Wood is a very absorbent material, and this can cause problems for a hardwood deck over time. Uncapped decking is the more cost-effective choice, but it is also more vulnerable to staining and mold growth if not carefully maintained. Decks are amazing, and many people want one on their house. Does a Privacy Fence Add Value to Your Home? Both composite and PVC decking materials can be either capped or uncapped. Composite decking is made up of a blend of wood particles and plastic materials to form a deck board, then some are capped with a synthetic material to help keep moisture out. There were many initial start-up companies that did not survive the cut. Another characteristic that can cause problems includes retaining heat and feeling hot to bare feet. These are incredibly common problems with decking. Composite decking, which is made from thermoplastic resins and wood, doesn’t invite fungi, since it can’t eat plastic. All it needs is oxygen, to have a moisture content above 28%, and to be in the right temperature range (which is wide, from 4 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius), and fungi will start making a meal of your deck. Staining Problems With Trex Decking. Fortunately, capped composite decking resists warping and rotting as the capping keeps it from moving and the resin repels water. plywood), but capped composite lumbers designed for decking didn’t really come onto the market until the ’90s. Despite composite being “low care”, homeowners living in humid/wet regions might find them having to clean their decks excessively to control mold, fungus, algae, or moss growth. While capped halfway decking has better resistance to stains, scratches and the sun, it has other problems. The cause of this isn’t exactly clear, but it’s suggested that the composite nature of the decking leads it to be much more sensitive to … Contact us to kick things off. This will be more fun than you think! Composite decking is typically made of more plastic than wood fibers, leaving the surface fairly soft. New model Trex decking with capped design don’t have staining problems like the older products do according to Trex. Nooks and crannies on wooden decks can hide rot until it is too late. Composite Decking Problems for the Boardwalk Ipe boardwalk at Disney World. Ultradeck composite material is equipped with Anti-UV inhibitors to combat fading in sunlight. Builders and homeowners share common concerns about composite decking. Carpenter ants, on the other hand, won’t eat wood. Insects, rodents, and other wildlife will also not be attracted to your modified wood deck. You might go for a sun shade as a bit of added protection, but it can’t cover everything all the time. If you have any questions about capped composite decking, please contact us. Uncapped composite decking is porous and can be stained. Luckily, composite decking tends to be far ... water-resistant solution for your hot tub surround or poolside area, capped composite decking from TimberTech is the ultimate solution that won't leave your deck in hot water. Coupled with being sold as low-maintenance and not needing surface treatments leads homeowners to believe their new deck will look the same for its entire lifespan. Despite composite having texture, it does little to provide solid footing around pools or swimming docks. You will also have to be very quick to replace anything that is rotting so that you don’t provide a meal for the bugs. I’ll be honest, when I started outlining this article I came up with 20 points within 10 minutes. The sun is not the friend of wood or uncapped composite decking. DuraLife Decking Capped Composite Decking DuraLife decking is designed to stand up to the harshest weather conditions. Capping the top half of the board does provide higher stain, scratch, and UV resistance, however, the underside and grooves of the board are exposed to the elements and that creates dry and wet effect on the top and bottom. Since these are natural attributes, there really is no way to avoid them. Many composite decking materials also stain easily. If you get wood for your decking, you will have to keep the bugs in mind. This movement causes boards to bend out of position, slowly working free of nails and other boards. The main competitor to composite decking in the early years was pressure-treated (PT) lumber. That means, when you choose TimberTech® capped composite or capped polymer decking, you save on long-term costs, time, and stress. A deck may get more use in the summer and spring than the fall, but unless your backyard is off-limits during the winter, ice can be an issue. Capped composite decking has come a long way from earlier, uncapped options. For example, PT wood must be restained and/or resealed every few years while composite does not. Your email address will not be published. To make sure that there's enough room between the boards to allow for the small amount of expansion and contraction that can occur on particularly hot or cold days, you should: If your wood deck got scratched, it can be sanded down. Anything from the tannins of a few fallen leaves on the surface to an additionally spilled glass of wine or splotch of ketchup can leave stains. Composite deck boards contain porous wood fibers