If you’re thinking of building a deck for your backyard or replacing your existing wood deck, then you might be considering composite decking. However, not all composite decking materials are created equal! The quality of some well known brands has proven to be less than advertised.
In general, composite decking is manufactured from wood fiber and plastic to form a plank that requires less maintenance.
Composite Decking Manufacturers stopped using “Maintenance Free” when describing their products early on after law suits. Nowadays they refer to it as “Low Maintenance”. One major reason composite decking is low maintenance; It does not take in or give off moisture, so it does not shrink or swell like wood.
A composite deck will tend to resist rot better than a wood deck. But composite decks are in no way rot proof. If the manufacturer uses any cellulose in their composite deck, it is at risk for rot, unless the composite wood is treated with a preservative. The more cellulose in your composite wood, the more rot problems, you’re going to have. Composite decking that has been treated with zinc borate will be able to resist rot for over twenty years.
Composite material will be 1 1/2 to 3 times the price of wood. But before suffering from sticker shock you should consider that you will be saving the time and expense of staining your deck every year. Most estimates show that the costs even out after about 4 or 5 years.