What Is Composite Decking
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If you are considering garden decking, you may be considering what is composite decking? This article looks at the difference between decking and composite decking and the benefits of each option.
Composite decking is becoming more popular across the UK, but many people still don't know what it is. Is this something you should be investing in?
Read this article to see if composite decking is for you.
WHAT IS COMPOSITE DECKING MADE OF?
Composite decking differs from traditional decking because of its components.
A mixture of plastic, wood fibres, and bonding agents creates a highly reliable and durable material, ideal for deckings.
There are many benefits to this type of decking, and it can be just as customisable as traditional planking.
The manufacturing process is interesting, as the raw materials are heated and formed into the needed board shapes through a process called Co-Extrusion. This means that the process can be unique to you and your needs, ensuring that the board dimensions fit.
What is the difference between decking and composite decking?
Both types of decking offer you and your home benefits, and the decision is ultimately down to you. The factors you have to consider are:
The time you have to put into maintenance
The type of gatherings that will take place on the decking
The desired colour and style
If you're able to put proper care into timber decking, then you'll find yourself living with it for your entire lifetime. It can last as long as you're at that property.
However, if you don't care for it, timber decking is more likely to experience stains, moss, mould, and rot. Natural wood attracts stains more easily, and they will appear more visible.
Alternatively, composite decking boards won't have this problem due to the plastic composition and protective coating that can be installed.
The overall maintenance of composite decking will prove much easier, and you'll be spending less time caring for it. A level of care is still required, as you will get the best results with an occasional clean of the decking. Moss and fungi won't be affecting you as much, however.
It's worth noting the expected lifespan, too. Providing 20-30 years, this type of decking survives a lot longer than wood decking. It comes down to how you want to spend your time and money because composite decking will take less time from you every week.
Replacing damaged planks on a timber base can be easier, especially when cracks appear. Sanding down a timber decking is a common option, too, whereas this isn't possible with composite.
Is composite decking better than wooden decking?
Despite the fundamental composition differences, there are other benefits to composite decking.
It's worth considering if you're in the market for a new one.
Composite decking can cost more than wooden decking, but this is at the cost of more durability and an easier time maintaining it.
Hard protective shells can be applied to the composite planks, making them even more resistant and durable against the varying weather and elements.
As you have more people over and on the decking, there is more chance of spills, stains, and marks appearing. With composite decking, these worries can become a thing of the past.
The colour and style can be customised to match the look you want, but they will never perfectly resemble the look of timber. The environmental benefits are obvious when using a material that isn't solely wooden, as composite is a mixture of minerals. Some of these, such the plastic, can be made from recycled materials, meaning your decking can be more environmentally friendly.
Of course, wooden deckings are still popular and an entirely feasible option. They look natural, as they aren't man-made to pretend to be wooden. They can be cheaper to buy and install, but all of this comes at the cost of cleaning and maintaining them more often.
Benefits Of Composite Decking
However, there are more benefits to composite decking than it being easier to maintain and more economically friendly.
Longer Life Span
Wooden decking will last you anywhere between 7-15 years, whereas composite decking can last upward of 20-30 years. The plastic materials inside mean that the wooden look can be achieved and last a lot longer.
The colour can be determined before the planks arrive at your house, as they are manufactured to fit your requirements. This means you're spending less time painting the planks yourself in the summer heat.
No warping, splitting or cracking.
As wood ages, it can split and crack, causing concern for when you have guests, children, or pets on the decking. Although this can be replaced somewhat easily with wooden decking, wouldn't you rather eradicate the issue altogether? Composite decking won't crack or warp.
The protective coating that can be applied to composite decking can also provide anti-slip properties, meaning that you can have peace of mind in the colder months, especially if your area is prone to ice and snow.
Once again, as people begin to gather on your decking more often, wood can scratch and become dishevelled around the edges. Composite decking is scratch-resistant, making this a thing of the past.
There's nothing worse than your wooden decking becoming faded or discoloured thanks to the sun's rays, but composite decking won't have this problem. The co-extrusion process that the boards go through, combined with the quality capped protective coating, can give your composite decking more protection against UV rays.
Absorbing a staggeringly low 1% of water, composite decking will withstand the UK rain and weather a lot more than wooden will.
You can have more peace knowing that your composite decking will more than likely come with up to 20-25 years warranty, meaning that you're protected against any unforeseen damages and costs.
In a world where we care about the environment more than ever before, composite decking is made from up to 99% recycled materials, meaning that it's completely eco-friendly.
Can you power wash composite decking?
You shouldn't mistake a low-maintenance composite decking for something that requires no care at all because you will not make it to 10-15 years if you're not maintaining and cleaning it.
Although you'll be doing this less often than wooden decking, you need to be using a deep cleaner on the composite decking. Contrary to aesthetics, it is a porous composition, and you need to be cleaning deep into the material and beyond the surface level.
Any bleach-containing cleaner should not be used on your decking, as it will damage and discolour any form of decking you have down.
Pressure washing, or power washing, can be one of the quickest ways to clean a larger decking area. However, using the incorrect pressure or product can cause more damage than you realise. You don't want to begin to wear down and damage the plastic within the composition, as this can lead to scratches and expensive damage.
To avoid this, we recommend using a regular garden hose or the lowest pressure on the washer to ensure that no damage is caused.
If you have more questions, get in contact today, and we can advise you on the best course of action to take.
Are you looking for garden decking or composite decking near you? If you require garden decking in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire contact us today.
Our garden design experts can supply and install beautiful garden decking for you and your family to enjoy for years to come.