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Design & Planning
6 Reasons to Go Composite
July 05 2018
Decking Design & Planning

Switching to composite decking is a no-brainer. Your outdoor living space should be a respite from the hectic world and a true extension of your home — not just another thing in your life demanding arduous maintenance. Scratches, stains, and splintering?! Hard pass.

Current and prospective deck owners have all run into the composite vs. wood deck debate. For the newcomers, it’s a question of materials; older decks tend to be wood, while many newer decks consist of a composite wood/plastic combination.

Here are our top six reasons why we love composite boards for decks and porches:

1. Rot and Warp

Does it rain where you live? How about snow? Do you live near a lake or ocean? Deck ownership is largely dealing with water management; in choosing smarter materials, you decide how much upkeep and maintenance will be required from you.

Composite decks are durable. Changes in precipitation and temperature have a tendency to warp and rot outdoor materials, but some will hold up better than others.

Wood has a tendency to accumulate mildew unless constantly supervised, and can warp drastically as the boards dry out after a winter thaw or an epic rainstorm. If you’re in a climate that fluctuates from wet to dry, sunny to overcast, then even more vigilance is required.

Composite decks holds up far better than wood, resisting change even in extreme weather conditions. TimberTech decks have a 30 year Limited Warranty, so if the storm of the century does hit your backyard, you will have one less thing to worry about.

Pro Tip: You might find sites that slam composite decks for warping worse than wood decks. Check the date of the post! Fifteen years ago, when composites were just entering the industry this was somewhat true, but the technology and manufacturing processes have improved vastly, and this fact is no longer true. Although, it is still very important to purchase your composite deck from a company with a proven track record.

2. Upkeep

Like durability, “low-maintenance” gets thrown around as a deck-keeping catchphrase. But what exactly does it mean?

Maintenance on a deck translates to the frequency of repairs, how often the deck will need to be stained, cleaned, and power washed.

Composite decks are low-maintenance. They clean quickly, they rarely need repairs, and their fixes are quick and easy (hence our 30 year Limited Warranty). Upkeep will take minimal energy, so you can focus on enjoying your space instead of maintaining it.

Wood on the other hand, is not low-maintenance. To keep your wood deck looking its best, you’ll need treatment repairs every two years and complete sanding and stripping every six years. And that's just for basic check-ups. In fact, some experts even warn against washing your own deck - so plan to hire a professional if you don't want to warp the wood!

Angie’s List estimates that, over an 11 year period, a wood-deck owner will spend $4,600 dollars on upkeep. Now that’s what we call high-maintenance!

3. Splintering

Think of your fondest summer memories. Do any of them include splinters?

If you have kids, pets, or prefer to enjoy your morning cup of coffee barefoot, you’ll need to consider splintering. Periodic sanding and varnishing of your wood deck to keep everything smooth and safe is one option.

Or you could go composite. Splinter free.

4. Stains, Scratches & Bug-life

Day One, your deck is going to look perfect, the corners crisp, the paint gleaming, just like on Pinterest. From then on, it’s a battle against time. Red wine spills, skateboard contests, sun, snow, rain, and more - all contributing to the daily wear and tear on your new deck.

Composites will fare better, longer. The material resists nicks, scratches, and stains to keep your sidings and corners clean. Our TimberTech decks are capped on all four sides to make sure the deck is protected against stains, scratches, moisture and bugs — even on the bottom where you wouldn’t see a problem creeping up!

5. Design

Your deck will serve as an extension from your house, transitioning from keeping inside to out while maintaining your style.

Composite decking comes in many styles, colors, and textures, so you can dictate the look and feel of your new deck. TimberTech's options range from a classic look with Legacy, to warm textures and vacation vibes with Tropicals, and earthier tones with Terrain.

6. Safety Hazards

Last but not least, safety concerns. Until 2003, nearly all wooden decks contained a preservative called Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA), which the EPA lobbied against for its dangerously high arsenic levels. Even so, many lumber companies still use CCA as their main preservative. Wood treated with CCA will leach arsenic at abnormal rates when wet, making it unsafe to touch and contaminating nearby plant life. Composites don’t have CCA, but if you do decide to go with a wood deck, be sure to ask about the CCA levels in your materials. CCA leaching, whether from a rainstorm or a simple washing, can create serious risks to humans, pets, and the environments.

Six reasons to go composite. If you're considering your new deck, like to save money, match your personal style, and like low maintenance, then composite is definitely the choice for you!