Posted August 19, 2013 by Gabriel Posternak

Composite Decking 101

A deck makes a wonderful addition to any home. It provides outdoor space to entertain, lounge, and enjoy time with the family. Traditional lumber decks can be labor intensive, often requiring resealing, repainting, and extensive maintenance. The lumber industry is also one of the most destructive industries as it depletes our forests and contributes to global warming. Not to mention the fact that it requires vast resources to produce and transport lumber. Because of this, composite decking is a durable, low maintenance, and environmentally friendly alternative worth looking into.

What is Composite Decking?

A composite is a combination of substances. In the production of composite lumber and composite decking, traditional wood fiber is mixed with plastic and a binding material. The result is a product that looks and assembles just like a wooden beam, however it is much more durable and doesn’t require the annual maintenance a traditional lumber deck requires.

The Advantages of Composite Decking

Composite decking is less likely to split or peel apart like traditional lumber often does. It is also lighter weight so it’s easier to manage and your deck may be more supportive. Composite decking is also resistant to stains and scratching and it’s mold resistant, which makes it ideal for humid climates as well as dry climates.

Composite decking also comes finished from the manufacturer so there’s no need to stain, paint, or treat the wood. Composite wood also doesn’t fade, which means if your deck has consistent daylight, you won’t have to worry about the sun bleaching or drying out your deck.

You also don’t need to sand it or worry about splinters. Additionally, if you’re environmentally conscious, then look for a composite decking material that’s made from recycled plastic and waste wood. It’s an extremely functional way to eliminate waste and use resources in an environmentally conscious manner.

The only potential disadvantage to composite decking is that it costs more than traditional decking materials. However, this cost is balanced with the fact that you don’t have to sand, stain, or paint your deck. You’ll save time and money on those tasks and the life of a composite deck is much longer than traditional wood.

Types of Composite Decking

In addition to the decision to purchase composite decking made from recycled plastic you also have a few different types of decking to compare. When you begin your search you’ll quickly learn that there are solid core decking timbers, hollow decking, and wood decking that is coated with composite. The solid composite decking looks the most like natural lumber. As technology changes composite decking is moving away from wood fiber altogether, and it may soon be completely synthetic with the look of real wood.

So if you are looking to update your old decking or add one, composite decking is a smart choice for decking material. It’s easy to work with and low maintenance. Composite decking is also durable and it lasts much longer than traditional lumber.

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