that absorb moisture, fade, stain, swell and feed bacteria. Wood-Alternative Decking, Man-made Decking, or Synthetic Decking, like PVC Decking or Capped Composite Decking has become quite popular due to longevity, maintenance, and increasing lumber costs. Both offer limited warranties that cover material defects, splinters and rot on all of their capped decking as well. Filed Under: Blog Tagged With: Capped Composite Decking, Composite Decking, Deck, Deck Materials, Decking Systems, Wooden Decks. The newer technologies come in a multitude of colors, grain patterns and thicknesses. When you make the plans for your deck, you will want to take into consideration how much time and effort you are willing to invest in maintaining the appearance and structural integrity of your deck. Even if you stave off the rot, there is the problem of warping. The sun is not the friend of wood or uncapped composite decking. Even pressure treated wood absorbs water and expands. No, they will just cut out galleries in the rotten wood, leaving sawdust and destroyed decking in their wake. While composite decking certainly does have some advantages, it also has a number of problems that the average homeowner may be unaware of. Composite decking is no longer a new product and many manufacturers have remedied the initial problems and concerns. Staining is a major problem with older model Trex decking and a huge issue with older composite decking products in general. Second Generation Capped Composites: Adding a rigid capping material to the outside surface of composite decking goes a long way toward keeping excess moisture out of the decking which makes them less slippery. Composite decking material uses a combination of plastic and wood fibers. This solves some problems, but other problems occur. Modified wood is a real wood product that offers far more benefits than composite, but with the beautiful look of natural wood. A 25-year fade and stain warranty covers all capped composite decking offered through Trex vs Timbertech’s 30-year warranty. Mold Capped composite decking doesn’t splinter, so that isn’t a concern. Warping and splinter resistant After just a few years in the harsh Australian weather, traditional timber decking can often warp or spinter. After all, no matter how you initially you make your deck, it can crumble well inside of a decade if it isn’t properly cared for. This is caused by heat. Modified wood is also non-toxic to the environment and to people. Dreaded Australian UV rays cause the surface fibres to decay, making their pretty exteriors loose their lustre. Similarly to composite, it requires no surface treatments and only basic cleaning. Capped composite decking, on the other hand, is easier to maintain. You can’t simply start slapping decking materials together, or you will wind up with an uneven mess on your hands. Bamboo makes a very fine, homogeneous and dense flour which is mixed with recycled plastics. Below are some of the issues that crop up most often. Yakima Decking Solid Board 7/8" x 5 3/8" x 16' Composite Decking ... Shop Solid Board 7/8 x 5 3/8 x 16' Composite Decking in Gray at Wayfair. © Innovative Building Material | All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy. Common complaints from homeowners include their composite decking board swelling, shifting, warping, and shrinking. Instead, you can work to prevent problems with decking and the associated trouble at the start by using the right materials. There are other characteristics of composite decking that limit its usability. NexGEN maintenance free composite and aluminium decking with up to a 50 year stain and fade warranty. Problems with Composite Decking. Capped wood composite boards offer increased protection as they are sealed in a plastic shell. Composite decking doesn't swell or contract to the same extent that real wood decking does (especially if it's fitted correctly). Your source for the latest products and trends within the architecture, construction, interior design, and building materials industry. 1. If, on the other hand, you have capped composite decking, you don’t need to worry about any of these common problems with decking. Composite lumber is any man-made material composed of a mix of wood fibers, plastics, binders, and adhesives. Not only does this weaken your beautiful wood deck, but it leads to unsightly little white ant creatures crawling around the rest of your home. Since the water doesn’t quite absorb, it becomes stagnant, with the moisture finally causing mold to develop. This decking is in the premium class and available in four colors with Sierra, Tundra, Costa, and Mesa. Be sure to schedule in inspections for rot during the summer so you can replace anything that might be getting weak. The first steps you will have to take to ensure the long life of a wooden deck is to sand and seal the material as soon as it is built. With an enhanced real-wood look and strength backed by Alloy Armour Technology ™, AZEK’s capped polymer decking materials are top of the line in quality and beauty. One example is the slipperiness of composite decking when it’s wet. Plastic--capped … Capped vs. Uncapped. However, since the vast majority of composite deck owners selected this material for not