Decking Designs – The Hidden Horrors of Composite Decking

Before you embark on your decking design adventure, there is always the question of which decking material you want your deck designs to be. Decking design materials are usually made out of wood or composites. We have all seen the beautiful houses which contain wooden decks extending from its interior. However, we do know that these things rot, and are usually known to be high maintenance or insect prone and always needs refurbishing every year. Not a good thing for your budget you say. Thus, you decide to pick composite decking as part of your decking designs, but wait – is this really the right option for you?

Before we start, let me define what really is this term ‘composite decking’. It really is a mixture of 2 materials, typically wood pulp, and recycled material such as plastic bottles or plastic bags of polypropylene. Proponents of composites claim that this is a very environmentally friendly product as less trees are being chopped down to make way for your beautiful new wooden deck. However this notion is all wrong. Although composites are not as high maintenance as the typical wooden decking, cleaning these decks requires a lot of harmful chemicals and would actually strip off the composite finish to get rid of mold. Not a very environmentally friendly way especially if it gets into your garden, is it? In some cases, physical scrubbing may even be needed to remove that stubborn black mold sitting in the middle of your deck.

Furthermore, these materials are always subject to mechanical wear and tear and the usual fading in design. While conventional wood decks can be refurbished every 5 years, your deck cannot be refurbished and has to be replaced. Plus, the limited lifetime warranty of most decking companies do not cover common damage such as mechanical tear, mold growth and fading, and even if you have a legitimate claim, sometimes, labor and disposal is not covered as well. Make sure you check the warranty thoroughly before you decide to purchase composite decks for your home.

Sometimes, if the composites contain wood pulp, this will present another problem. Wood pulp used in these decks are usually leftovers from the paper industry. Thus, the wood present in your deck will start molding in the right conditions and unlike conventional wooden decks, the mold is not easily removed using the acidic cleaners which I have mentioned above. So much for all the claims of “low maintenance” by the companies, right? Okay, so if wood is really not a good option, then maybe vinyl composites are good. Virgin Vinyl is an example of a company dealing with composite decking designs. So far vinyl composites are still doing well, though, ultraviolet rays from the sun would cause some damage to them as they break down the main component in vinyl composites — PVC.

Thus, with all these problems of composite decking designs it is no wonder why the best option for most of us is to stick to the conventional wood. After all, wooden decks exudes that inherent beauty and formality of a home. For now, the technology of composite decking designs is still in its infancy and the good quality ones are still out of the budget of most homeowners nowadays.


Post time: 03-06-2017