Battle for the Backyard: Wood Vs. Composite Decks

After careful consideration, you’ve decided to build a deck in your backyard (or have your local deck building company do it for you at an affordable rate). Good choice. A deck allows you to relax outside during the warm San Diego days, entertain in the evening and even lay out under the stars at night.

Now that you’ve got that figured out, a new question looms. What materials will you use to build your deck? Your two main options are wood or composite.

Don’t know what composite is? Composite decking is made from a blend of woods and recycled plastic, vinyl or acrylic materials. When it comes to composite decking, the manufacturers try to emulate the look and feel of wood while claiming that the composite lasts longer and requires less maintenance. Is it true? Keep reading to find out.

Wood Decking

The Positives

Wood is the classic deck material, and there’s a reason. It’s stood the test of time. Wood has a certain look and feel that homeowners really enjoy and which cannot truly be replicated by composite decking. Wood decks, when treated properly, can also last between 20 – 40 years, which is a pretty good lifespan for any wooden structure. Also, when wood becomes a little bit weathered, a deep refinishing can bring back its original color and luster.

The Negatives

Wooden decks aren’t perfect. If the wood is not treated properly, it can be at the mercy of the weather. Moisture will warp and weaken untreated wooden decks and also wash out its original color. Mold could also become an issue. Wooden decks need to be treated on a regular basis. This includes applying sealant and refinishing to maintain color, texture and water proofing.

Overall Assessment

After years of losing out to composite, wood is making a comeback. As word gets out that not all composite customers have been happy with their purchase (more on that below), homeowners are turning back to the original.

Composite Decking

The Positives

The makers of composite decking claim that composite lasts longer than wood and requires much less upkeep. They’ve also created a wide variety of composite options that mimic the look and feel of wood. They also claim that composite is more environmentally friendly than wood, as it is made from recycled materials.

The Negatives

There has been a lot of grumbling coming from composite deck owners. Some claim that the coloring of the deck washes away in a couple of years, leaving the material looking washed out as well as chalky and porous. Unlike wood, you cannot refinish composite decking. It doesn’t really matter if the material itself lasts a long time if it all ends up in the garbage because it didn’t look good.

There have also been widespread complaints of composite decking failures and mold issues.

As the technology improves, the composite industry has made many improvements to mold, color fading quality.

Overall Assessment

In the face of so much negative backlash against the composite decking companies, it’s easy to give up on composite altogether. Certainly, trust is a big issue. However, I believe that composite decking companies will respond to complaints by making a better product. Who knows, in the future, composite decking may come back better than ever.

Hopefully this blog post will allow homeowners to make an educated decision when deciding between a wooden and composite deck. If you still have questions, feel free to give Best Rate Repair a call at (619) 229-0116 or leave a comment below


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3 Responses to Battle for the Backyard: Wood Vs. Composite Decks

  1. shower door repair April 4, 2012 at 5:47 am #

    There have also been widespread complaints of composite decking failures and mold issues.

  2. Ecodek Composite Decking May 10, 2012 at 2:55 am #

    In recent years there has been a lot of improvements made in composite decking construction to try and avoid fading. However, not withstanding this obvious negative, the fact that this alternative is lower maintenance, lasts longer and is more slip resistant means it is ideal for businesses such as hotels, and restaurants.

  3. Canvas Bags June 15, 2012 at 2:08 am #

    I am very glad to read this nice article. I am happy that you made this concept very clear in front of people and to be very frank this is useful information too. Keep it up.

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