Your outdoor living space should be your go-to spot to relax and escape. No wonder that when the time comes for deck repair – or worse, deck replacement – it can feel like the home improvement project you dread the most. The good news? With TimberTech composite decking, costly and time-consuming deck maintenance is a thing of the past.
What Makes TimberTech Decking Different Than Wood?
The two factors that most affect a wood deck’s aesthetics and structural integrity are weathering and moisture. Weathering can cause splintering and fading in traditional wood deck boards (both pressure-treated lumber and exotic hardwoods like Ipe), whereas moisture permeating the deck board leads to mold, mildew, and rot.
With TimberTech, you have your option of capped composite or capped polymer deck boards via three product lines. While each line offers different colors, grain patterns, and board profiles, all three leave traditional wood decking in the dust.
UNRIVALED DESIGN & PERFORMANCE
The most advanced synthetic material technology without the use of wood particles.
PREMIUM STYLE & QUALITY
Premium composite decking with the added protection of a fully synthetic cap on all four sides.
TimberTech capped polymer and capped composite deck boards combine innovative materials science with protective 3- or 4-sided capping for majorly moisture-resistant, enduringly beautiful decking.
The Benefits of Composite Decking Over Wood
- Time and Money Saved: In terms of deck repair and deck replacement, the cost (and labor) is real – you’ll have to maintain your wood deck at least every three years and replace it every 10-15 years.
- Better Tech. Better Deck™: Developed with industry-noted innovation (such as the Mold Guard® Technology of TimberTech® PRO® boards, sustainability, and more), TimberTech decking delivers top performance while keeping your home at the forefront of outdoor living tech.
- Superior Aesthetics: With TimberTech, expect no fading, inconsistent color, or dandruff (see below).
A TimberTech AZEK board (far left) and two TimberTech PRO boards (middle and right* photos) after six months of natural weathering.
(From left to right) Cedar, treated Pine, and Mahogany after six months of natural weathering.
When Should I Repair My Deck?
If you have a traditional wood deck, you will have regular maintenance and repairs to keep up with. Here’s what to look for when examining a traditional wood deck for repairs, plus what to do next if you find problem spots.
Deck Repair for Traditional Wood Decks
How to check
What to do
|Loose screws and/or bolts||Scan for any protruding screws or bolts. Lightly tug on them with a screwdriver to find loose ones||Tighten the fasteners that attach the deck to the house|
Look for bent or rusted flashingLook for any signs of rot, especially along joists and where the deck and house meet
|Popped nails||Scan for any protruding nails||Tap down any popped nails or replace with screws or ring-shanked nails|
|Faded wood deck boards||See if you can see striping, loss of color, or dandruff on the boards||For wood decks, the only option is to re-stain the deck – which is costly and releases hazardous Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere|
|Unclean wood deck boards||You’ll likely be able to tell just by looking at your deck, but a surefire test is to walk across your deck in a pair of light-soled shoes||Wood deck boards may require the rental of a power washer, which can be cumbersome to use. You may also need to use harsh chemicals like bleach to remove baked-in stains and dirt|
By contrast, TimberTech composite decking requires only minimal maintenance and won’t bust your budget, or your back.
When Should I Replace My Deck?
The answer will depend, again, on what kind of deck you have. Traditional wood decks can require a full deck replacement every 10-15 years. If your outdoor living space is made of hardwood or pressure-treated lumber, you can expect those deck replacement projects to be a serious undertaking. Keep your eyes peeled for any of these issues commonly associated with wood decks.
Deck Replacement for Traditional Wood Decks
How to Check
What to Do
|Joist or post rot||See if you can sink the tip of a screwdriver into the post or joist||Remove nails, screws, and fasteners of the deck board(s) atop the rotted joist. Remove the rotted portions of the joist. Apply sealer, then install and reinforce the replacement joist.|
Note: Joist replacement requires more than cosmetic maintenance. We recommend working with a contractor. If you decide to replace old joists before replacing your wood deck with TimberTech decking, be sure you’re clear on deck joist blocking and spacing best practices and consult the appropriate TimberTech installation guides
|Insect damage||Lots of oblong and/or pinprick-looking holes speckling your boards, plus the presence of nesting or damage plants||Damaged boards aren’t just unsightly to look at – they affect the structural integrity of your deck. Damaged boards should be removed and replaced|
|Mold and mildew damage||Look for signs of dark discoloration (which points to mold and mildew growing because water has gotten into the deck boards)||Mold and mildew eat away at the core of wood deck boards, which is a major safety concern. Replacing wood deck boards with capped polymer or composite decking will safeguard against moisture’s attempts to invade your backyard build|
|Weathering damage||Check for warping, cracking, and bowing by standing perpendicular to your deck and checking if all the deck boards are in plane with one another||Warping, cracking, and bowing happen when moisture enters the wood, then evaporates. Mix that with harsh UV rays and your wood deck boards don’t stand a chance. Yet again, you’ll need to remove and replace|
With TimberTech capped composite and capped polymer deck boards, however, the whole concept of deck replacement need not apply. We back our decking lines with competitive warranties – including the industry-leading Lifetime Limited Product Warranty with TimberTech AZEK® decking – meaning your deck looks as good on day 1,000 as it did on day 1.
If you decide it’s time to upgrade from wood decking to the superior aesthetics and performance of composite decking – that is, to complete one final deck replacement in the interest of decades of backyard bliss – we have the tools you’ll need. Check out our Deck Building Resource Center for project guides, videos, and more.
For even more peace of mind, partner with a TimberTech-certified pro – and replace thoughts of costly repairs with plans to kick back and relax.