Composite Decking – What Is It?
Composite decking is a man-made building product made up of a mix of wood fibers, plastics and a small amount of bonding agents. These materials are heated, extruded into decking boards and then cooled and formed.
Trex, a leader in composite decking reports that much of the waste plastic it uses to make its boards comes from approximately 1.5 billion plastic shopping bags that they use every year. They combine this material with other plastic waste and wood waste and a bonding agent to make their boards. In terms of the wood, Trex uses old wooden pallets and mill waste and never any virgin wood cut from forests.
The resulting boards need far less maintenance than traditional wood decking while looking and feeling more natural than other plastic or aluminum decking materials.
The Drawbacks of a Wood Deck
Although wood has historically been the traditional material for making decks, composites have become the preferred materials for many consumers. It is true that wood is a less expensive material initially but there are some major disadvantages to it. Wood decking requires annual maintenance to prevent fading, discoloration, and rot. Compared to composite alternatives, wood decks require greater attention and care from homeowners, including sealing and staining every few years to protect the deck from moisture damage and help maintain its appearance.
Natural wood may need to be re-stained as frequently as every two years and resealed as frequently as once a year. Splinters from wood decks are another minor inconvenience presented by these materials as well as the possibility of insect infestation.
The Benefits of Composite Decking?
One of the major benefits of composite versus wood decking is that it needs much less maintenance. The plastic content of the material means that the boards are more durable and resistant to damp, rot, and insect infestation. Composite boards never need to be stained, sealed, or painted and even in direct sunlight they won’t warp or crack. They are splinter free and, if they are one of the styles that feature plastic capping, composite decking boards become stain and fade resistant.
Composite boards experience minimal levels of water absorption which means they are highly slip resistant and can be used around pools and wet areas. Furthermore, due to their greater durability, composite decking has a much longer lifespan than wood.
Although they might initially be slightly more costly, composite decking continues to look great year after year and has virtually no upkeep costs. In short, composite decking needs far less maintenance than traditional wood decking which means you can spend less time on upkeep and more time enjoying your deck.
In short, composite decks from Zenna Decks have the following advantages:
They are beautiful
- Are long lasting
- Require less maintenance than wood decks
- Do not need to be stained or painted
- Utilize recycled materials
- Are durable
- Won’t rot
- Add value to your home
Composite decking has other advantages. For instance, some planks are flexible enough to be heated and shaped, allowing for rounded corners to create railings and borders for kidney-shaped pools, which would be expensive to duplicate in solid wood.
For years now, composite deck materials have come in many colors but recently the range of textures and patterns available for composite decks have expanded considerably and span the range from smooth, almost varnished surfaces to straight and circular grains, with the feel becoming more like real wood underfoot.
If you would like to talk about composite decking for your deck project, please call us today at: 609-332-5685 to set up a fee, no obligation consultation. Our team is here to help you create the deck of your dreams.