Most composite decks are made from recycled plastic and wood scraps, which makes them pretty eco-friendly. They can easily match your outdoor décor because they come in a wide variety of wood and earth tone colors. Most homeowners today prefer composite decks because they make spending time in their outdoor living spaces enjoyable. High-performance composite decking is better than regular wood as it can stand up to daily wear and tear, and bad weather. Although composite decks seem to be a favorite building material for modern homeowners, they have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of Composite Decking
Composite decking has numerous advantages compared to other materials, and some of these include:
- They have Low-Maintenance
Homeowners who have embraced the uniqueness of composite decking do not have to worry about painting, staining or sanding. It only takes an occasional cleaning using soap and water to maintain their beauty and stability for decades.
- They are Highly Durable
Composite decks offer maximum durability because they are capable of resisting scratching, molds, staining, and fading. They cannot warp, crack or rot, unlike normal woods, which are prone to all these negative outcomes. It makes it safer for families that have kids and pets since they are splinter-free and insect-proof.
- They are Highly Sustainable
Composite decking is known to provide the look and feel of natural wood without an environmental impact. The deck boards are crafted using recycled materials including recycled plastic from common items such as newspaper sleeves and shopping bags, as well as reclaimed industrial wood scraps.
- They Offer Great Value
Most people shy away from the initial cost of composite decking which seems to be higher compared to regular wood. The only thing that they do not factor in, is the total cost required to handle ongoing maintenance associated with a wood deck. If you compare these expenses to composite decking, you will realize that it ends up paying itself in a few years.
Composite decks have a more natural look and feel than ever before as they feature rich saturated colors with high-definition wood grain patterns. The color options normally range between pristine greys to spicy reds and deep earth tones. This includes tropically inspired boards that come with the distinct streaked appearance of exotic hardwoods. Homeowners can also discover a wide selection of composite accessories besides the range of decking looks available. Some of these accessories are ideal for stairs, railings, pergolas, furniture, and gates that truly customize your outdoor space.
Cons of Composite Decking
Although composite decking provides substantial benefits to your outdoor living space, it has its own downsides.
- It is Expensive
Before you consider purchasing a composite deck system, it is important to know that this material is not cheap. The total cost incurred in buying this type of decking will depend on the size of the area you will be installing it. A larger square footage means more money, which can be a problem if you have not included the total cost into your presumed budget.
- Composite Decking Cannot be Refinished
Unlike natural wood, which can be sanded or refinished, composite decking cannot be refinished. The fact that it composite decking is considered more durable than wood and that it is rot resistant, does not necessarily mean it is entirely safe from damage. The only option left is to replace the damaged plank completely, which may require shelling out some few bucks.
Composite decking might be resistant to fading but it goes beyond your control if you clean with harsh chemicals. Doing this fades the color over time making it chalky and porous. The only way to remedy this problem is by using released coatings from renowned manufacturers. Other things you can do to prevent your composite decking from fading involve using mild soap and water to remove any accidental spills on the surface.
Most contractors out there recommend composite decking for its durability, value, sustainability, and uniqueness. However, you are likely to incur many expenses when you fail to factor in the downsides that come with this material. By taking the right precautions to prevent it from damage and fading, your composite material will be able to last longer. With the right measures, you will have a good material that has much to offer compared to normal wood. If you are able to afford this decking material, you will definitely be intrigued by how perfect it matches your outdoor décor with its wide variety of colors and unique patterns.