The Pros and Cons of Composite Decking

The Pros and Cons of Composite Decking

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Composite decking has been making rounds across the globe for its sustainable and durable benefits. Homeowners and builders alike believe that the technology of composite decking is continuously improving, thus an excellent wood alternative. On the other hand, some remain skeptical if it is worth paying the cost of converting their wood decks into composites. There is still a debate between its remarkable benefits and possible drawbacks, leading people in contemplation. It is understandable that homeowners want nothing but the best material for their deck and outdoor spaces. It is then important to determine what composite decking is all about. Is it a boon or bane? That is the question. So, to give clarity as to what composite decking can or cannot do, we’ll provide the list of pros and cons of this decking material. Let’s get a better glimpse of those.

Pros

Composite decking has grown its popularity for it is expected to deliver a sustainable, eco-friendly and long-lasting solution as compared to traditional wood decking. Here are some significant benefits it can offer: 
  • Durability

One of the great advantages of the composite deck, as opposed to wood deck, is its known durability and long-lasting strength. The traditional deck can easily fade and crack over time, usually when exposed to extreme heat and harsh rain. The wood deck is not dimensionally stable to prevent any cracking, splitting or warping, the reason why it needs periodic care and treatment. Composite deck, on the other hand, is extremely tough and hard-wearing. Its plant and fiber composition make it sturdy, so it won’t easily warp and disintegrate even under direct sunlight. Composites are a perfect wood alternative without compromising the stability and strength in the long run. 
  • Variety of Colors

Composite decks offer a variety of colors and texture to enhance curb appeal. The versatility of composite makes it an ideal choice for someone who’s looking for a customized and non-traditional finishes and designs. Visually-appealing as traditional timber decks, you can choose among high-definition grain patterns, color option, and styles that will complement your outdoor space. There is no doubt that it adds charm and elegance to a better outdoor living.  
  • Environmental-friendly

The real deal about the composite material is its environmental benefits. Composite deck is one of the top choices for builders and homeowners because it is highly sustainable and eco-friendly. It creates an appeal of a natural wood without posing an environmental effect. This is because the materials are typically composed of recycled content of plastic and wood. A lot of manufacturers are using virgin material that doesn’t need harmful substances to be mixed in. This keeps your outdoor space green and environmental-friendly. 
  • Low Maintenance

If you are looking for a hassle-free, easy for upkeep material for your deck, composites are your perfect choice.  Since the materials are mixtures of recycled plastic and wood, it requires very little upkeep. There is no need for periodic sealing, sanding or staining. All you need to do is an occasional cleaning to maintain its stability and natural look. This is suitable for homeowners who spend less time on maintenance. 
  • Longevity

Another known and incredible benefit of the composite deck is longevity. Composite materials are weather resistant; thus, it can withstand any extreme weather conditions over time even without periodic maintenance. It is very ideal for a homeowner who wants to reduce the cost of repair and treatment along the way. It normally lasts over 30 years as opposed to an over 15-20 years of average wood decking. This seemingly makes composite decking a less expensive solution in a long run.  
  • Functionalities

Composite materials are known to provide a multitude of functionalities. It is very lightweight which makes it easy to install. Thus, it is not labor intensive. It also has UV-stability, so you don’t need to worry about the overexposure to the sun. This is very ideal for families with kids and pets because the material is highly resistant to scratching and staining. 
  • Safety

Composite deck is splint-resistant and splitter free, which makes it a perfect choice if you have kids or pets playing around.  This is also ideal for families who enjoyed eating dinner outside or loved cooking their meals during an outdoor party. Also, it is barefoot-friendly because of its innovative fittings, so you don’t have to worry about the scattered nails or screws left unnoticed.  

Cons

With all its benefits and everything in between, the composite deck has its fair share of disadvantages. Let’s see the downside of using composite material for your deck. 
  • Cost

The price is the most distinguish negative aspect of composite deck. It is true that the initial cost of composite decking is much higher as opposed to traditional or wood decking. It is normally rated 15% to 20% higher than its wood counterpart. The price varies depending on the brand, designs, and patterns. However, it would be necessary to talk to a professional builder to discuss options and affordable solution. 
  • Discoloration, Fading, and Damages

Composite materials are also subject to wear and tear over the years. Some darker colored decks manifest discoloration and fading over time. It is not 100% maintenance-free, so you still need to clean its debris occasionally. Also, materials are susceptible to surface damages due to high foot traffic and some exposure elements. The reparative solution is a bit challenging because you need to inspect and replace individual deck boards.  
  • Permanent Deck Colors

To reduce the work and cost required for maintenance, composite deck colors are permanent. This is designed to also avoid periodic sealing and staining along the way. If you wish to change its appearance, you need to request for surface cleaning. 
  • Non-resistant to Mildew and Molds

Composite materials are also prone to the effects of molds and mildew, especially in prolonged exposure to water elements. Like its wood counterparts, humidity and moisture on its surface can also harbor bacteria or microbes, leading to the formation of molds and damaging elements. This may also result in sagging or bending deck boards and surfaces.  
  • Little or Less Return on Investment

Composite deck is seemingly a great wood alternative because it provides less return on investment. This is because of the cost of materials. It normally labels a higher price tag as compared to its wood counterpart. Products also vary depending on the quality and manufacturers. So, you can talk to your professional builder as to what possible option they can give for this type of project.

Final Thoughts

Composite deck presents a world of benefits and known disadvantages. This leads to understanding that you need to gather important information, so you can decide whether to buy it or not. It would also be beneficial to discuss your thoughts with a professional contractor to create a more structured concept. Whether you will build a composite deck or not, keep in mind that it is essential to make a thorough planning on labor, materials, layout, and budget for your project. In this way, you can better ascertain possible problems that will hinder you from getting a perfect outdoor space.  If you’re looking for an incredibly creative solution on deck building, call us today. Deck Ready is a team of specialists who know nothing but an exceptional work for your next home renovation project.

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