There are endless benefits to installing your decking with composite boards instead of timber which can be crudely categorised into 3 areas; aesthetics, maintenance and durability.
Composite is not pure wood.
Composite decking from Dino Decking can be considered as a hybrid product as it’s made from a number of different materials. Wood fibres make up the bulk of the product, about 55%. The wood comes from recycled products and waste sawdust so although it is a wood-based product, it is also environmentally friendly and doesn’t have any impact on deforestation. To further help with its eco-friendly status, the plastic that’s used in the remainder of the formulation is waste HDPE or polythene. HDPE is non-biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to decompose by itself so including it in the formulation of such a popular product has a positive impact on the environment. Mixing recycled wood with waste plastic doesn’t sound very impressive but the result is an amazing product with a high density which is heavy and strong. Resistant to all weather and stain-resistant the composite product won’t splinter, warp, rot, or split. Traditional timber products can and, even with meticulous treatment, develop these problems within a few years of installation.
The required maintenance is one feature of timber decking that is rarely apparent until the time of installation, especially for the uninitiated or first time DIY fitters. Although the procedure for installing decks from either timber or composite boards is very similar, when the composite deck is down you are good to sit back and enjoy your handy work. This is not the case with a timber deck. After you have marvelled at your skills, then the work really starts! Before anything else, the whole deck needs to be sanded to ensure you have a good clean, porous surface to absorb the stain of choice – you can finish at this point if you want the finish to be water, mud, rot and mould stained!! After ensuring the entire surface is free from dust an even coating has to be applied to the entire surface. Further coats will need to be added dependent on the type and colour of stain that has been chosen. Finally, the stained deck has to be coated with a waterproof wax based treatment or varnish to ensure the wood is suitably protected from the elements, especially water which is a wooden deck’s arch enemy!
The fact that it’s virtually maintenance is one of the composite decking’s main appeals. Over the lifetime of a composite deck, unless a board becomes damaged and needs to be replaced, no work will be needed over its long lifespan. A simple scrubbing occasionally with warm, soapy water gets rid of everyday dirt which accumulates. A small addition of bleach to the water will keep mould and mildew out of the picture, particularly in areas which may be in a shady or dark part of the deck.
There are a number of advantages of composite decking, here’s just a few of them:
- The time and money that you save by never having to stain, paint, and varnish and seal your deck is a serious consideration. In addition to the treatments, some specialist equipment is required to get the job done properly.
- When wet, as it often is in the UK, composite decking far more anti-slip than wood making it safe to walk on regardless of the weather.
- Warping, cracks and splinters are not a problem with composite boards, primarily due to the high plastic content in their construction.
- All decking is going to be permanently exposed to the elements and the sun can have a damaging effect on the colour of timber decking. Composite boards are resistant to this and won’t fade or discolour in the sun.
- There is no need to maintain or replace, so once your decking is installed it will be a permanent feature of your garden. The working life of a composite deck can be up to 30 years.
- Composite decks can be made to coordinate with your existing surroundings. The colour pigment in composite boards is added at the time of manufacture which allows a limitless number of colours to be produced. This allows you an opportunity to create a truly unique feature in your garden. Should you ever want to extend the deck or change one of the boards, you can be confident the colour of the additional section will perfectly match the existing boards.
There’s a cost differential.
When evaluating costs, timber boards can appear to be a much more attractive option and appeal to homeowners. The slightly higher cost at the time of purchase more than covers the ongoing maintenance expenditure of a wooden deck. And apart from the cost of upkeep, you don’t have to actually do the work which means more time sitting on the deck instead of kneeling on it with a brush!