Is Low-Maintenance And Environmentally-Friendly Composite Decking The Best Choice For Your New Deck?

Posted on: 16 February 2018


Made of a blend of plastic and wood fibers, composite decking is an environmentally friendly alternative to wooden decking. It requires less upkeep than wooden decks and is less susceptible to rot. While the initial cost of composite decking is higher, you'll save time and money without the need for annual cleaning and sealing. If you're thinking of installing a deck or upgrading an old wooden deck, here are some reasons to consider composite decking as a material for your project.

Environmentally Friendly

Composite decking gets its name from the fact that it's made of a mixture of wood fiber and plastic. Manufacturers make composite decking out of recycled plastic and wood shavings from sawmills and furniture factories. This means that your beautiful deck is made of a material that would have otherwise ended up in landfills, making composite decking a very environmentally-conscious choice.

Requires No Intensive Cleaning or Staining

Wood decks need to be cleaned with bleach and mold removers yearly, followed by staining the entire deck afterward. If you don't the wood in your deck will eventually turn gray due to discoloration caused by sunlight. Not only is this labor-intensive, the cost of wood cleaning and staining products will add up over time.

On the other hand, composite decking never needs to be intensively cleaned or stained. Ultraviolet inhibitors mixed into the composite boards prevent discoloration due to sunlight. The only maintenance composite decking requires is cleaning with soap and water.

Resists Structural Damage to Your Deck Caused by Rot

The fungus that causes wood to rot can grow readily on wooden decks – the area under deck stairs and on top of the joists supporting the deck are moist and dark, providing a perfect place for fungus to grow. Maintaining the structure of a wood deck requires using fungicidal cleaners to destroy fungus before it can begin to destroy your deck.

The plastic used in the manufacture of composite decking makes it very resistant to rot. The fungus that causes rot feeds and grows exclusively on wood. The presence of plastic greatly inhibits the growth of fungus and prevents composite boards from rotting.

Available in Styles That Look Like Natural Wood

When composite decking was first released on the market, it was only available in boards with a gray and slightly mottled appearance. Modern composite decking manufacturing techniques have advanced greatly since that time – it's now possible to purchase composite decking that matches the appearance of any type of wood you desire. Railings and balusters made of composite materials are also available in the same styles, allowing you to match the boards of your deck with the railings. The number of choices on the market allows you to select a composite deck style and color that matches the exterior of your home and blends in with the natural landscape. 

When installing your deck, it's a good idea to hire a deck builder specializing in composite decking. While it's possible to build a composite deck yourself, each manufacturer uses a proprietary interlocking mechanism for the boards and railings. This can make it difficult for a homeowner to navigate the purchase and installation of composite decking on his or her own – hiring a professional will help you minimize wasted materials and ensure that your composite deck is structurally sound. To learn more, contact a company like Decks & Beyond.