Thursday, May 5, 2016

Why is composite decking suitable for practically any outdoor space?

This article is provided by  Nina Robinson.

Decking is able to provide any outdoor space with a unique personality and visual appeal. In the past, woods such as oak or cedar were quite popular. While there is no doubt that such materials came in handy, there were also some downsides involved with their outdoor use. Modern technology has now enabled composite substances such as polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) to be worthwhile alternatives. Let us take a look at some of the primary advantages that these composites area able to offer any outdoor area.

Mould and Mildew Issues

By its very nature, wood is a porous material. This is even the case when sealants, stains and lacquers are applied as top coats. This porosity causes the wood to absorb water. In turn, bacteria and mold can grow within the grains. This will often lead to discoloration and dark spots. It is also important to note that these organisms tend to shorten the lifespan of the deck itself. Composite decking is much less porous. It is therefore virtually free from these concerns. This enables these materials to be ideally suited for warm and moist environments. 

Thermal Characteristics

Wood is known to contract and expand as temperatures vary. In fact, this is the very same reason that cedar shakes and shingles tend to show gaps between their edges over time. This presented a problem with decking. Thermal expansion and contraction could cause nails to loosen and boards to become dislodged from their initial positions. Composite materials are much less susceptible to this phenomenon. Even when they do sightly shift, they tend to do so in only one location as opposed to across the course of an entire deck. So, even the hottest or coldest of temperature variations will have little effect upon the surface as a whole.


We should first make it a point to note that no deck is completely free from all maintenance needs. Instead, the types and frequency of maintenance tasks will vary between materials. Due to the aforementioned instances of mold and bacteria, wood needs to be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis; sometimes up to six times per year. Nails may have to be replaced or fascia could require regular treatments with stain-fighting surface coats. In reference to composite materials, very little maintenance is required. An occasional rinse with high-pressure water will normally take care of any issues. This is an ideal benefit for those who may not have the time or ability to clean a deck on a somewhat regular basis.

Cracking and Splintering

Cracks and splinters are always a concern. These can be particularly worrying for those who have small children or pets. Naturally, wood will splinter and warp over time. Composite decks will not splinter, crack or otherwise suffer such minor forms of damage. This can provide an added peace of mind when walking or running on surfaces with bare feet.

Different Finishes

A final benefit associated with composite decking is that it is available in a wide range of styles, colors and finishes. This enables it to be suited for nearly any outdoor environment imaginable. From traditional wood grain patterns to non-slip textures intended for use within a marina, the options are as endless as the variants themselves, with some great quality products from companies such as TimberTech

So, it should now be clear to appreciate why composite decking has become an extremely popular choice for many outdoor requirements. As these materials also come with extended warranties, customers will be financially protected for years into the future. There is simply no better option in terms of styles, sizes, colors, finishes and levels of durability.

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