What Is The Average Lifespan Of Composite Decking Vs Wooden Decking?

What is a common question asked by homeowners in the market for composite decking; what is the average lifespan of composite decking? That’s what we are going to address here today. Just read on!

Composite decking has quickly grown in popularity over the last few years. You may be wondering how long it will last and just how much use you can get out of your new composite decking material before it becomes unusable.

Next time you're shopping for a new deck coating or deck railing, be sure to look at composite decking material for the best lifespan for your money.

In this post, we'll be answering the average lifespan of composite decking and if it will last longer than wood?


Why Composite Decking Is A Popular Choice Among Homeowners?

Composite decking is a popular choice for homeowners today. This type of material and its installation is a relatively new concept that has been around for only about 15 years. Composite decking has multiple advantages over other materials, like wood. Some of these advantages include:

Composite decking lasts longer than wood. Wood has to be treated frequently with oil or paint to keep it from rotting and splitting. You are not required to treat composite decks to deteriorate or break as wood decking does.

Composite decks do not require any maintenance, such as repainting or resealing the surface to make them look good again. It will maintain a beautiful appearance even after many years of exposure to the elements.

You can install a composite deck by yourself. It is easy to install as long as you carefully follow the directions given in your kit.

Composite decks are less expensive than other types of deck materials, such as cedar and redwood, but at the same time, they last much longer than those decking materials.

Composite decks have many color options available, giving you more freedom in designing your outdoor living space.


Composite Decking is Low-Maintenance

Many homeowners opt to install composite decking on their properties for many reasons. The most important reason is that composite decking is low-maintenance, so the homeowner will not have to worry about maintaining the deck. You also do not need to apply paint or stain on the surface as it is considered weatherproof.

In addition, composite decking does not warp and is highly durable, making it ideal for home areas where you have parties and gatherings. It can last for decades when placed in an outdoor setting, unlike wooden decks that become warped after prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Composite decks are also beneficial because they do not require regular maintenance work. It means that you will not spend much money on repairs or refinishing the surface.

Whatever outdoor area you want to create at home, composites are available in different colors, styles, and shapes to give your property a unique look you want. Whether you want a simple deck or a luxurious patio, composites can suit your needs perfectly.


Why Do Composite Last Longer?

Composite decking is easy to maintain, and low-maintenance options last longer than high-maintenance ones. All manufacturers say that regular cleaning with warm water and soap is the best way to care for your decking, so it lasts as long as possible; scrubbing with soap helps remove stains from mildew and mold that can compromise the boards' integrity over time.

Wooden decks can be rendered unusable by heat or water, both of which cause the wood to expand and contract. Drying out too fast can cause cracks and warps.

After a year, a wooden deck will start to dry out and age. It is natural and expected; however, this aging process can be accelerated if the deck is left in direct sunlight for several hours a day. The sun's ultraviolet rays break down the chemicals in the wood and cause it to become brittle and crack easily.

The best way to prevent your composite deck from rotting is to keep it away from moisture as much as possible. Also, try to avoid leaving it outside in direct sunlight for extended amounts of time.

Composite is the new choice for more and more builders because it lasts longer than wood. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Strength – composite is more substantial than wood and doesn't need to be finished, so it will never split or crack.
  2. Weight – it is lighter than wood, which means you can have a bigger soundbox, a wider neck, and also more effortless low action.
  3. Tone – because there are no air gaps between the top and back, they sound more even across the whole range of the floor and instrument.
  4. Price – since composites can be made in large sheets or rolls, they are very cost-effective compared to wood
  5. Performance – composites are very stable under high heat and humidity, ideal for tropical climates like Hawaii!


Wood Deck Life Expectancy

If you have a house with a wood deck attached, you may be curious about the wood deck life expectancy. Your board can quickly rot when extensive enough water damage has occurred on it. Your house's entire appearance and design can be much less attractive if the roofing materials start to look dull and wear out. The overall quality of your property is directly proportionate to how well keep your home looks.

The life expectancy of a wood deck varies depending on its location, type of wood, and when it was built. Their lifespan can be anywhere from 10 to 25 years. Factors that affect the life expectancy of a wood deck include things like sunlight, moisture, foot traffic, and other environmental factors.

Darker-colored woods usually last longer than lighter-colored woods because darker-colored woods absorb less heat from the sun. The type of wood also affects the longevity of a deck.

For example, pressure-treated decks are prone to rotting if they are located in moist or wet areas. Cedar decks are less likely to deteriorate than other types of wood because cedar is naturally resistant to decay and insects.

Some people believe that the age of a deck can determine its lifespan; however, this is not true because the age of a deck doesn't always reflect its condition or maintenance history. A newer deck with poor maintenance can have a shorter lifespan than an older deck with proper upkeep.


Composite Decking's Lifespan

It is imperative to determine how long your decking will last. It is an essential aspect of deciding what material to use for your deck. Wood will require regular maintenance and refinishing, while composite decking is naturally resistant to the elements. Composite decking can outlast wood several times, meaning you won't have to worry about restoring your deck for years.

An excellent composite decking can last at least 15 years if properly maintained. However, this is the average, and there are factors to consider when estimating how long your deck will last. It's important to remember that most composite decks are still new in their early years, and it's at this time, you need to be taking the most outstanding care in maintaining your patio. Various factors affect how long a deck lasts, such as:

  1. UV exposure - Wood requires UV protection, which can fade colors or cause it to crack and splinter.
  2. Maintenance - regular cleaning and proper treatment can help extend the life of your deck.
  3. Weather - extreme weather conditions like heavy rain, snow, or prolonged heat can cause damage.
  4. Occupation - if you live or spend a lot of time on your deck, it will take a battering, causing additional wear and tear on the surface.
  5. Location - outside decks naturally get more exposure to the elements than sheltered ones.

With these factors, it is possible to increase the lifespan of your deck by as much as ten years by regularly cleaning and treating it.


What Are The Tips To Keep The Composite Deck Last Longer?

Composite decks are made of three layers: the top layer is made from high-density polyethylene, the middle layer of PVC, and the bottom structural layer is made from an all-weather resin.

Composite decks can last far longer than traditional wooden decks. However, it's essential to take proper care of your deck to ensure it lasts as long as possible. Follow these tips to keep your deck looking great for years to come.

  1. Maintain a 3/4" gap between the ground and the bottom surface in your deck. It will allow you to wash away dirt and debris easily.
  2. Apply a penetrating sealer once or twice per year to help protect against moisture damage and mold growth.
  3. Avoid placing furniture or other heavy items on top of your deck, and make sure that nothing is blocking drainage holes in case rainwater backs up and causes harm to your deck's surface.
  4. Avoid walking on the surface when there is excessive moisture or water pooling.


Bottom Line

Composite decks can look great and last for a good long time when made from high-quality materials, installed correctly, and cared for properly. There are indeed some so-called composite decking products on the market that will barely last five years before showing significant wear, but those are the exception.

Composite decking is a great way to create a more durable, longer-lasting deck. With proper maintenance, your composite decking will last for many years. Factors such as weather conditions and regular cleaning and maintenance will determine the lifespan of your deck. As long as you do routine inspection and care for your patios, it is possible to extend their lifespan.

Have you found it helpful? Are there any areas that need clarification?

Don’t forget to check The Composite Company for beautiful composite wood decks and more interesting blogs. We offer the best composite decking boards in South Africa at very reasonable rates.

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