Composite Decking Versus Wood Decking Material

Help the Environment! Buy Composite!…Or Not.

Composite decking is made by combining sawdust, glue, and recycled plastic. Recycled, that’s good, right? At first, yes. But what about later, when the deck breaks or you want to replace it entirely? Recycling facilities aren’t made to handle the hodge-podge of ingredients that make up composite decking.

Additionally, if everyone decided to choose composite over real wood, the commercial value of forests would plummet, removing a large incentive to preserve these natural resources.

Wood Decking Material, on the other hand, when responsibly harvested, turns large tracts of woodland into goldmines and doesn’t require any environmentally hazardous processes for use.

Maintenance-Free Decking?

Not composite. Remember how composite decking was made? That process makes for a spnge-like material that soaks up moisture. Your composite deck is now a breeding ground for mold. Despite what composite companies may tell you, composite decks are not impervious to decay, and you will spend lots of time and money taking care of you deck.

Wood decking, especially the exotic species such as ipe or cumaru, has nature-endowed defenses against mold and mildew. It is possible to enjoy a real hardwood deck without ever lifting a finger to maintain Composite wood decking.

At Least It Will Last…Maybe?

No. Those maintenance issues we mentioned will eventually force you to replace your composite deck. Composite marketing claims lifespans exceeding 100 years, but composite decking hasn’t even been around that long, and if the continuous stream of complaints, recalls, and lawsuits are any indication, then composite decking will never live up to the hype.

Of course, natural wood has been around for hundreds of years, and it has proven itself durable. Exotic wood decking is especially impressive, and can outlast the deck builder if taken care of.

But I Can’t Afford Real Wood, and Composites Look Just As Good Composite Decking Cost .

Bad news: If you can’t afford real wood, then you can’t afford composite decking, which is–in spite of what the anufacturing companies tell you–just as, if not more expensive. On top of that, maintenance and replacement costs will compound the price tag even more.

So what are you paying for when you buy composite decking? Often, it is simply the “eco-friendly” label, which, as we’ve already discussed, is barely deserved.

Oh, and if you thought a composite deck would look just as good as real hardwood, look again. Up close (and unless you’re really tall, that’s how you’ll see it) there’s no comparing the two.

Does composite decking support its claims? I think you’ll agree that it falls flat on its face when compared to real wood deckng material.


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