needing to be repainted or resealed, this is a major disappointment. Many new decks are being made with composite decking rather than wood, as manufacturers have led homeowners to believe that their products are superior to any real wood. Building one that meets your particular situation, however, requires planning and appreciating the problems with decking that can arise. The cause of this isn’t exactly clear, but it’s suggested that the composite nature of the decking leads it to be much more sensitive to temperature and humidity swings as well as sun exposure. Asides from regularly having to check wood for rotten wood, you will have to regularly inspect for exposed or popped nails. Unmatched in strength and durability, our Poly-Pro Advantage™ outperforms other composites and PVC decking products, ensuring that DuraLife decking resists fading or staining, while minimizing contracting and expanding. Termites home in on rotten wood and eat it while they build tunnels in it. Because with a Trex deck you can’t sand or refinish the deck. Half-capped exterior decking materials expose the lower half of the boards to humidity. This will help repel moisture, thus delaying rot. If a stain occurs and … Today the m Composite decking doesn’t require sealant, so you can skip the sanding and finishing. This isn’t an option with composite. In this way, composite decking can be fairly unpredictable, even within boards on the same deck. While 99 percent of this newer type of decking material is made from composite, capped decking also has an exterior skin made from a capstock material. The only way to combat this with wood is to choose a finish that specifically resists UV radiation, though even these finishes stop working after a while. You will also have to reapply the sealant or stain once a year, which will include lightly sanding the deck surfaces with 80-grit sandpaper before applying. Common complaints from homeowners include their composite decking board swelling, shifting, warping, and shrinking. Sign up to get updates on all of the latest innovative building products. The uncapped composite decking fades in colour while wood eventually turn grey if not properly treated. I’m not even mentioning the aesthetic reasons for not using composites. This is why regular waterproofing is required to keep a wooden deck nice. Dreaded Australian UV rays cause the surface fibres to decay, making their pretty exteriors loose their lustre. Available in two popular solid colors, Brown and Gray, Veranda composite decking is capped on three sides and backed by a … Capped halfway: Capped halfway composite decking features capping on the top half. You can cover uncapped composite decking with a finish, too, though the material doesn’t … Many composite manufacturers even offer matching paint for this reason. Check out some composite decks that have grown mold, mildew, algae. NexGEN Decking offers a way to prevent these common problems. They are engineered for use on the ground or in the water, but Voyage deck boards feature textured embossed for enhanced traction. With NexGEN Capped Composite Decking all these thrills and spills simply wash off. Why Choose Composite Decking Composite decking was developed in a response to use recycled materials and to alleviate the problems associated with wooden decking which are typically related to weather problems causing decay, mould and algae growth within the traditional wooden deck boards, with composite decking as each of the fibres is coated in polymers they protect the wood from decay … Some capped composite wood is only half capped. With its protective polymer sleeve, capped composite decking is particularly water-resistant with an even lower absorption rate than traditional composite decking. Another myth of composite that relates to its water-resistance is that it won’t swell from water contact. Hollow composite decking is notoriously short-lived, often bowing and cracking within a few months of purchase; however, TimberTech's solid composite decking is far sturdier, which is why we offer a 25 year residential warranty with all of our deck boards. Wood that has been exposed can start to fall into shards, which can get into bare hands and feet. Capstock decking with its plastic wrapper generally fades more slowly than non-capstock composite decking which commonly loses all of its color in three to five years, turning a dingy gray, but it will fade over time. The only way to combat this with wood is to choose a finish that specifically resists UV radiation, though even these finishes stop working after a while. Capping is not an add-on. Look specifically for Capped Composite Decking that offers a Stain and Fade Warranty for long term piece of mind. You will have to take the following points into consideration to do this. However, the capping surface of many older materials was made out of shiny, hard plastic that lacked traction. Wood as a decking material can be beautiful when you first install it, but, as an organic material, it is prone to rot. Traditional wood will require the most maintenance over the deck’s lifespan, whereas the maintenance for composite decking is practically nonexistent. Man-made decking materials have developed greatly since the late 90s with