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Early Composite decking issues

In this article, Ultra Decking discusses some of the bad press composite decking received some years ago.

It’s fair to say that the first generation of composite decking did suffer some defects and suffered from warping and splitting. Over the past 20 years these defects have been completely resolved on with good quality composite decking. Some lower quality composite decking manufactured with low grade or cheap raw materials still suffer from warping, fade and splinters.

Therefore, here at Ultra Decking we really want to educate our customers on the issues with the earliest composite decking systems and how you can spot a first generation or lower quality composite decking solutions.

Below are some homemade tests you can do with first generation or lower quality decking samples you may have ordered.


Modern composite decking has a resistant to UV rays, although you should expect to see a natural weather look after the first 12-week period. First generation and lower quality decking will fade at extremely fast rates.

One homemade test you can perform on samples is to place them into boiling hot water, then add washing up liquid soap, keeping the water as hot as you can for the next 24 hours. When removed from the hot water, you will immediately notice with the lowest quality decking that the colour has faded. You should also check if the decking has a wide grooved surface, this too will have almost completely faded.

Staining and mould

The latest capped (co-extrusion) composite decking is completely resistant to stains, mould and mildew throughout its lifespan. Traditional composite decking is not completely maintenance free and requires periodic cleaning. Simply wash down with water and a soft brush to ensure no issues for years to come.


No modern composite decking should warp, if it does this is generally down to a poor installation.

Too much water

Capped (co-extrusion) decking has ultra-low water retention in the region of 0.85%. Modern traditional composite decks will retain water below 2%. That said, water absorption must happen, otherwise, the boards would become brittle. Tip: always cap off your decking boards with either skirting trims or the correct end cap designed for your boards.

All early composite decking issues have now been resolved maturing in to the definitive replacement for regular wood or timber decking. Material and technological advancements in shielded or capped (co-extrusion) composite decking technology continues to grow as the smart choice with all the added benefits compared to regular timber decks.

As a result, up to 80% of new UK decks are now built with composite decking as the advantages and benefits are so vast.

With the introduction on Ultra Decking’s Signature and Platinum ranges offering the latest advanced technology here in the UK with the most natural wood appearance, the industry has on offer.

Your choice made simple.