Composite decking is one of the most popular options in the UK. Many choose it due to its many advantages over traditional wood decking. But one of the biggest reasons why people prefer it due to its durability. A composite deck will often last longer than most wooden decks. How long do composite decking last? And why does it last longer?
How Long Do Composite Decks Last?
When doing home improvement projects, you’ll want something that can last for a longer time. For outdoor flooring, one of the most long-lasting options is composite decking. But how long does it last?
On average, a composite deck can last at least 20 years. Some can even last for more than 50 years as long as properly maintained. When compared to traditional wood decking, composites are overall better in terms of lifespans. A softwood deck can only last around 5 to 10 years, while expensive hardwoods can last anywhere between 15 to 25 years on average.
But the question is, why is that so? What makes them last longer than wooden decks? Here are some of the reasons why.
Wood and Plastic Combined
One of the reasons why composite decking lasts longer than wood is because of its composition. Composites, also called wood-plastic composite or WPC, are materials made out of wood fibres and thermoplastics. The plastic components make composites durable while retaining its wooden appearance.
Composite decking suffers less from issues that you may encounter with using wood. For instance, due to not being entirely wood, it’s resistant to rotting and splintering. Likewise, the wood fibres make it more resistant with similar issues when using pure plastic decking such as vinyl. Plastics such as vinyl decking are often susceptible to high temperatures, causing them to warp and bend. On the other hand, composites are more dimensionally stable as the wood fibres help the boards’ shape intact.
Overall, composite decking has both the advantages of wood and plastic while cancelling each other’s drawbacks. For this reason, it’s significantly better than both plastic and wood in terms of durability and lifespan.
Protective Polymer Capping
Most composites in the market have an exterior polymer capping. It serves as a shield that further protects the deck from various elements. Because of the capping, boards are more resistant to moisture, insects, moulds and mildew. Composite decks are also more resistant to impacts, splinters, and warping. Without any protection, these problems may significantly shorten a deck’s lifespan.
Capping of composites also presents other benefits. For instance, many boards today are scratch-resistant. Some varieties of capping also help the boards retain its colours for decades. Unlike other synthetic decks, you can also find anti-slip composite boards for a safer deck.
If you want to find the best composites, however, you will have to look for these features. Not all composites are the same, and they differ in quality and price. Regardless, composite boards, especially capped varieties, are among the longest-lasting materials that you can use.
Easier to Maintain than Wood
One of the main reason why decks may not last long is due to the lack of maintenance. Many homeowners live busy lives, and household chores may be less of a priority. Because of this, some may overlook maintenance care for outdoor areas.
In terms of maintenance, wood requires the most. Wood decking needs regular cleaning since it’s more susceptible to moisture, stains, fungi, and warping. Ignoring the problems may lead to more issues later on. You will also need to clean a wood deck as often as possible. Failure to do these things may result in a shorter lifespan.
On the other hand, composites require less maintenance. Most of the time, you will only need to wash down your deck with soap and water. Many experts advise to give it a thorough clean at least one in every six months. Composite decks also don’t require sealing and staining, which cost money and time.
Why Choose Composite For Your Decking
If you are planning to build a deck or replace an old one, composite decking is worth considering. Composites offer superior durability than other decking options. It’s low-maintenance and long-lasting. The truth is, you can save more money by picking a longer-lasting deck than a cheaper, yet less durable decking. If you are still unsure, you can check reviews and comments about composite decking. You can also request samples from various suppliers to see them for yourself.