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Is Composite Decking Maintenance Free?

Composite decking is not completely maintenance-free but requires minimal upkeep due to its many beneficial attributes, such as durability. Composite decking is a highly durable building and landscaping material that is less prone to damage than other various materials such as wood. Maintaining your decking is essential if you want to retain the appearance of your decking and ensure it will last longer. Composite decking requires little maintenance; however, it does not need as much maintenance as timber decking, hence the saying “low maintenance,” not “no maintenance.”

Does Composite Decking Require Maintenance

All decking materials require maintenance to make them look their best for longer. If you fail to maintain your decking, it will reduce its lifespan and affect its appearance. Wood, PVC and composite are the three most common kinds of decking material. Of all these materials, wood decking requires the most extensive maintenance, while the others require less maintenance as they are more durable. Composite decking requires minimal maintenance, meaning it is less stressful, labour-intensive and cheaper after installation. All this means saving time and money spent in the long term. Let’s assess why composite decking still need to be maintained.

Why Composite Decking is Not Maintenance Free

Grease stains, animal droppings, mould stains, and paint spills left on the surface of your composite decking can distort its appearance. If you allow dead leaves to sit for an extended period of time on your decking surface, it will cause mould to grow on it, which will distort and damage your decking boards.

Maintaining your composite decking is simple but necessary if you want it to stay beautiful for decades. To achieve this composite decking only needs regular cleaning with hot soapy water, where timber decking differs needing regular cleaning, along with annual staining, sealing, and painting to keep its beautiful appearance. This is due to wooden decking fades, equally so does composite decking but nowhere near the levels of wood and nor does it need any staining or painting to retain its colour.

Composite decking also doesn’t require sealing to lock out moisture. Wooden decking if not maintain with regular sealing will rot, spilt or crack due to moisture damage. On the other hand all composite boards offer excellent resistance to moisture, eliminating the requirement for sealing. Therefore, composites are a superior choice when focusing on long term maintenance.

Why You Should Maintain Composite Decking

Despite composite decking’s vast number of benefits, such as: durability, longevity, and ease of upkeep, it does require occasional cleaning in order to maintain its appearance and lifespan. While it’s true that composites are low-maintenance, it doesn’t mean that they are indestructible. No matter the type of decking, whether wood, plastic, or composite, it will get dirty and need cleaning. Yes, you will need to maintain composite decking like any other decking or outdoor product exposed to the elements.

Why is this important? Many homeowners build new decking or tear down their old ones with unrealistic expectations that composite decking won’t need any maintenance at all, leading to potential neglect regarding caring for the decking. In turn, this will cause more problems in the future. While composites are resistant to mould growth and warping issues, it can happen if composite decking is neglected. Furthermore, when customers neglect their decking for an extended time, they begin to over-clean once staining or marking occurs, using harsh chemicals or methods that can damage the boards even more.

Another reason to maintain your decking is because of the warranty. Many companies won’t accept any returns or service repairs if you neglect or install your composite decking incorrectly. You must follow any care instructions supplied to you by the manufacturers or suppliers if you want long-lasting decking, ensuring you aren’t wasting your money.

Conclusion

Composite decking is low maintenance, not no maintenance and does require upkeep during its life span, but not like wood decking. Homeowners should clean their decking frequently to maintain its appearance to ensure it will last for longer.

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