Composite Decking
October 4, 2023 3:15 pm Published by Leave your thoughts


Wood has long been the go-to choice for decking materials for homeowners and contractors. Yet, with technological advancements and growing environmental concerns, composite decking has become a popular alternative. So, what makes composite decking stand out, and is it a better option than traditional wood decking?

What is Composite Decking?

Composite decking is a hybrid material of wood fibres, plastics, and binding agents. This unique blend combines the aesthetics of wood with the durability of plastics. The market has witnessed an influx of various types and brands of composite decking, each with its features and benefits.

Main Advantages

Durability and Longevity

For homeowners seeking a long-lasting decking solution, composite is hard to beat. Unlike wood, it resists rot, decay, and insect damage. Anyone who’s had to replace rotted boards or deal with termite infestations can appreciate this benefit. Furthermore, composite decking is less susceptible to warping, splintering, or cracking. While traditional wood decks may last a decade or two with reasonable care, a composite deck can last 25 years or more.

Low Maintenance

One of the most touted advantages of composite decking is its low-maintenance nature. Anyone who’s spent a weekend staining or sealing a wood deck understands the labour and costs associated with regular deck upkeep. Composite decking eliminates this chore. There’s no need for frequent staining, sealing, or painting. And cleaning? A simple mix of soap and water will do. Furthermore, composite is resistant to stains and mould, ensuring your deck looks fresh year after year.

Aesthetics and Variety

With composite decking, homeowners are open in their aesthetic choices. Whether you prefer a rich mahogany hue or a weathered gray, there’s likely a composite that fits the bill. Some composites so closely mimic natural wood that it’s hard to tell the difference at first glance. Moreover, composite boards appear consistent, unlike natural wood, which may have knots or imperfections. This uniformity is particularly useful for achieving a clean, modern look.

Environmental Benefits

In an era where sustainability is at the forefront of many homeowners’ minds, composite decking shines. Many brands use recycled materials like reclaimed wood fibres and recycled plastics to create their boards. This reduces the decking’s environmental footprint and repurposes materials that might otherwise end up in landfills. Additionally, since there’s no need for chemical treatments or stains, composite decking doesn’t introduce harmful substances into your outdoor space. Plus, the reduced demand for wood decking contributes to less deforestation.

Safety and Comfort

For families with children or those who frequently entertain, the safety features of composite decking are a boon. No one likes a splinter from walking barefoot on a wooden deck. Composite decking, being splinter-resistant, offers a smoother experience. Some brands even provide slip-resistant options, which can be especially valuable around pool areas or in rainy climates. Additionally, specific composites come with UV resistance, ensuring the deck doesn’t become unbearably hot during sunny days.

Cost-Effectiveness

The initial cost of composite decking can be higher than that of wood. However, when considering the long-term, the scales tip favour composite. With minimal maintenance costs and a longer lifespan, homeowners often save money in the long run with composite decking.

Considerations and Potential Drawbacks

Despite its many advantages, composite decking isn’t without its considerations. As mentioned, the upfront cost can be a deterrent for some. Furthermore, while composite does an excellent job mimicking natural wood, some purists believe there needs to be a proper substitute for the real thing. And like all materials exposed to the elements, specific composites might show signs of fading or wear over extended periods.

Conclusion

In sum, composite decking offers a myriad of advantages over traditional wood. From its durability and low maintenance to its aesthetic versatility and environmental benefits, it’s no wonder more homeowners are making the switch. While the initial investment might be higher, the long-term gains in costs, effort, and peace of mind make it a worthy option for many. Before deciding, homeowners should weigh these benefits against their needs and preferences. However, composite decking takes a lot of work to beat for those seeking a blend of beauty, durability, and eco-friendliness.


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October 4, 2023 3:15 pm