composite decking

Composite Decking 101

Composite decking has become an increasingly popular choice for homeowners looking to create a beautiful and durable outdoor living space. This comprehensive guide will cover the essential aspects of composite decking, including its composition, benefits, installation, and maintenance.

What is Composite?

  •    Composite decking is a man-made building material that consists of a blend of wood fibers, plastic (usually polyethylene or polypropylene), and binding agents.
  •    The wood fibers and plastic are combined through a process called extrusion, which creates a dense, strong, and uniform material.
  •     Composite decking is designed to mimic the look and feel of natural wood while offering superior durability and low maintenance requirements.

Benefits of Composite Decking:

   Low Maintenance: Composite decking requires minimal upkeep compared to traditional wood decking. It doesn’t need to be stained, sealed, or painted and is resistant to rot, decay, and insect damage.

   Durability: Composite decking is engineered to withstand harsh weather conditions, including UV exposure, moisture, and extreme temperatures. It is less prone to warping, splitting, or splintering compared to wood.

   Aesthetics: Composite decking comes in a wide range of colors, textures, and grain patterns that closely resemble natural wood. The color is consistent throughout the material, ensuring a uniform appearance over time.

   Eco-Friendly: Many composite decking products are made from recycled materials, such as reclaimed wood fibers and recycled plastic bags, making them an environmentally friendly choice.

   Barefoot Friendly: Some composite decking products, especially those with lighter colors and reflective properties, maintain a cooler surface temperature, making them comfortable for bare feet.

Types of Composite Decking:

   Capped Composites: These decking boards have a protective polymer cap that encases the core material, providing enhanced resistance against fading, staining, and scratching.

   Uncapped Composites: These decking boards do not have a protective cap and are more susceptible to fading and staining over time. However, they are often more affordable than capped composites.

 Hollow vs. Solid Core: Composite decking can have either a hollow or solid core. Hollow core boards are lighter and more cost-effective, while solid core boards offer better strength and a more natural feel underfoot.

Installation of Composite Decking:

  •    Composite decking is installed using similar techniques to traditional wood decking. The boards are typically fastened to a pressure-treated wood substructure using hidden fasteners or surface screws.
  •    Many composite decking manufacturers offer color-matched fasteners and accessories to ensure a seamless and professional-looking installation.

Maintenance of Composite Decking:

  •    While composite decking requires minimal maintenance, it is not entirely maintenance-free. Regular cleaning is necessary to keep the deck looking its best.
  •    Sweep the deck regularly to remove dirt, debris, and leaves. Use a soft-bristled brush or a composite deck cleaner to remove stubborn stains or mildew.
  •    Avoid using harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaners as they can damage the surface of the decking.
  •     Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and maintaining your specific composite decking product.

Composite decking offers a low-maintenance, durable, and attractive alternative to traditional wood decking. By understanding the composition, benefits, installation, and maintenance requirements of composite decking, homeowners can make an informed decision when selecting the best decking material for their outdoor living space. With proper care and attention, a composite deck can provide years of enjoyment and beauty for you and your family.

Trust the Experts in Composite Deck Installation

Whether you’re just beginning to explore your options or are ready to start building, Decked Out Builders is here to be your trusted deck-building partner. Our team of skilled professionals has decades of experience as premier composite deck builders in Illinois and Wisconsin. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about composite decking materials and can help you schedule a design consultation when you’re ready to move forward.

In addition to custom composite decks, we offer a range of other outdoor living services, including porches, patios, pergolas, outdoor kitchens, and more. Browse our portfolio of showpiece custom decks and request your free quote today to start turning your outdoor living dreams into reality.