You may be thinking, is composite decking really worth the extra money? Although the overall price may be significantly more when compared with the likes of timber, composite decking outperforms timber in every single way and will also save you time and money in the future. Rather than seeing your new composite decking project as “money spent” you should instead view it as “money invested.” Composite decking will not only add value to your home but it will also save you a lot of money in relation to the maintenance of your decking.
What Is Composite Decking?
Composite decking is a material produced with wood fibres and recycled plastic, the material also uses bonding agents to bring it all together. Composite decking was designed to withstand mother natures element to a better standard when compared with timber. These ingredients are mixed together resulting in a stronger, denser and more durable building material. Composite decking comes in a variety of colours and designs meaning you can choose from modern colours such as anthracite grey or more natural colours such as teak.
Why Composite Decking Is Worth It
Now that we have known what composite decking is, we should know why it is worth installing in the UK. We will consider three attributes that are also benefits of composite decking.
The main reason composite decking is installed is due to the beauty that it can add to your home. With an increase of people becoming more aware of composites environmental and structural benefits there are constantly new products arriving in the sector. Due to the internet, you can now access a portfolio of composite fences, cladding boards, balustrades and decking boards meaning you can create a colour matching theme that will massively compliment your garden. Composite decking is a more modern material that is slowly become more renown as people move over from older and more traditional building materials.
Composite decking may cost more than timber decking but the overall look and performance against mother natures elements is much better. As you are a probably aware, composite decking is partially made with recycled plastics which helps prevent weathering processes such as rotting and splitting that you would see with timber decking. Therefore composite decking’s durability is to a much better standard and the level of maintenance required is also minimal
Is Composite Wood Decking Easy to Maintain
First generation composite has a wood based surface texture and this is important in relation to its up keep. First generation composite decking boards need more attention in terms of general cleaning. This is completely based around the surface finish. First generation composite boards will absorb more water and are more prone to mould and mildew over the years in contrast with second generation boards. If not cleaned on a regular basis, dirt and debris will be left on its surface and if left with water, could potentially become a breathing ground for mould and mildew. It is very important to prevent the build-up of leaves on the surface as leaves create a natural shield against sunlight leading to the growth of bacteria. Algae left for a long period will also stain the surface texture and this will be hard to remove.
Is Composite Decking Easy to Install
Composite decking is just as easy to install as timber decking. A difference between both materials are that the joist centres for a composite deck are 300mm and the joist centres for a timber deck can go from 400-500mm. This is down to the fact that composite boards have a hollow structure and timber boards are solid meaning their flexural bending strength is better.
Another key difference between the installation processes are that you can perform a surface installation with timber decking (screw/nail through the surface of the boards). This is not an option with composite decking. Composite decking has a protective membrane to help combat fading, stains, general spillage and scratches. The moment you penetrate this surface you are making your decking more susceptible to these issues and may also affect the structural integrity of the product. Hidden fasteners are used instead, meaning no screw heads are on show and the installation system is hidden.
Is it worth installing composite decking in the UK? Yes, it is. There a more upfront cost for sure but this is an investment that pays it worth over many year due to its increase performance, low maintenance and longer lasting appearance.