The Top 5 Questions Homeowners Have About Composite Decks

Posted on: 13 September 2022

Does your older home need a new deck? Before you invest in this exterior accent, take a look at what homeowners need to know about composite decks, material choices, aesthetics, and installation.  

What Is Composite Decking?

As the name implies, this type of deck product is a composite (or combination) of different materials. Most composite decking boards are made from wood/wood fibers and plastic. The manufacturer mixes these materials and shapes them into wood-like planks. Even though composite products are not 100 percent real wood, this type of decking has a similar exterior aesthetic. This means that your composite deck will look like traditional wood. 

Why Choose A Composite Material Over Wood?

If you're ready to upgrade your deck, a composite product comes with plenty of benefits for homeowners. These include low maintenance needs, durability, reduced insect/pest damage, and a long life span. Along with these benefits, composite products shouldn't splinter and are highly moisture-resistant. 

How Long Will A Composite Deck Last?

The answer to this question depends on the quality of the composite product, where you live (the local climate), and the installation. In general, composite decking lasts longer than real wood planks. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), traditional deck planks have an average life span of 15 years. In comparison, composite can last for up to 25 years.

Will You Need To Paint or Stain Composite Materials?

You can paint or stain most composite decking materials. But this type of regular maintenance isn't necessary. Wood deck planks require a stain or sealant to stop moisture-related rot and damage. Composite materials are highly moisture-resistant and won't absorb water. 

Even though you don't have to paint or stain a composite deck, some homeowners prefer to change the color of the decking materials. This is an aesthetic option that allows you to coordinate the deck with other exterior areas of the house. If you plan to paint or stain the deck, talk to the installation contractor about the planks and products to use. The wrong paint or stain could peel easily and may not protect the deck against UV light, mildew, or other environmental issues. 

Who Should Install This Type of Deck?

Custom composite decks require expert installation. If you know little to nothing about decks, deck materials, engineering, and installation, leave this job to a professional contractor. Failure to install these planks correctly could damage your home or create a serious safety hazard. Along with these issues, failure to choose a professional installation could void a manufacturer's warranty. 

Contact a local contractor to learn more about composite decks.