How Long Does a Composite Deck Last?

Decking lifespan

Decking construction and maintenance can be costly. Whether you’re a homeowner or a business person, you want your patio to last as long as possible. That’s one possible reason why you have chosen composite decking materials. They are durable, easier to maintain, and long-lasting. 

Whether you own a composite deck or considering building one, you might have wondered, how long does composite decking last? Is it worth it?

How Long Do Composite Decking Boards Last?

So, how long do composite decking last? Many manufacturers market their materials, saying that they can last not less than 25 to 30 years. Some people also claim, backed with manufacturers’ tests, that composite decking can last more than 30 years. The good thing is, some manufacturers also offer extended warranties, some even for thirty years and above.

While composite decking can last quite a long time, it doesn’t mean they’re invincible. Certain factors can either shorten or lengthen their lifespan. 

Things That Can Damage Your Composite Decking

Once composite decking is damaged, you will need to fix it immediately, or it won’t last long. While marketed as durable, low-maintenance, and long-lasting, some things can damage composites, which can ultimately affect its lifespan. To get the most out of your patio, note these dangers and avoid them as much as possible. 

  1. Rust – Composite decking is obviously not metallic. However, if you have metal fixtures and items of furniture, they might rust when exposed to moisture. The stains from these can stick to your patio. And when the stains penetrate the deck too deep, it’ll be difficult to remove them. It will also be detrimental to your patio.
  2. Improper Cleaning – We all want a clean patio. However, improper cleaning of your composite decking can damage and shorten its life. One example is misusing a power washer. Most composite decking can withstand a low-pressure, wide nozzle tip power washer. But if the pressure is too high, it can damage and chip the composite decking, which can be the source of many other problems. Another way to damage your deck by cleaning is by using harsh and abrasive chemicals, like chlorine bleach.
  3. Mould and Mildew. Composite decking materials are marketed as resistant to mould and mildew. While it is true that moulds and mildew won’t grow on the composites themselves, it can be from other sources. For instance, if you have trees and plants on your patio, fallen leaves, dirt, and debris can pile up. These can be a breeding ground for fungi. If not removed, they can affect not only the deck but also the frame below it. 

How To Have A Long-lasting Deck

How long does composite deck last

As with any object, there are things that you can do to preserve a deck and make it last as long as it should be. Here are some of them.

  1. Always maintain your deck. Remember that “low-maintenance” doesn’t mean no maintenance at all. If you want your composite decking boards to last long, you will need to have a regular cleaning schedule. 
  2. Avoid Metal and Heavy Furniture – Since rust can be a considerable problem, avoid as much as possible using metallic furniture. If you do have to use them, you may place them over a wool rug. Do not use latex, metal, or plastic mats as they can also damage your deck.
  3. Have a regular inspection of your deck. When a board is damaged, from moulding, for instance, it can spread to the other adjacent boards. Not only that, but it can also be a safety hazard. So it’s crucial to identify these broken boards and fix them immediately. 

Is Composite Decking Worth It?

Now we know that composite decking can last for at least 25 years. The question is, is it worth it? Despite having a higher initial cost, it can last significantly longer than traditional decking. For instance, wood decking can only last up to 15 years and is maintenance heavy. So next time you’ll make a deck, or upgrade an old one, consider composite decking as an option. 

Tags: cost, decking cost, how much

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