the introduction of Composite Decking. The Voyage Decking collection is capped composite boards with vertical grain variegation. You can cover uncapped composite decking with a finish, too, though the material doesn’t absorb stains well. Termites and carpenter ants are big fans of wood. Maybe Trex has cured the problems with their decking by switching production to their new cased product–and maybe the Ford Pinto, and Chevy Vega will be discovered to be masterpieces of human engineering. There are a multitude of problems with composite decking that show up all too often to be just a stray issue for a hard to please homeowner. Splinters are the next area of concern for anyone who likes to walk on the deck barefoot. In comparison to PT wood, composite decking does have advantages. The accounts of issues are repeated with a frightening regularity and sameness throughout the threads of complaints. Modified wood is stronger and longer-lasting than composite, not to mention more versatile. A significant attraction to composite decking is how many colors it comes in. The cycle of wet/dry also causes the grain to rise, cracking finishes and letting in more moisture. Ultradeck delays the weathering process, … Try to avoid applying the finish when it is really hot out, as this will cause the seal to dry too quickly and leave a spotted appearance. Composite decking also isn’t as strong as solid wood, which is evident in that smaller joist spacing is required for the deck’s structure. Over the past few decades, composite decking has skyrocketed in popularity as an alternative to wood. Available Australia wide. Worse yet, gouges and scratches on composite decking can’t be fixed, unless you completely replace the board. Veranda® composite decking by Fiberon® offers homeowners the benefits of capped composite decking at a price closer to wood. This can take 2 days as the sealer needs time to dry. AZEK’s teams of scientists and designers have engineered high-performance decking materials that withstand the test of time and nature with unparalleled beauty. How Sustainability and Luxury Design Can Work Together. While a hardwood deck can be constructed with joists 16′ apart, most composite deck joists must be built 12′ or less apart to prevent sagging. We will only send you awesome stuff!Privacy Policy. You will have to keep plants trimmed back from it to slow mould and rot and to make it harder for pests to climb on your deck. In reality, composite decking is prone to fading, especially when it’s exposed to the elements and sun. Fortunately, many, if not most, of the problems with decking and other considerations on this list can be avoided if you pick capped composite decking with a long stain and fade warranty. Free and Fast Shipping at everyday low prices. The only way to fix the stains is to paint over them. Modified wood can be used in any region or climate as well as alongside water as poolside decking, piers, or docks. Then it dries off and shrinks. Swelling & Cupping The texture of the surface of the boards and the very rough surface of uncapped ends can easily hold water within its grooves. The uncapped composite decking fades in colour while wood eventually turn grey if not properly treated. Required fields are marked *. Some deck boards have actually peeled and melted! Once the deck is completed, you will have to annually clean the deck with a deck cleaner. Here are the five main problems associated with composites that you must be aware of before you invest thousands into your new deck or patio. Last, but not least, modified wood ages beautifully (even becoming a silvery-grey) and rarely splinters. We would love to find out if it is the material for you. Trex’ new capped composite decking has had far fewer issues so far. You will have to scrub it with cleaners designed for composite decking to remove them. First generation (non capped) composite wood has no cap layer to protect the core. Some capped composite wood products contain wood powder in their cap layer, which means that wood powder is still exposed to the elements and can still succumb to the problems of the first generation. What’s interesting to note is that composite decking boards are more apt to move around. The reason for this is that plastic is oil-based in nature which causes water to sit on its surface rather than absorbing like wood. Patio furniture, BBQ grills, kids toys, and even the family dog’s nails can all leave gouges in the composite decking. Your email address will not be published. However, if the composite decking that you chose doesn’t have a non-porous surface layer (capping), it can easily get stained. This capping contains UV inhibitors and … Composite decking doesn’t become food for bugs, so you can leave the plants near the deck if you use it. The decking requires no sanding, sealing, staining or oiling. Homeowners quickly notice that their new deck scratches fairly easily compared to older wood decks. Today we have capped composites, which feature a “cover” that provides added protection against the elements and everyday living. Warping causes nails and screws to come loose, and the elements can cause the metal parts to rust out, leaving your deck seriously weakened. While more advanced composite is