Disadvantages Of Composite Decking


Composite decking is made from a combination of recycled plastic and wood fibres. It is the alternative to traditional wood decking. Decking is usually one of the most interesting parts of the house that people love to see when they visit your house. It is where you want to spend most of the time chilling and relaxing over a cup of coffee or tea, be it morning, afternoon or late at night.

Because of that, we meticulously look at which kind of decking is best for our homes. Consideration should be given to things such as price, suitability, cost-effectiveness, appearance, etc, etc. With that in mind here are some of the disadvantages that you might encounter with Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) decking.

•Pricey at first

It is widely advertised that composite decking has little or no maintenance costs. However, at first composite decking can be more expensive than certain types of pressure treated softwoods. It is worth noting that certain types of exotic hardwoods such as South American Ipe can cost up to 5 times more than composite decking boards.

•Different suppliers can provide limited purposes

Depending upon the manufacturer various kinds of composite decking have different usage and some might not be a great choice for outdoor purposes.

•Warranty differences

Apart from that you also need to check different suppliers when it comes to a warranty that they can offer. Since different Composite Decking manufacturers use different grades of recycled plastics (Grade A is the highest quality) you should check which one offers you a competitive price with great warranty. Some manufacturers that produce 2nd generation Capped or Shielded composite decking may offer a warranty on staining and UV fading, but you should expect to pay considerable more for these types of composite decking.

•Prone to scratches

This is one of the drawbacks of having a composite wood decking it can be easily scratched. While traditional wood decking can be sanded, composite decking can’t, and it will be difficult to repair or worst you need to replace it. It’s always a good idea to purchase additional boards in this event.

•Composite wood decks weigh more than the natural wood

You need a better frame or substructure when you want to consider using composite decking with a hollow core as these do not have the same strength compared to natural hard or some pressure-treated woods. Please note: A circular hollow core or solid composite decking boards are best if you want strength built in to your composite decking.

•Fading issues

This will usually happen when you use harsh chemicals when cleaning your composite decking or when it was exposed to sunlight. Composite Decking will fade over time which is why it is always encouraged to position your composite decking in a shaded area. Co-Extrusion composite decking better known in the industry as capped or shielded composite decking offers increased protection from UV fading. You should expect to pay considerably more for Composite Decking that’s is capped or shielded.

•It can be saggy.

It might not warp but there is a tendency for composite decking to bend and be saggy. Sagging was usually caused by improper spacing in between the
Joists. Thermal expansion can also be responsible for the sag and buckle. Joists centres should be spaced no more than 300mm apart, smaller gaps than 300mm between joists centres will offer a stronger substructure minimising any sagging in the future. Expect to use more fasteners since you will have more joists if the gaps are less than 300mm.

composite decking disadvantages

•Resistance to moulds and mildew

It is resistant to rot and decay but not with moulds and mildew. This is usually
one of the most common complaints of composite decking users. If not regularly cleaned or treated immediately, mould and mildew can be difficult to remove it.

•Decay and Damage

Through time, your composite decking will show signs of decay and aging. As some suppliers have advertised that composite decking is resistant to rot. This isn’t 100% true. Regular cleaning will help to keep the appearance of your composite decking at its best. With some earlier first-generation composite decking when first installed, you could opt to seal it which helps to keep its new appearance for longer. Before sealing make sure your composite decking is thoroughly cleaned and dry, otherwise you will seal in any dirt and debris making it difficult to remove.

•It can be toxic

Some adhesives that were used in the production of composite decking can be toxic, especially the ones made with formaldehyde. Manufacturers of quality composite decking use only Grade A materials that are not harmful to the environment or a risk to people. You should ask your supplier what grade of materials and type of bonding agents or chemicals are used when producing their composite decking boards.

•Permanent Colours

Composite Decking comes in a wide variety of colours to choose from. Some even have an array of patterns. However, composite decking colours are mostly permanent so the colours can’t be changed.


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