Any man-made substance made out of a combination of wood fibers, polymers, binders, and adhesives is known as composite timber. Although composite timber is widely used in construction (e.g., plywood). Capped composite lumber for decking didn’t hit the market until the 1990s. Composite decking has grown in popularity as a wood replacement over the last few decades. Many new decks are composed of Komposittrall rather than wood, since manufacturers have convinced homeowners that their products are superior to real wood.
Composite decking has several benefits. It also has a number of drawbacks that the average homeowner may not be aware of. Many homeowners have discovered the hard way that composite decking isn’t perfect. And that it may be a frustrating and costly error. Here are five major issues with composites that you should be aware of before spending thousands of dollars on a new deck or patio.
Composite Decking Issues
Mold isn’t stopped by moisture resistance.
Composite decking is frequently advertised as being as near to watertight as possible. While more modern composites are extremely resistant to water, mold can still form. The roughness of the boards’ surface, as well as the roughness of the uncapped ends, can easily trap water within its grooves. Because the water does not penetrate entirely, it remains stagnant, allowing mold to form. Despite the notion that composite decking is “low maintenance,” homeowners in humid or rainy places may find themselves cleaning their decks on a regular basis to avoid mildew, fungus, algae, or moss.
Warping and thinning are prevalent.
Another misconception about composite is that it will not swell if it comes into touch with water. It’s worth noting that composite decking kompositplank are more prone to shifting. Swelling, shifting, warping, and shrinking of composite decking boards are common concerns from homeowners. The specific cause is unknown, although it’s thought that the composite composition of the decking makes it more vulnerable to temperature and humidity fluctuations, as well as sun exposure. In this sense, even within the same deck, composite decking may be somewhat unexpected.
Color fading and staining cause annoyance.
The variety of colors available in composite decking is a major selling point. Homeowners assume their new deck will look the same for the rest of its life since it is promoted as low-maintenance and does not require surface treatments. Composite decking, on the other hand, is prone to fading, especially when exposed to the weather and the sun. Many composite decking materials are very easy to stain. Stains can be caused by anything from the tannins of a few fallen leaves on the surface to a dropped glass of wine or a smear of ketchup.
Painting over the stains is the only way to remove them. For this reason, several composite producers provide matching paint. This is a huge letdown because the great majority of composite deck owners choose this material because it does not need to be repainted or resealed. There is, however, a technique to avoid this from happening. This may be accomplished by using a composite deck sealer, which will help protect the color of your deck.
Surfaces that are easily scratched cannot be repaired.
Composite decking often contains more plastic than wood fibers, resulting in a rather soft surface. When compared to previous wood decks, homeowners soon realize that their new deck scratches readily. Patio furniture, BBQ grills, children’s toys, and even the claws of the family dog may all gouge composite decking. Worse, scratches and gouges on composite decking can’t be repaired unless the board is totally replaced. It is possible to sand down a scratched wood deck. With composite, this is not an option.
The features of composite limit its usability.
Other characteristics of composite decking restrict its application. There is no way to avoid these characteristics because they are natural. The slickness of composite decking when wet is one example. The reason for this is because plastic is an oil-based material, thus water sits on its surface instead of absorbing like wood. Despite its roughness, composite provides little stable footing around pools or swimming docks.Another characteristic that can cause issues is the ability to retain heat and the sensation of being hot on bare feet. Composite decking is also not as strong as solid wood, as proven by the fact that the deck’s structure requires smaller joist spacing. While a hardwood deck can be built with a variety of materials.
Stick with actual wood instead of composite.
Pressure-treated (PT) timber was composite decking’s major opponent in the early years. Composite decking has a number of benefits than PT wood. PT wood, for example, requires staining and/or resealing every several years, whereas composite does not. It’s crucial to realize, though, that just because a composite is better than PT wood doesn’t imply it’s better than all woods. Modified wood is a true wood product with significantly more benefits than composites while maintaining the attractive appearance of natural wood. It requires no surface treatments and simply basic cleaning, similar to composite. Modified wood is also non-toxic to both people and the environment.
Modified wood is more durable and adaptable than composite, as well as being stronger and longer lasting. Poolside decking, piers, and docks made of modified wood may be utilized in any area or climate, as well as alongside water. Insects, rats, and other wildlife will avoid your renovated wood deck as well. Last but not least, modified wood matures gracefully (even turning silvery grey) and splinters infrequently.