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How Do You Fix Warped Composite Decking?

  • Henry A
  • January 29, 2024

Likewise, for timber decking, composite decking can warp if installed incorrectly. Although composite material is more durable and long-lasting, warping can still occur if the homeowner does not adhere to the manufacturer’s installation guidelines.

Will Composite Deck Warp?

Composite decking consists of wood and plastic material, which differs from natural wood decking. As an engineered synthetic material, composite is known for its high durability compared with wood. Like almost all other decking materials, when exposed to high temperatures from the sun, composite decking will absorb heat and begin to expand.

When this happens, composite decking becomes hot and pliable. If the correct expansion gaps are not left, pressure will build as the boards have nowhere to move when exposed to the heat.

Why Do Composite Decking Boards Warp?

Composite decking may warp due to fluctuations in temperature. They will expand in high temperatures and contract in cold conditions. Prolonged exposure to heat and direct sunlight can cause excessive heat absorption and contribute to warping.

As mentioned previously, insufficient spacing will create stress points and increase the likelihood of warping, bending, and maybe even splitting. While composite decking is generally more resistant to warping than wood, it can still happen if the boards are not installed correctly.

Prevent Warping from Happening

Not only can it be time-consuming, but replacing new composite decking boards can also be expensive. So, if you plan to build a new composite decking or upgrade your old one, knowing why they warp can help prevent potential warping problems in the future.

As we have just mentioned, the main cause of composite board warping is thermal expansion and inadequate spacing between the decking boards. Following the correct process for the installation of composite decking will prevent warping. As mentioned in previous articles the different generation of composite boards will expand more or less, for example capped composite boards will expand less than uncapped boards.

In addition, if the composite decking boards are not installed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, this will invalidate any warranty that comes with the boards.

Fixing Warped Composite Decking

If you own a decking, it’s best to know what to do if it happens. So, how do you fix composite decking if it warps? Do you need professional help? The truth is, as long as you have the tools, you may not need to contact a professional installer only to fix a board or two. But if pretty much every part of the decking is warped, you may want to consider calling for professional assistance. The worst-case scenario is that you may have to replace the entire decking altogether.

So, if you only have a few warped decking boards, how will you be able to fix them? In most cases, fixing warped composite decking requires the replacement of each individually warped board. The method used to replace your decking boards will depend on the type of clip purchased. We will quickly discuss the different methods with each clip:

Plastic T Clip

T clips are typically made of plastic and are installed down the side of each decking board. What makes T clips attractive is the fact that you can pull up an individual decking board that has been installed with this type of clip.

This means that if you have a large decking area and you have some decking boards that are damaged or warped in the middle of the project, you can replace these individual boards with ease.

Metal Hidden fasteners

If you have installed decking boards with metal hidden fasteners, then this removal method is not the case. Because of the design of the metal hidden fasteners, you cannot pull up individual decking boards.

If you notice that your decking boards are damaged or warped in the middle of the project, you will have to start removing the boards at the edges of the deck and work your way to the centre.

Due to this, we recommend making sure you install your decking boards correctly the first time around to avoid further costs and time spent in the future trying to correct any issues caused by improper installation.

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