When evaluating the suitability of a decking material, give consideration to the positive and negative aspects. Undoubtedly, composite decking offers several advantages, but there are some problems that homeowners face with the material. A Timbertech deck is a structure that is meant to last a long time, so it is best to be prepared when picking a composite decking material. Here are some common issues that some homeowners have had to deal with in the course of a composite decks lifespan.
In a majority of cases, composite deck surfaces get hot when the temperatures rise. Due to the plastic components in composite, the material tends to hold heat. If a composite deck is in direct sunlight, then the heat will make it uncomfortable to walk barefoot at some point. However, the ability of the surface to hold heat depends on its colour. Naturally, lighter surfaces will reflex heat, meaning a reduced rate of heat absorption. Dark colours have an opposite effect, therefore, the darker the hue, the hotter it will get in direct sunlight.
The cost of composite decking is another aspect that may impact your deck installation. When pitting the costs of composite deck material against those of wood, the former is higher (almost twice), and that is just the material. There is also the cost of installation to factor in, which increases the overall expenses of a decking project. As much as a composite deck is easy to install, some additional steps like minimising the distance between joists will cost more. The fastening process also requires drilling for proper installation, meaning that an installer spends more time on a job. Also, note that composite does not have the stiffness of wood, thus, it needs more support to avoid sagging.
When buying composite decking, one of the selling points is that it is scratch resistant. Conversely, some of the complaints about composite decking include scratches on their surfaces. It is true that manufacturers use various technologies to make composite boards impermeable to minor breaches, but that is not to say that composite is indestructible. It is possible for composite decking surfaces to get scratches and the problem is that you cant resurface the deck. There are ideas on fixing scratched surfaces such as using a heat gun but that may sometimes worsen the situation.
All manufacturers provide spacing recommendations when installing composite decking because they are essential. The composite material has a tendency to expand and contract as temperatures fluctuate, making it necessary to have enough space between boards to accommodate the phenomena. If the installation is done without this spacing, then a deck will start to split and crack after a while, particularly in an area where the weather changes sporadically.
Wood Joists Deterioration
Another issue you may experience with composite decking is deterioration in the under-structure, mainly the wood joists. The inability of a composite surface to absorb water is an advantage, but it can also have some shortcomings. When a deck has water trapped under it, the composite material does not absorb it, meaning it stays there and keeps the wood joists wet throughout. Such an environment favours rot and mould growth.
When buying composite boards, the colour selections are varied, which is one reason why they are genuinely appealing. Nonetheless, the composite material is subject to fading and discolouration over time, especially when exposed to direct sunlight. The solution to fix faded composite boards is to paint them, but that comes with risks of ruining the surface altogether. Some manufacturers recommend specific products for restoring the looks of a composite decking, making it worthwhile to check their effectiveness.
Mould growth is a prevalent issue with a majority of decking materials, including composite. A deck that is located in a spot with a lot of shade or one that is prone to moisture exposure can grow mould, leading to staining of a deck surface. The water on a composite deck does not dry out quickly due to the wood fibres in the material, and it is worse when there is no sunlight hitting the boards. Power washing a composite deck to remove mould is an easy way to void the warranty; and so, you are left with few options. The chemical cleaners utilised to wash mould off a deck not only need to be strong but also safe for the finish.