When getting a deck, one of the few things that most homeowners consider is durability. For families with kids and pets, scratches are unavoidable. Because of this, you will want a scratch-resistant deck. For this purpose, many recommend using PVC decking. But the question is, does decking scratch easily? There are other options like composite decking that you can choose?
Are PVC Decks Scratch-resistant?
PVC, also known as polyvinyl chloride or vinyl, is a thermoplastic used to make decking boards. PVC decking materials consist of 100% plastic, and are alternatives to traditional wooden decking. There are two types of PVC decks people may refer to; one made out of boards, and one using vinyl sheets. Both are decking choices made from the same material, with only a few minor differences.
But are PVC decks scratch-resistant? In general, they will visually show signs of scratching compared to wood decking. They also have a hard exterior surface, making them resistant to most forms of damage, including grazes and scratches. They won’t get damaged easily under normal circumstances.
However, it doesn’t mean that they’re completely scratch-free. Sufficient force can still leave terrible and unsightly marks on the deck’s surface. For this reason, you will want to minimize and avoid any potential causes of scraping on your patio.
How to Avoid Scratches on Your PVC Decks
Despite being resistant to scratching, you will still want to avoid any potential risks that can damage your deck. Fortunately, there are various ways to protect your patio.
One of the main reasons why decks get grazed is due to heavy furniture. As much as possible, use light furniture and fixtures on your outdoor patio. It’s also best to avoid the ones with metal footing, as it can easily scrape your deck. Carelessly moving objects around your deck can also be a potential cause for deck scratching.
If you do need to place heavy fixtures, you may want to consider getting furniture pads. Alternatively, you can use carpets and rugs. However, make sure to use ones with soft-backing. Not only can they scratch your deck, but rugs and carpets with metal accents or rubber backing can also cause stains.
While there are plenty of ways to prevent scratching, likely, you will still see a few marks here and there. So how can you remove them?
How to Remove Scratches on PVC Decks?
Another advantage of PVC decks is that there are a few ways to remove, or at least hide, any signs of scratching. How you do it will depend mostly on the severity of the scratches.
For minor cuts and scratches, you can use a wire brush. Gently buff out the damage by working the wire brush in the direction of the grain. The effect may darken the area. However, after a few weeks due to weathering, any visible sign of it will vanish.
For deeper scratches, you can try using a heat gun. Keep in mind that using a heat gun can potentially burn and permanently damage your deck. What you want to do is to melt the surrounding area of the scratch gently, blending the colours until the scratch fades. If the heat gun is too close to the surface, it will burn it. The same goes if you hold it in a position for too long. For best results, try it out first using leftover decking boards. Alternatively, you can use it on parts of your deck that you don’t mind damaging. Another method is to use commercial products specifically designed to remove or hide any cuts or marks on decks.
PVC Decking Alternatives
If you’re not keen on using plastic decking, you can choose composite decks instead. Like vinyl decks, it has the same advantages, along with resistance to cuts and scratches. It’s also as durable and low-maintenance as plastic decks. However, if you want a beautiful deck, a composite one can be a better choice. It is more rustic and natural-looking, whereas plastic decks look more polished and synthetic.
Some types of hardwood also have high scratch-resistant, such as IPE. While less resistant to scratches than plastic decks, you can also remove any visible signs of damage by sanding. Overall, there are many types of decks that you can choose from when it comes to scratch resistance.