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Although composite decking will not fade as much as timber, it will still lose some colour over time in UV exposure. Composite decking is composed of 60% recycled plastic, 30% timber and 10% bonding agents to bring the whole material together. It is a brilliant alternative to traditional timber decking as it has better durability, weather resistance, and scratch and slip resistance.

Despite its improved colour-stabilising properties and added fade resistance, it is not fade-proof. So, how do you restore a faded composite decking?

Why does composite decking fade?

The sun emits ultraviolet rays and will break down chemical bonds, causing a loss of colour on the majority of surfaces. There are other contributors to fading, including visible light and heat. 

You’ll be pleased to know that our composite decking ranges are designed with fade-resistant properties within the surface to help combat this issue, meaning your decking will never bleach. 

Realistically, expecting a composite deck to retain 100% of its colour over decades is impossible due to the power that the sun has. The only material option that retains 100% of its colour is ASA decking which costs roughly five times the price of a standard composite decking board.

Different types of composite decking

The degree of fading that you experience with your composite decking will also depend on its quality. In today’s market, we have first-generation composite decking boards and second-generation composite decking boards. 

First-generation composite decking boards are produced with wood fibres on the surface. This design is more prone to fading, and you can experience up to a 40% loss in colour over the first couple of years. 

Second-generation decking boards are often referred to as “capped.” This capped layer refers to a thin plastic coating that they have. One of the main benefits that this layer provides is a better level of resistance against UV rays meaning the decking board will only lose 15-20% of its colour throughout its lifespan.

How to restore a faded composite deck?

If you find yourself disappointed with the amount your decking has faded over time, there are still things you can do to try and bring back some of the lost colour. There are available products in today’s market that can essentially revive your decking. An example is Compo-care. 

Compo-care is a water-based reviver specifically designed for composite materials. It will enhance your decking and provide extra protection against nature’s harsh elements. Applying Compo-Care is rather straightforward; just simply follow these steps:

  • Do not dilute the product
  • Stir the product thoroughly before and periodically during the application
  • Apply a single or even coat of Compo-Care to an entire length of decking
  • Stop at any natural breaks to avoid lapping
  • Use a litre for every 15 square metres of decking as a guide
  • After the solution has been set, clean the decking with soap and water

Preventing Fading

If you are concerned about fading and looking for preventative methods there are a few ways you can reduce the amount of fading to your composite decking.

  • Use shade such as umbrellas or pergolas to cover the area and protect it from the sun. This will prevent the UV rays from penetrating your decking boards and stop fading from occurring. 
  • Opt for capped composite decking, also known as second-generation decking this type of composite decking has a protective layer of plastic around the board to improve its resistance to the elements, which includes fading. Capped composite decking is almost unnoticeable when it comes to fading.
  • Take into account the location of your decking. If you have a south facing garden or choose to place your decking in the part of your garden which receives the most sunlight, it will of course experience more fading. 
  • Utilise rugs to cover your decking to prevent the UV rays from fading the surface of your composite decking. One thing to remember when putting rugs or furniture on your composite decking is to move it around every so often as this can leave an uneven fade.

Conclusion

Your decking is likely to fade if exposed directly to sunlight. You have the option to build a shaded area with something such as a pergola or a large umbrella to completely prevent this, or you can opt for ASA decking. 

If your decking has faded to the point where it is an eyesore, you can apply a sealant such as Compo-Care.

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