Composite decking is a popular timber decking alternative that is out in the market today. Composite decks are made from a combination of wood chips, sawdust, plastic and with bonding agents. It is engineered to look like real wood.
Most composite decks are recyclable. While some cannot be recycled, it is still best to choose composite decking due to its durability. It is proven to last up to 30 years with minimal maintenance.
What is Composite Decking?
In order to have an idea of what composite decking is, it is best to know the meaning of composite. Composite refers to anything that is made with two or more materials. When these materials are combined, they create something with different physical and chemical properties. The properties are improved and become stronger than those materials themselves.
Manufacturers are now producing composite boards for a more sustainable world by using recyclable materials.
Composite decking is now widely used in many residential and commercial spaces.
Types of Composite Decking
There are several types of composite decking in the market today– capped and uncapped, solid and hollow.
The capped type has a polymer protective coating making it resistant to fading and staining. It is also called shielded decking. Capped composite decking is popular among builders because they imitate the look of real wood. It is the best choice for any outdoor decking for it has UV inhibitors preventing premature fading.
Uncapped composite decking is an earlier generation of composite decking. Unlike capped decking, it does not have the same protection from colour fading. This means that in a year’s time, the colours may fade a little after exposure to the sun.
Another type of composite decking is the solid type. This is a heavy board but looks more like wood and does not need plugs or fascia boards at the end.
The hollow composite decking is lightweight and responds better to extreme temperature.
Benefits of Composite Decking
Composite decks are made to last a lifetime due to its plastic content. They are also stain and scratch proof and do not fade immediately. Upon installation, the decks do not require frequent sealing and painting. Many composite decks have long fade warranty for up to 25 years.
Saves the environment
Due to the composition, composite decks have a strong positive impact on the environment. Composite decking does not contribute to deforestation being made from renewable wood scraps and plastics.
Your family is safe with composite decking. It is not prone to accidents such as slips and similar injuries. It does not splinter, unlike in wood decking. It is safe for pets too.
Composite decks do not rot. They are non-porous and do not absorb water or your pet’s urine. They are not moisture absorbent and do not develop moulds which may be a great concern to one’s health.
The boards are easy to clean. Dirt and mud can be easily eliminated with the use of water and a mop.
Unlike wood boards which require constant sanding and sealing, composite boards are fade resistant. The colours stay after years of usage because they are coated to prevent weather damage.
Value for money
Composite boards may cost slightly higher than wood boards. But composite decking is still the wise choice for consumers. The cost of maintenance and repairs are cheaper.
Pros and Cons of Composite Decking
Composite decking is easy to install and cost-efficient. It also requires reduced maintenance and is easy to clean. It is more durable and can withstand any weather. The boards do not attract termites and do not rot. There are numerous colour varieties to choose from that can suit every consumer’s taste.
Some may look like fake wood. There is a tendency to bend or sag. Composite decking is not fire resistant and can burn. However, it requires a higher temperature than wood.