All You Need to Know About Composite Deck Material in 2023
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What is Composite Deck Material?Unlike traditional decking, which is made entirely of wood, composite deck materials are made of a mixture of plastic and wood. In general, recycled or virgin plastic comprises the plastic component, while wood fiber pieces, wood chips, and sawdust can be used for the wood component. The composite deck material also differs from all-plastic decking material such as polyvinyl chloride, abbreviated as PVC.
Types of Composite DeckingThere are essentially two types of composite deck materials;
Uncapped CompositeThe uncapped composite material was most common till capped composite came around. Generally, it is made from a mixture of plastic and wood throughout, but it does not possess an outer PVC capping layer that has become commonplace nowadays. Without the added outer PVC layer, these composite decking materials, although superior to traditional wooden decking, remain susceptible to moisture and other environmental factors, which leave substantial space for improvement.
Capped CompositeLater, manufacturers started lacing composite decking with an outer PVC layer for added strength and durability. This is called capped composite decking material, and it is extremely resistant to any kind of damage. It is a significant improvement over uncapped composite material and provides homeowners with the perfect decking material. It is recommended that you opt for capped composite when shopping for your home’s outdoor space!
The Limitations of All-Wood and All-Plastic Deck MaterialBefore we begin listing some of the benefits of composite decking, it is wise to take a look at some of the limitations of traditional wood decking and PVC decking, which are as follows,
Disadvantages of Traditional Wood Decking
- All-wood decking has a shorter lifespan of approximately 15 years compared to its counterparts.
- All-wood deck material requires a lot of care. Excessive moisture can damage it.
- Moreover, it can crack and wear out as it ages over time, which can cause splinters if you walk around barefoot.
- It is prone to bug infestations such as termites or other insects.
- Finally, traditional wood decking costs almost the same as composite deck material, especially if you choose better-quality timber.
Disadvantages of PVC Decking
- Although there are many designs, PVC decking tends to have a low aesthetic appeal as compared to its counterparts. It can also appear very artificial to the eye.
- PVC can get scratched and stained easily compared to all-wood or composite deck material.
- It is not as strong as wood or composite deck material.
- Over time, PVC decking will fade and discolor.
- It has the characteristic of absorbing heat which can be a little troubling for an outdoor space, especially on sunny days.
- The cost of PVC is higher than composite decking.
Advantages of Composite Deck MaterialBeing made from a combination of wood and plastic gives composite deck material some unique advantages over traditional deck material and all-plastic deck material. Here is a list of five benefits that you should know;
⦁ Super-durableSince it is made up of a composite of multiple materials, composite decking is stronger than PVC and all-wood decking. It is exceptionally resistant to wear and tear and can last as long as 30 years.
⦁ Walk Barefoot without fear!Composite decking does not experience wear and tear like traditional wood decking. You can confidently walk around barefoot without worrying about getting a nasty splinter. Hence, it is safer for you, your children, and your pets.
⦁ Near-Zero MaintenanceComposite deck materials require very little maintenance as compared to their counterparts. A deck made of composite material will not rot or wear with time, nor will it fade or discolor. All you need to do is to wash it properly now and then to keep it looking its best.
⦁ Aesthetic AppealComposite deck material mimics traditional wood very well and allows you a wider choice of colors. Moreover, the color does not fade or discolor that easily over time. So, you can expect your deck to maintain its lovely attractive aesthetic appeal for a longer period, unlike traditional decks, which require repainting with time.
⦁ Bug-Free Outdoor Living!Composite decking does not attract insects, bugs, or termites. Even though it looks like natural wood, it does not attract bug infestation, which is a huge advantage. So that’s one more thing to be stress-free about.
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