Are Composite Decks Really Better than Wood?
Although wood decking has been really popular over the years, composite decks are quickly replacing the use of wood for decking. The quick change from wood to composite material has come due to the fact that composite decks have several advantages over using wood.
If you compare the longevity of composite decks to wooden decks, composite ones come out as a clear winner. As composite decks are made of a combination of compressed vinyl, wood and other materials, they are resistant to rot and other environmental harms. The inclusion of plastic in their structure also makes them last longer in harsh conditions like a summer sun and the rainy season.
Maintenance has always been a problem for owners of wooden decks. There have been complaints of frequent maintenance to keep the wood looking appealing. As wood is vulnerable to frequent cracks, splinters and a quick rot, it has to be checked and stained regularly.
Composite decks on the other hand are quite the opposite. Although they can be vulnerable to a small amount of surface mold, they can be easily cleaned by a house cleaning agent and don’t require extensive staining and sanding to be kept smooth. Composite decks don’t have splinters, are slip-resistant and thus super-friendly to bare feet. Composite decking was developed in response to some of the standard complaints about wood decking.
Color Retention and Uniformity
Another problem that wood decks have been reported to have is that they lose color over time. Many wooden deck owners have reported that after several years of use, the wood can turn into a grayish tone unless regularly stained and sanded which, as mentioned earlier, is a time and energy consuming process. Composite decks on the other hand have a uniform color. As the deck boards are manufactured from mixed material, all the boards have the same look and color. Due to their longevity functions discussed earlier, they don’t age that easily or quickly and owners don’t face problems of aesthetics.
Pest and Rot Control
Again, maintenance is a problem with standard wooden decks. In order to have a longer life, wooden decks have to be sprayed with strong pesticides and heavy metals like arsenic when the wood is being pressure treated. Although the practice of using arsenic is somewhat outdated now, new techniques during pressure-treatment are harmful to the environment too. Without the pesticides, the wood would eventually get destroyed by pests but with use too, it can be a hazard to children and animals.
Composite decking, however, does not require the use of pesticides to keep it maintained and ‘healthy’. It is automatically resistant to pests due to the materials used to manufacture it.
Apart from all these advantages, the fact that composite decking is not a ‘finished’ product yet actually gives it more points over standard wood decks. Not being finished means that companies are still actively working on improving the material despite all the advantages. This means that new and improved versions of the material will soon come out and add features to the list of advantages.