Composite decking is a great alternative to natural hardwood. It is made from recycled wood fibers and plastic.
Composite decking has several advantages over wood such a longer lifespan, durability and offers more variety.
Despite the numerous advantages, using composite decking can still be disadvantageous over wood in some cases. Some of the disadvantages of composite decking include:
It is Expensive
Composite decking can be as high as 50% more expensive than natural wood. The difference in price can be exacerbated for cheaper varieties of wood like cedar.
The high initial cost of using composite decking in construction is usually counterbalanced by the low maintenance fees during its lifespan. However, the initial capital outlay may be a huge hurdle for most to overcome.
More Weight Less Strength
Composite decking weighs significantly more than your normal pressure treated wood. Because of the material’s weight you need a stronger frame when using composite decking for construction.
In spite of the additional weight, composite decking is not as strong as natural hardwood. Therefore, you need to take extra measures to ensure you support the installation of your boards so that it serves your needs.
Melts Under Heat
Since composite decking is made from recycled wood and plastic, if it is too hot, your boards may begin to melt. This characteristic of composite decking makes certain activities such as grilling impossible to do on your boards.
Composite decking boards also force you to think about how they will be affected during the hottest days of summer. You will also think about other things such as the placement of windows so that sun rays are not focused on the boards and melt them.
When the boards are under significant heat, the fasteners holding the boards together may come loose and become a safety hazard.
Difficult to Fasten
Composite decking boards are usually held together by hidden fasteners. Even though they are more durable than normal wood, you will need to occasionally replace a board or two.
In such a situation, you will have to remove several boards to loosen the hidden fastener and replace one board. It is not only time consuming to do so but also leads to using fasteners that ruin the look of the boards.
Different types of Warranties
Due to the different types of grades and varieties of composite decking boards, manufactures will offer different warranties. Although most manufacturers will offer warranties lasting 25 years long, you will find those with much shorter warranties.
When choosing a warranty for your composite decking boards, you should choose one with stain and fade warranties. If you do not find such a warranty, the longevity of the boards will be in question.
Despite the durability of composite decking, it is still not free from rotting. When composite decking first emerged, it was though and advertised that they were completely resistant to rot.
However, research has proved that they can rot but you can use preservatives to maintain their integrity and extend their lifespan. When composite decking begins to rot, it can be a major safety hazard. Getting information from experts such as Deckorum will go a long way to help you decide on the right composite decking for you.