes. Mold develops either inside or on the surface, especially when the boards are wet and when boards cannot dry out immediately.
Not Intended For Structural Support
If you wish to have a composite decking for your outdoor space, be reminded that in order to maximize its lifespan, you will need to have it pressure treated. Otherwise, your composite deck’s lifespan will decrease because it is initially made of wood and will rot underneath the boards. Ensure that your deck contractors won’t skip this step by using natural wood with a water-resistant stain.
Our Verdict to Composite Decking | Newton Deck Builders
The advantages and disadvantages of composite decks are helpful in different situations. You can enjoy the feel and look of natural wood without damaging the environment. Although composite decks are more expensive than other materials, many homeowners choose composite decking due to the minimal maintenance it requires.
If you want to know more about composite decking, call the professionals at Newton Deck Builders. We are deck builders that meet all your deck repair and renovation needs. Our many years of experience in the industry have prepared us for various unimaginable deck problems. Call us at 617-744-4884 and let us help you select the best material for your outdoor space.