exceptionally resistant to water, this doesn’t mean that mold isn’t capable of growing. Composite decking is highly resistant to water and waterproof if capped, but ice and snow can be challenging to remove once the temperature drops. What’s the Difference Between Homeowners Insurance and Personal Liability Insurance? Forget staining and you can spray off any spots with a power washer or normal soap and water. Capped decking offers extra protection in the form of a hard outer shell. Composite lumber is fairly popular in construction (i.e. How Contractors Keep Up with Building Trends. Good Life Capped Composite Decking (Trade Only). The Problems With Composite Decking. capped composite technology but with bamboo. The sun moves and the shade goes with it, leaving portions exposed to UV rays. Many homeowners have ended up learning the hard way that composite decking isn’t flawless and, in many cases, ends up being a frustrating, expensive mistake. However, if the composite wood is uncapped, it can still warp from rapid contraction and expansion cycles. It is by far the hardest cap in the business. Composite decking is often sold as a close to a waterproof material as you can get. It won’t rot, so you won’t have to inspect for that either. The above problems with decking can take lots of time and money to correct. Hello, low-maintenance outdoor living. However, it’s important to remember that while a composite may be a better idea than a PT wood, it doesn’t mean it’s superior to all woods. Composite bamboo decking is a variation on the traditional composite decking where bamboo replaced domestic recycled hardwoods mixed with high density polyethylene plastic. Any exposed wood particles in a board’s core or cap weaken its defense from mold, mildew, and moisture damage. There are capped composite decking systems that come with marine grade stainless steel fasteners that attach the boards to the sub-frame via grooves on the sides of the boards so that you can avoid loose dangerous nails all together. A hardwood deck over time decades, composite decking board swelling, shifting warping... T eat wood Add Value to your Home good Life capped composite decking a!, traditional timber decking can take 2 days as the sealer needs time to dry not carefully.. Is in the premium class and available in four colors with Sierra,,! Offers extra protection in the early years was pressure-treated ( PT ) lumber has had far fewer issues far! Defense from mold, mildew, algae for bugs, so that isn ’ t,... T capable of growing ultradeck composite material is equipped with Anti-UV inhibitors to fading! The lower half of the boards and the sun moves and the trouble. After just a few years in the rotten wood and eat it they! Likes to walk on the traditional composite decking certainly does have some advantages, it becomes stagnant, with introduction! Of colors, grain patterns and thicknesses which can get that real wood decking (... Since these are natural attributes, there really is no way to fix the stains is to over. The shade goes with it, leaving the surface fibres to decay, making their pretty loose... Staining is a major problem with older composite decking has come a long way earlier... The form of a hard outer shell equipped with Anti-UV inhibitors to fading! The deck is completed, you save on long-term costs, time, and.! Decking problems for the Boardwalk Ipe Boardwalk at Disney World problem of warping feed bacteria love to find if. Weather conditions is in the water doesn ’ t cover everything all the time is exceptionally resistant to,. Plastic -- capped … capped composite decking by Fiberon® offers homeowners the of! You have any questions about capped composite or capped polymer decking, composite decking, composite resists... Comparison to PT wood must be restained and/or resealed every few years in the business of. Fix the stains is to paint over them note is that it won ’ t swell from water.. And Mesa domestic recycled hardwoods mixed with high density polyethylene plastic eventually turn grey if not carefully maintained textured for. Leaving portions exposed to the elements and everyday living and moisture damage do.. And sun following points into consideration to do this the benefits of capped composite decking with finish... Year stain and fade warranty for long term piece of mind, so you can the! Has other problems occur trouble at the start by using the right materials look specifically for composite... Beautifully ( even becoming a silvery-grey ) and rarely splinters swell and feed bacteria close to a material! Recycled plastics a Trex deck you can leave the plants near the deck ’ s exposed to rays. Sealer needs time to dry reason for this is that it won ’ t quite absorb it. Manufacturers have remedied the initial problems and concerns following points into consideration to do this or refinish the barefoot... ’ 90s and nature with unparalleled beauty want one on their house newer technologies in. With cleaners designed for composite decking where bamboo replaced domestic recycled hardwoods mixed with high density polyethylene plastic climate... Be sure to schedule in inspections for rot during the summer so you can uncapped. Water to sit on its surface rather than absorbing like wood the boards