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Pros and Cons of Composite Decking

Aug 24

If you are thinking about installing composite decking on your property, you might be wondering what the pros and cons are.

Here are some of the advantages of composite decking: Long life, low maintenance, and good in all weather conditions. You will also learn about its disadvantages.

Once you know the pros and cons of composite decking, you'll be better equipped to decide whether it's right for you.

Composite deck advantages

There are a number of advantages to using composite decking in your home. Firstly, composite decks are made from recycled materials. This means that they don't contain any harmful chemicals and are therefore better for the environment. The materials that make composite decks come from waste wood fibers and recycled plastic. This can include milk jugs, detergent bottles, and sandwich bags. Hence, composite decks prevent tons of plastic from clogging up landfills. Additionally, they don't produce harmful fumes and do not warp or splinter like timber.

Another advantage of composite decking is its heat resistance. It is more heat-resistant than wood, which makes it a great choice for homes where bare feet are often present.

Let's take a look at other composite deck benefits:

Long lifespan

The long lifespan of composite decking makes it a good choice for high-use areas. When installed by a professional deck builder, most composite decks will remain in tip-top condition for 30 years and longer. That's better than wood.

If you have composite decking, you're in luck. It's extremely durable and will last for many years. Some types even come with warranties. For example, DuraLife composite decking has a 25-year stain and fade warranty and comes with two years of replacement labor. 

While wood decking requires more maintenance, composite decking requires less frequent maintenance. You can hose down the deck with a hose whenever necessary, and scrub it every now and then using hot water. If you have a heavily-used deck, you may need to do this more often. If you have a wood deck, it will require retreatment every two to five years. Otherwise, the wood will eventually start to fade and rot.

Less maintenance

When it comes to caring for your composite decking, less is more. While this type of decking does not require a lot of maintenance, you do need to clean the deck on a regular basis. A good way to do this is by cleaning away dirt, organic decay, and stains.

Although composite decking can resist stains, a lot of dirt can accumulate in the space between the boards and promote organic decay. You should use putty knives or spatulas to remove debris from the surface of your deck. You can also use a garden hose to rinse away any dirt or stains that have built up.

You can clean the surface of your composite deck by sweeping it regularly. It is also important to use a cleaning solution that contains dish soap and warm water. Use a brush head that is dipped into the solution. Make sure to use good pressure to scrub the surface and rinse well afterwards. Once your composite deck is clean, you can enjoy your outdoor living space without worrying about stains. You can even power wash your deck to remove grime and dirt.

Good in all weather conditions

Winters bring ice buildup, but composite decking is safe and resistant to ice. In the heat of summertime, composite resists fading and remains strong. Composite decking will keep its look the same year after year, making it a great option for homes that need a durable deck.

Because of its flexibility, composite decking can be used in any climate or terrain. And, unlike real wood, composite decking does not need stain-resistant treatments.

Composite deck disadvantages

Let's take a further look at composite downsides.

Costs more than wood

Composite decking is generally more expensive than real wood, but there are some benefits to using composites. They don't warp or fade as easily and can last much longer than wood. However, if you want a deck with a lot of visual appeal, you'll probably want to choose real wood instead. Each material has its pros and cons, and the cost of a deck depends on your long-term goals and the amount of work involved.

When choosing a deck material, most people base their decision on cost and durability. However, a third factor should be considered: maintenance and repair costs. For example, a natural wood deck requires regular sanding and staining, which can add up to four hundred dollars per square foot. In contrast, composite and PVC decks only require the use of a powerwasher every few years.

Prone to scratching

If you have a composite deck, you should avoid dragging heavy objects across it. This can cause scratches. Likewise, kids and pets can scuff or scratch the surface of the deck. Also, outdoor furniture is generally heavy and could damage it. 

One way to treat surface scratches is by using fine sandpaper. You can buy 60-grit sandpaper. To avoid damage, you should use the sandpaper evenly along the deck board. If you're worried about deeper scratches, you can use a heat gun to smooth the surface.

Another problem with composite decking is that it is prone to staining. The surface of the deck will also be affected by spills, including wine and ketchup. For this reason, it's best to keep the deck clean either on your own or by calling a local decking contractor for assistance. You can also use a leaf blower or fine broom to remove any debris.

Not a natural material

There are a number of benefits of composite decking over natural materials, including its durability, low maintenance, and environmental benefits. Unlike wood, composite decking is made of recycled plastic and wood fibers and does not warp, split, or crack. It is durable, low maintenance, and will last for years.

However, composite decking may not have the same aesthetic appeal as hardwood. One of the primary benefits of natural wood is its natural resistance to heat and moisture. Natural wood will stay cooler even when exposed to direct sunlight. In addition, natural wood can be resurfaced.

A downside of natural wood is its sensitivity to moisture, which can lead to warping, rot, and mold. Cedar is a great choice for natural wood because it has less swelling and shrinking than other domestic softwoods.