Composite wood decking is a relatively recent technology which combines recycled materials with plastics to form a durable, more resilient decking surface. Many consider composite wood decks to be superior to traditional wood, but the jury is still out on that one.
Anyone homeowner who has ever had wood decking can tell you just how much maintenance it can require. Incessantly having to paint and waterproof a wooden deck can get real old, to say nothing of the fact that wood can grow to be warped over time and require replacing. The makers of composite wood decking declare that you no longer have to go through all this work to make your deck looking nice.
Composite wood decking is made from recycled materials, like wood and sawdust, and is amalgamated with different types of plastic, such as polyethylene or PVC. The result is a new form of decking that is resistant to insects and rotting. Composite wood decking never needs to be sanded, stained, or waterproofed, and the best part is that most composite wood decking companies offer long term warranties, some up to ten years.
No longer do you have to spend money on paint and other materials to make your decking look presentable. Composite wood decking offers the aesthetically pleasing benefit of decking without the necessity of costly and timely maintenance.
Work in Progress
It should be realized that even the manufacturers of composite wood decks say that their product is not yet perfect. The biggest concern with composite wood decking seems to be that they are susceptible to staining. For this reason, most composite wood decks come with detailed cleaning instructions.
Additionally, it is common for decks to fade over a long period of time. That is why most composite wood decking manufacturers do not offer their decking in deep colors.
The reasons for these flaws seem to be caused by tannic acid found in the recycled materials. Some woods contain a lot of tannic acid, while others do not contain as much. For this reason, most composite wood decking manufacturers are tweaking the ingredients and chemicals they use to make their products. They hope that, with time and experimentation, they can alleviate some of these flaws and make a product that is better than traditional wood for all your decking needs.
There are also mold problems to contend with if your deck is exposed to high moisture or humidity levels.
It should be noted that composite wood is not as strong as traditional wood. That is why composite wood decks are still dependent on wood to keep it structurally sound. Composite wood can sag or droop without the use of wood to hold it up.
Composite wood decks are a fantastic alternative to conventional wooden decks, however, they still has their issues. But if you want a deck that you do not have to spend a lot of time and energy maintaining it, then composite wood decking is for you.