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Transforming Your Backyard: The Advantages of Composite Decking Over Wood

Transforming Your Backyard: The Advantages of Composite Decking Over WoodPhoto from Unsplash

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Are you dreaming of a beautiful, low-maintenance outdoor living space that will stand the test of time? Look no further than composite decking. As a leading deck builder specializing in high-quality composite materials, %COMPANY%’s witnessed firsthand how this innovative product can transform backyards across our region.

Compared to traditional wood decking, composite offers many advantages, making it the smart choice for today’s homeowners. From superior durability and rot resistance to easy care and a stunning aesthetic, composite decking checks all the boxes.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the key benefits that make composite the clear winner over wood and explain why it’s the ideal foundation for your dream outdoor oasis.

What Is Composite Decking Made Of?

Composite decking is a mixture of wood fibers or “wood flour” and recycled plastic, usually high-density polyethylene (HDPE). The typical ratio is around 70 percent wood fibers and 30 percent recycled plastic.

Some manufacturers may also add other ingredients like UV stabilizers, color pigments, and chemical additives to enhance the performance and appearance of the composite material. The wood fibers are often repurposed from sawmill scraps and other wood waste, while the plastic component is made from recycled post-consumer plastics. This makes investing in a composite decking system an eco-friendly choice.

The manufacturing process involves mixing the wood and plastic components and then forming them into solid deck boards. This combination of recycled wood and plastic gives composite decking increased durability, weather resistance, and low-maintenance properties compared to traditional wood decking.

How Long Does Composite Decking Last?

Many composite decking manufacturers offer 25 to 50-year warranties on their products, demonstrating their confidence in the long-term durability and quality of this type of decking material.

Generally, pressure-treated wood decking systems are expected to last 10 to 15 years and require regular maintenance, including sealing, staining, cleaning, and repairs.

Are Composite Decks Low Maintenance?

While some minor maintenance will help keep your composite deck in the best shape over the years, it doesn’t come close to the frequent attention required to preserve a traditional wood decking system.

Wood decks demand a lot of attention. They need to be inspected, cleaned, stained or painted, and repaired to stay in good shape. Even then, they don’t last as long as a composite deck, and many factors can shorten a wood deck’s lifespan, including insect damage, UV damage, and rot.

Recommended maintenance requirements for a composite deck include:

  • Clean: Sweep or blow off your deck to remove dirt, debris, and organic matter.
  • Wash: Wash your deck with mild soap or a composite deck cleaning product at least once each year.
  • Remove: Use a plastic shovel to remove snow and ice from your deck’s surface without causing scrapes or scratches.

Are you looking for specific composite deck cleaning and maintenance instructions? You can always check with your composite product’s manufacturer. They usually provide detailed cleaning and maintenance recommendations.

What Is the Process for Installing Composite Decking Systems?

The most important part of installing composite decking systems is creating a sturdy substructure that meets building code requirements. While you might have a little leeway with a wood deck, there’s no room for error when you want a composite deck that lasts decades.

Once your substructure is complete, the next steps in the installation process include laying down decking boards, attaching them with fasteners, and adding railing and deck stairs.

Having more fastener options is always good. That’s another notable difference between a composite and wood deck installation. Wood decking generally relies on top-down attachment methods like nails or screws, while a composite deck gives you a choice between top-down fasteners or hidden clips that secure boards from the sides.

Can a Composite Deck Be Installed on Uneven Ground?

Composite decking can be installed on uneven ground. However, achieving a code-compliant installation involves some further site preparation work. You can dig out the area and level the space or opt for adjustable pedestals that turn tricky terrain into a suitable decking construction environment.

These pedestals are placed on the ground at varying heights and then adjusted to create a level space for work to begin constructing your deck’s subframe.

A combination of a well-installed pedestal system and subframe is the best way to start your deck build off on the right foot when you’re working with a space that lacks prior landscaping.

Are Composite Deck Boards Resistant to Mold and Mildew?

There’s a big difference in the mold growth rate between timber and composite decking systems, with composite being much more resistant than pressure-treated wood.

You can further reduce mold and mildew risks by selecting decking materials that are “capped” with a protective layer of polymer or plastic that shields your decking material’s natural fibers from these harmful contaminants.

Another way to protect your composite decking from rot is to seal any punctures in its capping as quickly as possible. You can also apply mold and mildew cleaning solutions to composite surfaces. These kill existing spores and prevent future growth.

Are Composite Deck Materials Available In a Variety of Colors and Styles?

With a diverse range of color, texture, and finish options, it’s easy to design a custom composite deck that matches your home’s architecture and your goals for the perfect outdoor space.

Some of the most popular composite deck material colors include:

  • Brown
  • Grey
  • Red
  • Light Beige
  • Verigated
  • Multi-tonal

Sought-after textures and finishes include:

  • Smooth
  • Wood-grain
  • Natural wood 3-dimensional embossed patterns

How Do Composite Decking Prices Compare to Wood Decks?

While the initial investment in composite decking is higher, the lack of maintenance, repair, and replacement expenses makes it more cost-effective in the long run.

Do you plan to stay in your home longer than a lumber deck’s 10 to 15-year natural lifespan? Your upfront investment in composite decking products will pay dividends when you can enjoy your deck without worrying about a replacement for many years to come.

Composite Decks Offer Lasting Value and Are Easy to Maintain

Now that you know more about the benefits of investing in composite products, you can choose between pressure-treated wood or a more modern, longer-lasting composite decking system. Composite decks are durable, attractive, and easy to maintain. Over the course of their lifetime, they help you keep more money in your pocket and spend less time on household maintenance chores.

Do you have questions about deck design or installation? %COMPANY%’s technicians are always here to help. Call us at %PHONE1% for more information.

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