Why Is Composite Decking Better Than Wood?
When you begin researching deck materials
, you're going to find a lot of information comparing wood and composites. While you should always make an informed choice based on your particular situation and budget, we believe that composite material has some marked advantages over wood that are important to note.
How It's Made
First, it's important to understand what exactly composite lumber is
. Composite material is made from a mixture of wood flour - made from wood scraps from lumber and recycled wooden doors and window frames; and polyethylene (plastic) - often made from recycled plastic bottles and bags.
The materials are mixed together and dyed to get various shades of wood tones such as redwood, cedar, tropical hardwoods and even modern gray palettes. The mixture is poured into molds that will create various sizes and shapes of boards, railings and steps. Another method of forming is through extrusion, where the material is pushed through a shape. However, this method creates waste that must be melted down and reused.
Because composite decking is mostly a plastic, non-organic material, it is not susceptible to the same issues as wood such as rot, mold, warping, splintering and insect infestation. Because of this, a high-quality composite deck that has been professionally installed can last 25-30 years or even longer.
For homeowners who plan to stay in their home indefinitely, composite means years of worry-free deck ownership and zero fear of splinters!
Unlike wood, which must be sealed every year and sanded around every 6 years, composite decking needs nothing more than a good washing every year. If you have a darker color composite, you should also consider using a sealer every couple years to minimize fading.
While you may still see mildew spots in damp areas, these can be easily washed away using a solution suggested by the manufacturer. Unlike wood, the mold or mildew is only on the surface of the composite and does not cause rot that compromises the integrity of the material.
Many composite manufacturers make products that are considered eco-friendly because of their minimal impact on the environment. Unlike wood decks whose planks must be harvested from full-grown trees, composite manufacturers use recycled plastics and scrap wood to make the ingredients for their products.
Some brands go so far as to only use recycled materials from local sources and have perfected virtually waste-free manufacturing processes. This diverts an incredible amount of potential waste from the local landfills and turns it into a quality product that will provide enjoyment to homeowners for years to come.
With the exception of exotic ipe hardwood which can last as long as 75 years, composite decks are more expensive than all other deck woods like pine, cedar and redwood. The reason? It lasts twice as long, if not longer, is virtually maintenance free, and requires a more sophisticated level of installation.
However, when homeowners crunch the numbers and take into account the ongoing maintenance and required labor of wood compared to its relatively short life span, composite comes up the winner every single time, making it worth the initial outlay.
ProTek Construction Is Your Source For Quality Composite Decking In Naperville
If you're considering installing a new deck or updating an aging one on your Chicagoland home, make your first call to ProTek
. We offer a free onsite consultation, where we will evaluate your space, your style, your personal preferences and your budget to make a recommendation for a deck you will love.
Contact us at 331-444-7380 to schedule your free consultation. Mention code COMPOSITE10 to receive 10% off an approved decking project.