Do you have an old wooden deck? Or perhaps you have a not-so-old one, but you want an upgrade or something new. Or maybe you like the idea of using composite decking instead of wood. Regardless, one thing might have crossed your mind. Can you put composite decking over a wood deck?
The short answer to this question is yes. You can put composite over almost any type of material. But before doing so, there are some questions that you need to answer. The answers to these questions will determine whether you can or should install composite over a wood deck.
What is The Quality of The Pre-existing Wood Deck?
The first thing you should consider is the quality of the deck. How old is it? Are there damaged planks? If so, what kind of problems are present? If you’re planning to build a new deck on top of an old one, it’s crucial to know these questions. Why? As strong as composites are, they are not invincible. If your old wood deck has moulded, there’s a high chance that these will spread on your composites. How about warping, bending, and cracking? These too can damage your new composite decking.
It’s also worth noting that building a composite decking board on top of a new one is not recommended. Whatever your reasons might be, it’s better to leave the deck be. If you happen to change your mind about it, there are cheaper ways to do it. You can repaint or stain it to match your preferences. The least you can do is get a few years out of it.
If you ignore the quality of your pre-existing deck and build composite decking over them, there’s a good chance you’ll only be wasting money. So before anything else, inspect the patio. If it has a few broken boards, replace them first before installing the new deck. If it’s too damaged beyond repair, consider building a new one patio instead. If it’s a brand new deck, you might want to reconsider constructing a new one on top of it.
Are the Joists Still In-tact?
Like the actual wooden decking itself, the quality of the frame and the joist should also be one factor whether you can or should build a deck over a wooden patio.
How can you tell the quality of the joists and frame without dismantling the wooden decking? One way of telling is through the actual patio. If the patio is in poor condition, there’s a good chance that the joists and frames will be as well. Likewise, a new or good-quality patio will often have an excellent foundation and support system. Aside from that, time can also be a good indicator. How long since you’ve built the patio?
Why do you need to know these things? A patio is nothing without a suitable frame and joists. If you want to build a new deck, you might as well do the foundation too.
Will the Foundation Support the Additional Weight?
Similar to the previous question, you’ll have to check your foundation. Since you made the foundation with the consideration of the wooden deck, you may not have taken into account the added weight.
So if you use joists and frame, you need to re-evaluate if it can support any more weight. Failure to do so can lead to serious damage to your new composite decking. Or worse, it can cause any unwanted accidents.
Some people use other types of foundations. Some people use pavement, metals, or even gravel. Regardless, it’s best to inspect your foundation and re-evaluate it if it can support the extra weight.
Should You Put Composite Decking Over a Wood Deck?
It’s possible to put composite decking over an existing wooden deck. Whether you should do it, however, depends on many factors. If you happen to decide to do it, make sure that the existing deck and its frame is in good shape. Also, make sure that your foundation can support that extra weight.