Creating and building your deck is an expensive project. Not only that, but it’s time-consuming as well. To make the most out of your project, you want to have the best value for your materials. Previously, people had limited options. But now, there are many types of decking materials to use. One of the most common materials chosen by homeowners is composite decking materials. It’s one of the fastest-growing materials for patios and decks when it comes to popularity.
Why Do People Choose, or Not Choose, Composite Decking?
Composite decking materials are compounds of recycled plastic and reclaimed wood. It has both the benefits of plastic and wood. Because of its plastic parts, composite materials are simpler to maintain. Unlike real wood, they are not prone to splinters, slipping, and moulding. And because they are part wood, they retain the beauty and aesthetic of real timber.
When building a patio or deck, composite decking materials have all the advantages that you need. But the question is, why do people still doubt using these materials? The answer is that they are not cheap, initially at least. Composite decking materials can be twice as expensive as traditional wooden floors, depending on the materials used.
Question Regarding Decking Lifespan: How Long Does Composite Deck Last?
Yes, composite decking can be a rather expensive project, more so than a regular flooring job. However, the real question is, is it worth it? When looking at the long term, will composite decking last longer than traditional wood flooring? In most cases, the answer is yes. How long does it last? Composite decking can last anywhere from 25 to 30 years. Whereas traditional wooden decking, at most, will last for 15 years.
Factors That Can Affect Your Composite Decking’s Life
However, keep in mind that those numbers are not the actual number of years your decking materials will last. Some may last longer while others can remain for a shorter period. The truth is, some factors can affect the life of your deck, whether it’s composite or not. Here are some of them.
- Regular Maintenance. Composite decking materials require very little maintenance. Even so, it would help if you still did some maintenance work. For instance, you may want to keep your composite decking clean and free from debris. Always remove any fallen leaves, pollen, and dirt from your patio. Not doing so can damage your deck. How so? When you leave them there for long periods, they can be the breeding ground of fungi and mould. These, in turn, can damage your patio. Not only that, but it’s also a safety hazard. It can make your floor quite slippery.
- Winter Damage. During winter, your composite decking will experience constant exposure to moisture. While most decking materials are strong against moisture, it doesn’t mean that they are completely immune to it. For this reason, you may want to maintain your deck even in the winter.
- Using Abrasive Ice Removers. Aside from the accumulation of water and ice in your patio, ice removal can also be harmful to your decking. The usual ice removers that we use are salt and sand. However, these are abrasive removers. It will remove the ice, but it will also damage the composite decking materials, removing their special coating in the process. So for your deck to last longer, avoid using salt, sand, and other abrasive ice removers.
- Scratches and Tears. Aside from ice removers, other things can damage your composite decking. For instance, carelessly moving heavy furniture can scratch the surface of the composite materials. Storms and falling debris are also common causes of decking damage.
- Using Harsh Chemicals. When cleaning composite decking, one may use harsh chemicals to do the job faster. The bad news is that using such compounds will do more harm than good for your patio. They can remove special coatings from your decking boards that protect them from damage and moisture. It can also leave discoloured and faded spots. If that happens, the only way to fix it is to replace the affected areas.