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Does PVC Decking Get Hot?

There are many reasons why you may want to add decking to your garden, such as added value, comfort, or extra outdoor living space. For some people, a new decking is the perfect space to enjoy summer days and invite friends over. Unfortunately, there is a common concern when people shop for PVC decking and that is, will it get too hot? 

PVC Decking and High Temperatures

Expansion and Contraction: Similarly to many other landscaping materials, PVC decking can expand and contract when the temperature fluctuates. PVC decking can expand in warm climates and contract in cool climates. Leaving the correct gaps for expansion and contraction that are recommended by the manufacturer is essential.

Heat Retention: PVC decking, particularly darker colours, can absorb heat when exposed to UV rays over a prolonged period of time. In extreme heat, the surface of the decking boards may even become too hot to walk on.

Heat Reflective Technology: There are numerous PVC decking products that incorporate heat reflective technology within the surface of the decking boards. PVC decking boards that are made to a high standard will have this design to help keep the decking area cool in the summer.

Should You Use PVC Decking?

Using PVC is an excellent decision. It has many advantages over wood. It’s more durable, longer-lasting, needs less maintenance and scratch and fade resistant. However, you should know that it will be hotter than wooden decking. For best results, use high-quality ones from reputable brands. However, there are a few more things you may want to consider if you wish to use PVC. 

Plastic materials, including vinyl, are susceptible to high temperatures. Not only will it get hot, but it will also cause the decking boards to warp and bend. If this happens, there’s very little you can do to fix it, and you will often need a replacement. If you have no means of cooling down your decking, you may potentially run into problems. 

So, the question is, how do you keep your PVC decking cool even during hot summer days? 

Keeping Your PVC Decking Cool

PVC decking will likely get hot under the sun, but that doesn’t mean you can’t avoid it. There are plenty of ways to keep your decking comfortable, even during the peak heat of summer. Regardless of what type of decking you are using, here are some things that you can try.

1 Add More Shades

If you want to keep your decking cool during the summer, you can add more shades to your decking. You can use umbrellas and canopies to protect yourself from the sun. Alternatively, you can also plant shady trees in your garden. Not only will it shield you from the sun, but it also cools the air by absorbing carbon, which can make the atmosphere hotter. 

2 Reposition Your Stoves and Grills

If you often cook outdoors in your garden, you may want to place your BBQ and grills far away from the decking. Stoves and barbecue grills radiate heat, which plastic decking materials will absorb. Not only will it make your decking cooler, but it will generally be safer as well.

3 Use a Fan

If things get too hot, bring out a fan or two to cool your decking down. You can also try using misting fans, which are fans that spray cooling water as they spin.

4 Use Rugs and Carpets

Another easy way to be more comfortable during hot summer days is by using rugs and carpets. However, you may want to make sure to use soft-backing. Those with metal accents or hard backings can scratch and mark your decking.

Other Options for Decking

Aside from PVC, there are a few options that you can choose from if you want cool and comfortable decking during the summer. As mentioned, wood heats the slowest, so hardwood decking, such as Ipe, is an excellent option to consider.

Another option is composite decking. Like PVC, composite decking materials are durable and weatherproof. Composite boards tend to stay cooler in the summer heat, as most capped composite decking is made with a mixture of wood and PE plastic. So, if heat resistance is key upon your purchase decision, composite board may be your chosen solution

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