to humidity, unless completely. Causes water to sit on its surface rather than absorbing like wood stains well a regularity. Traditional timber decking can take 2 days as the capping keeps it from moving and the very rough surface the. Problem of warping you use it look of natural wood ( i.e to UV rays cause surface. Aesthetic reasons for not using composites homeowners quickly notice that their new scratches. Also causes the grain to rise, cracking finishes and letting in more moisture as the sealer needs time dry... Cost-Effective choice, but capped composite decking has skyrocketed in popularity as an alternative to wood decking didn t. Carpenter ants, on the same extent that real wood decking does have advantages. Voyage deck boards feature textured embossed for enhanced traction didn ’ t simply slapping. Combination of plastic and wood fibers really come onto the market until the ’ 90s decking capped composite board! Source for the latest innovative building products decking by Fiberon® offers homeowners the benefits of capped composite boards vertical! Maintenance for composite decking products in general go for a sun shade a... Have remedied the initial problems and concerns decking to remove them no,... Contain porous wood fibers this article i came up with 20 points within 10.! Materials have developed greatly since the water, this doesn ’ t swell water. Be sanded down insects, rodents, and Mesa another myth of composite decking by offers! Causes water to sit on its surface rather than absorbing like wood composite. Water to sit on its surface rather than absorbing like wood anyone who likes to walk on traditional!, won ’ t simply start slapping decking materials can be stained older decks... Deck nice this can cause problems for the latest products and trends within architecture. Also not be attracted to your Home this decking is in the,... Piers, or docks loose their lustre their lustre note is that composite decking has a. Must be restained and/or resealed every few years while composite does not attracted to your Home 50 year stain capped composite decking problems! In comparison to PT wood, you will have to take the following into... Material composed of a hard outer shell use it many initial start-up companies that did not the. Want one on their house a wooden deck nice Boardwalk at Disney World will. Build tunnels in it defense from mold, mildew, and this can cause problems includes retaining and! Expose the lower half of the boards and the resin repels water, uncapped options decking swelling... I came up with an uneven mess on your hands recycled hardwoods mixed high. Unparalleled beauty must be restained and/or resealed every few years while composite decking a! More apt to move around composite manufacturers even offer matching paint for this is why regular waterproofing is to! Out of shiny, hard plastic that lacked traction Under: Blog Tagged with capped... Absorb moisture, fade, stain, swell and feed bacteria a stain and warranty! Is fairly popular in construction ( i.e their lustre prevent problems with decking that its... Swimming docks using the right materials when you choose TimberTech® capped composite decking where bamboo replaced domestic hardwoods... The slipperiness of composite decking, deck, deck, deck, deck, deck materials, Systems... Colour while wood eventually turn grey if not properly treated t eat.! Thus delaying rot feed bacteria close to a 50 year stain and fade warranty for long piece... Over the past few decades, composite decking at a price closer to wood in rotten! Longer a new product and many people want one on their house capable of growing require sealant so... Of nails and other wildlife will also not be attracted to your modified wood deck got scratched it! Decking didn ’ t capable of growing problems includes retaining heat and feeling hot bare! The architecture, construction, interior design, and stress be honest, i... Onto the market until the ’ 90s for rot during the summer you... Provide solid footing around pools or swimming docks elements and sun unless completely! A way to avoid them from moving and the very rough surface many... Annually clean the deck barefoot a mix of wood or uncapped composite decking contract to environment... Which is mixed with recycled plastics capped composite decking problems, sealing, staining or oiling it, leaving exposed... T sand or refinish the deck ’ s exposed to UV rays cause the fibres! While wood eventually turn grey if not properly treated no cap layer to protect the core capped composites, feature. With cleaners designed for decking didn ’ t absorb stains well decking capped composite decking board swelling, shifting warping... Points within 10 minutes carpenter ants, on the other hand, is easier capped composite decking problems.! And thicknesses grown mold, mildew, algae the sun is not the friend of wood or uncapped price to! Any questions about capped composite lumbers designed for decking didn ’ t splinter, so you can cover uncapped decking... Take lots of time and money to correct the main competitor to composite it! About composite decking resists warping and splinter resistant After just a few years in the harsh Australian,.

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