How is Composite Decking made?
Usually, decking boards of composite decks are made up of wood and plastic. The wood particles used may vary from sawdust, wood chips, and wood fiber pieces. Use of recycled and reused materials during its manufacturing process makes it a more environment-friendly product for deck re-building or installation.
There are two main procedures for creating composite decking. Extrusion, being the first of them, is as a forming process. In this process, the crude materials are mixed and processed through an opening. It helps the manufacturers bring out the product that has a consistent shape and size. The opening, in this process, refers to the size and shape of decking board. Hence, the process will solidify the shape and give it the desired size.
The second method is called Compression Molding. In this technique of manufacturing composite deck, a mixture of molten materials is placed on a wood grain mold. Then, to create a physical bond, the molten materials are compressed under extreme heat and pressure. The entire process makes the composite decking board heavier than traditional wooden boards.
Advantages of Composite Decking
Being eco-friendly is a major plus point of this product, used for deck building. Some other benefits of composite decking which makes it the best decking material are briefly discussed below.
- Reduced maintenance
Composite Decking (composed of wood and plastic) is designed to look beautiful and last for years and years. You can totally forget about staining and bleaching the surface every other year when you get composite deck installed to match your perfect home.
These decks are resistant to extreme weather, warping, and bugs. Thus, you won’t find it necessary to replace rotting, uneven or termites-affected boards. Using composite decking can save you a lot of effort and money, in the long run.
In comparison to many traditional wood decks, composite decks are fragmentation-free and slip-resistant. These traits of this deck system will make your home a little safer for bare feet, small children, and your beloved pets.
Traditional decks, made just of woods are surely beautiful but certainly not for long. Wet spring, hot summers, and chilly winter murder the elegance of the wooden deck. Change in weather leave those wood made decks faded, splintered and warped.
As discussed previously, blended (mixture of plastic and woods) decks are made in such a way that it results in low maintenance decking performance, with warranties you can count on.
- Increment in home value
Wood-composite decks not only add value to your lifestyle, they even add value to your home. With a composite deck project, homeowners can recover much of their spending when selling their home.
- Color and Accessory Selection
Manufacturers of composite decking boards offer a variety of color choices. Many of those colors even emulate the look of antique exotic hardwood. Moreover, you can also find several deck accessories ranging from handrails, railings and gates to deck lighting, all manufactured to complete your outdoor living space, and enhance the beauty plus safety of the deck.
- Long term cost
You may get shocked, but YES, pressure-treated decking system can be more expensive than compound decking, in the long run.
The expense of having a wooden deck is pretty less in the beginning, but including the cost of cleaning and fixing after every few years; the ultimate price becomes too high. With a wood-plastic composite deck, on the other hand, though it’s pretty costly initially, it’s a onetime investment and you’ll save a lot of money, in the long run.
- High recycled content
Every 10 square feet of this board contains nearly 3000 recycled plastic shopping bags and 1100 one-gallon milk jugs.
Drawbacks of Blended Decking
As told earlier, it is the best alternative for deck building in the world of home exteriors. That makes it one of the costliest decking materials among all other options. It has few other drawbacks too. Let’s find out.
Composite Decking is a blend of wood and plastic. It surely reduces the chance of deck rotting and extends its life. But, that doesn’t mean that the material is indestructible.
The outer surface of the deck can easily be scratched, even by the nails of your pets and UNFORTUNATELY, composite decking can’t be resurfaced. You may use heat guns and wire brushes to remove the scratches, but I wouldn’t recommend this. You are more likely to (further) damage the material and cause uneven and melted areas.
Effects of mold are one of the most common complaints about composite decking. Decking that are placed in the shaded area tend to get wet frequently, are more vulnerable to grow molds and stain the deck.
Complex decking like this requires special cleaning chemicals to kill the mold which in turn will leave the board more penetrable and susceptible to more mold growth.
- Color Fade
Many composite decking companies elaborate decks of different colors and looks, but none of these will remain the same after several years. The color fades from contact with sunlight.
You can re-stain wood once the color starts to fade, but restoration of composite decking sounds impractical.
- Hot Surface
Complaints regarding composite decking being very hot in direct sunlight top the list of its drawbacks. Surfaces exposed to sunlight may be more than warm to walk on with bare feet.
- Doesn’t really look like wood
Some deck boards do a better job in imitating wooden decks, but a closer look or touch is enough to find the difference.
Hope, the writing will help you rebuild/install a composite decking. Comment below if you really find it useful. And yeah, don’t forget to SHARE. Be sociable.