Often manufacturers add pigment and preservatives in this mixture, which are then baked into board shapes and cooled. Though the resulting composite deck weighs heavier than wood but is not so strong. However, it is rot-resistant and does not warp. Besides, it doesn’t even give splinters like wood. Therefore, composite decking does not require extra protection measures like sealing, painting, or staining.
Types of composite decking
Composite decking can be divided into the wood and non-wood composites. While some composites are made with a mixture of plastics, hardwood fragments, and other materials, the rest comprise vinyl and plastics.
- Polyethylene Composites – The materials used in these are oil-based and contain wood and plastic. These compress with seasonal changes and temperature fluctuations.
- Polypropylene Composites – These include a mixture of polypropylene and reclaimed hardwood lumber. These are fade-proof and hardier than polyethylene composites.
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Composites – Made from plastics, these composites never stain or imbibe water. These are not very hardy and are good for shorter spans.
- Hollow Composites- The materials used in these, damage easily but contract or expand less. Besides, these are lighter.
- Solid Composites – These are stronger and damage-resistant. However, these are not resistant to expansion and contraction.
Drawbacks and solutions
Though composite decks are much better than their traditional wooden counterparts, these too have a handful of drawbacks. These are as follows:
Composite decks tend to get heated up under the summer sun and this can cause cracks in them. For this reason, you should always buy decks that have been developed using pigments that protect the decks from heating up and go for the UV-protected decks which keep cool even during the hottest summers.
Besides, not all composite decks are made of the same kind of plants and this makes a lasting difference for different planks. Buy composite planks which offer the longest-lasting warranty like twenty years or so.
After the initial installation, composite decks may start fading in color. To maintain them, sweep them clean, remove stains if any and try to scrub with soap and hose it town two times a year.
The initial cost of installing composite decks is quick higher than installing wooden decks.