Exploring the Pros and Cons of Composite Decking

Pros and Cons of Composite Decking
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Pros and Cons of Composite Decking

Selecting the ideal deck material is an important decision that can have lasting ramifications on your lifestyle, cost and longevity of the deck as well as aesthetic.

Understanding your priorities and the different options available is key in selecting a suitable option. For instance, do you prefer natural wood over composite? If that is the case for you then composite may not be appropriate for you.


A deck constructed from composite wood can add significant value to your home, but its benefits do not necessarily correlate with its cost. For instance, though a composite-made deck may cost more upfront, its low maintenance requirements could offset any initial investments made.

Composite wood, made of recycled plastic and sawdust, is better for the environment than natural wood. Additionally, it uses less resources, eliminating tree harvesting as lumber production and harmful chemical use while providing a longer deck lifespan.

The cost of composite decking varies greatly depending on the brand and style you select. You can save money by comparison shopping; some manufacturers provide discounts or bulk purchasing options that can bring down overall costs. You could also lower installation expenses by opting for simpler designs with hidden fasteners; this will eliminate screws and nails altogether, saving both time and money!

Composite decks can last for over 25 years with minimal upkeep requirements, more than double that of traditional wooden ones. Though initial investments may be higher, many homeowners consider the extra expense worthwhile.


Composite decking offers an easy maintenance alternative to natural wood decks, requiring only periodic soap and water washing to keep it looking like new. Resistant to rotting, splintering and insect damage, composite can last 2-3 times longer when maintained correctly than pressure-treated pine. This can mean significant savings both time and money as opposed to natural wood decks that must be sanded and stained every couple of years for upkeep.

Though composite decks offer many benefits, there may be concerns that it can get too hot in direct sunlight and become slippery when wet surfaces occur. Before purchasing one of these options, be sure to explore all available choices to find one best suited for you and your lifestyle needs.

Many manufacturers provide warranties on composite decking to safeguard your investment and ensure its structural integrity and fade and stain resistance. Higher-end “capped” composites feature a plastic shell that protects color pigments against fading and scratching, making them more resilient than uncapped products.

If you decide to invest in a composite deck, select one with hidden fasteners for easier installation and a cleaner aesthetic. These fasteners connect directly to joists without the need to drill into deck boards – saving both time and money during installation!


As part of any proper cleaning regimen, it’s also essential to use the appropriate tools and equipment. Harsh chemicals, abrasive cleaners, high-pressure power washers or any other device may damage composite decking’s protective coating; when choosing soft-bristled scrub brushes approved by manufacturers should be chosen instead; plastic shovels with metal cutting edges could further erode surfaces; snow removal should use de-icing products rather than harsh chemicals;

Though most composites are moisture resistant, water can still cause warping depending on the type of composite used; depending on its design this could either be an isolated incident or require immediate attention from maintenance personnel. Mineral-based composites usually present less warping risk than their wood-based counterparts.

Composite decking can become stained from mildew and mold growth. Regular cleaning with mild soap helps protect the decking against this threat while removing existing stains, such as spills. Spills should be immediately blotted up to reduce permanent staining. Rust, grease, or oil stains may also occur; uncapped products typically stand up better against these substances; nonetheless, periodic cleaning helps minimize color loss over time. Finally, composite decks can still become hot when exposed to direct sunlight and are susceptible to scratches and gouges like any exterior surface would.


Composite decking resembles real wood in all but its susceptibility to fading over time, and can even be stained and painted just like real wood decks are. You have many choices when it comes to staining or painting this material; staining or painting will provide different looks; however some manufacturers make boards with natural surface patterns for an authentic appearance; it can even be bent using heating tools into curved sections, and some composites even come equipped with hidden fasteners that create an uncluttered appearance.

Composite decks are composed of recycled materials that don’t contribute to deforestation or other environmental concerns associated with virgin timbers, making them much more eco-friendly than their wood counterparts. Some manufacturers take steps to mitigate their environmental footprint and help homeowners feel good about purchasing such decks.

Mold and mildew may form on uncapped composite decks if left to accumulate unchecked in humid environments; these problems tend to be unsightly rather than harmful, while most capped composite decks won’t stain or discolor, and require less maintenance than wood decks.

The best brands of composites use high-grade pigments and bonding agents to achieve lifelike color blending and grain patterns while offering a range of sizes and colors – even specialty options like curved railings. Most companies take environmental responsibility seriously and work towards minimizing their carbon footprint – for instance Trex saves over one billion pounds annually by diverting plastic film and wood from landfills!

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