Choosing the right materials for your decking project can be more tricky than it seems. With so many choices, it may be hard to find the right one, especially if you are new to construction and home improvement. One of the most popular materials is composite decking. In recent years, more people are using it due to its advantages over traditional wood materials. If you do pick composites, there’s still the question of which is the most durable. So how should you choose?
How to Choose the Most Durable Composite Decking Materials?
No one can tell you which one is the most durable composite decking material available in the market. The truth is, everyone has varying opinions in regard to what is best. It can also depend on the situation. But the good news is, there are a few things that you can consider when looking for composite decking. By considering these, you can find the most durable material for yourself. Here are some of them.
Uncapped vs Capped Composites
Today, you can find both capped and uncapped composites. Each one has its benefits and drawbacks. But in regard to durability, capped composite materials are superior.
Most decking boards have caps, or protective outer layers, made from varying materials, mostly thermoplastics such as PVC or polyurethane. This outer layer protects the boards from many forms of damage, such as moulds, mildew, and moisture. So if you are looking for composites, you will want to go with capped ones.
In regard to capping, some boards either have caps on all sides or only three, excluding the bottom side. Which one is better? It depends on the situation. Four-sided capping offers more protection, but it may not have the best water drainage. On the other hand, three-sided capping is cheaper and provides better water drainage, but may not be as moisture-resistant as four-sided ones.
Overall, you will want capped composites more than uncapped ones. Whether you want 3 or 4 capped sides depends on your situation and preference.
Choose Brand Wisely
For many people, a trusted brand is a good indication of the quality of the decking boards. Naturally, you can find high-quality materials from trusted brands. If you are new to decking, your safest bet is to buy from well-known companies.
With that said, brands shouldn’t be your only deciding factor. You may be surprised by how much variety you can find in the market. You may even find a less popular brand that may offer boards with the same durability.
Look for Certain Features
Not all composites are the same. There are many materials today that offer extra features compared to the average ones. For instance, if you think that sunlight and prolonged exposure to UV will be a problem, decking boards with anti-fade resistance can be more durable.
Aside from anti-fade, you can also look for better moisture resistance, anti-slip, and anti-scratch. Carefully choosing composite materials will help you find not only the most durable but the safest one as well.
Cost and Warranty
One of the main deciding factors for most people is the cost of the materials. Naturally, high-quality composites will be more expensive. But that may not necessarily be the case sometimes. You may find more value if you look at every option available. To get the most durable materials and save money, you may want to find a reasonable balance between cost and quality.
Long and extended guarantee coverages are also excellent indications of a decking board’s durability. If you think about it, why would a company put 25 years of warranty on a product if they don’t think it will last long.
Look for Reviews and Opinions
If you are still unsure, there are many avenues that you can use to find assistance. For instance, you can look at various reviews from homeowners and builders that used particular composite decking materials. You can use different websites, from forums to social network groups, to gather information about a product you are planning to buy.
Alternatively, if you know experts in the industry, they can also be a reliable source of information and advice. Some companies will offer free samples and consultation as well, which you can take advantage of when choosing the most durable materials. Regardless of your decision, you can be surer than most, if not all, composites are durable than your traditional decking materials.