What Are the Problems With Composite Decking?

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The perfect material for decking does not exist. While some may outperform others, they do still have some disadvantages. This statement applies to composite decking materials as well. Even though it is one of the most durable and commonly-used materials, it has its fair share of problems. Read on to learn more. 

Problems With Composites 

When buying the materials for your deck, you have to consider the disadvantages of the said materials. If you plan to build a composite deck, here are some things that you should be aware of.

Higher Price

Composite decking boards are significantly more expensive than traditional wood decking materials, approximately double the price of their wood counterparts. It is almost the same price as the most expensive hardwoods. Expect to pay double the amount for the overall installation cost plus the materials compared to ordinary wood decking. 

To be able to build a composite deck, you should have enough budget. The good thing is, while the initial price of the deck is almost double that of regular decks, you can also expect your deck to last for double the years. So if softwood decks last for 15 years at most, composite decks can last for more than 25 years. Of course, if you’re only looking for a temporary deck or will be moving away shortly, you may need to reconsider your options.

It cannot Be Painted.

What are the problems with composite decking

When a wooden deck loses its colour, you can easily recolour it with paint. If you decide that you want a different theme for your garden, you can grab a bucket of paint and repaint a wooden deck. And the best thing is, you can select any colour you want. Unfortunately, you can’t do the same for composites. Once you choose the colour, you have to stick with that colour. If you do want to paint the composite deck, you have to sand it first. Not doing so will only chip off the paint. However, if you do wish to paint a composite deck and sand it beforehand, it damages the boards and loses protection. If you like to repaint decks, composites may not be the best for you.

However, there are a few reasons to repaint a composite deck on the bright side. They are long-lasting and are not easily damaged or chipped. Unlike wood, it doesn’t fade to grey when exposed to UV. Instead, it only lightens the colour of the material. 

They are heavier than Wood.

Composite decking materials are significantly heavier than wood. So if you are working alone, you may have a hard time transporting and working on the materials all by yourself. You will also need to build a sturdier frame to support the additional weight of the boards.

Fortunately, there are hollowed composite decking boards lighter than normal composites. These types of boards are easier to work with and transport. If you’re building the deck all by yourself, consider using wood or hollowed composite boards.

Composites Can Get Hot

Another disadvantage of composites is getting hot in extreme temperatures compared to wooden decks. So if you’re living in a place where the deck will be exposed to hot temperatures, consider getting a wooden deck instead. Compared with plastic decks, composite decking is cooler. 

Fortunately, there are ways to keep your deck cool during hot summer days. You can install shades, like large umbrellas. Misting fans are also useful to lower the heat. If you’re considering building with composites, it’s also best to get light-coloured boards if you expect high temperatures.

Composites Can Be Slippery 

Composite decking boards are more slippery than wood. However, they are less slippery than plastic. If you are building a deck near a water feature, like a pool or fountain, make sure that your materials are slip-free. 

Fortunately, composites can reduce the smoothness by having grooves. Some composites are also less smooth than others. In some cases, wood decks can become more slippery than composites. When it’s not properly maintained, moulds can grow on wood, making the surface more slippery.

Please note: As with any surface when wet underfoot, caution should be exercised to avoid slipping.


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