It used to be that homeowners had three main choices when came to picking the material of their new deck. They could choose to use an authentic wood, a composite wood or a PVC board. Today, however, a fourth option has entered the mix. Capped composite boards are getting a lot of buzz as a beneficial blend of composite and PVC, but does the result live up to the hype?
Traditional wood decks have been falling out of favor for homeowners for some time in the face of synthetic deck materials that offer a longer life, better weather resistance and less upkeep (no more yearly restraining and sealing required).
The first synthetic type of decking materials to hit the market was composite decking, a blend of wood and plastic (hence the term “composite”) that promised much less maintenance than wood decks. While composite decking does have a lot of upsides, there are downsides as well. It attracts dirt, has also been known to fade, and can invite mold and mildew.
Later, PVC decking hit the stage. Unlike composite decking, PVC boards contain no organic material (no wood fibers). Therefore, they are not vulnerable to fading, dirt, mold and mildew like composite decking. Unfortunately, PVC decking is typically more expensive than composite decking, putting it out of the budget of some homeowners.
This is where capped composite decking can be a great alternative choice. Capped composite decking is basically composite decking that has been wrapped in a thin veneer of PVC-like material to prevent outside elements from feeding off the wood particles within the composite. Capped composite boards are resistant to mold, mildew and fading just like PVC boards, but, because they are almost entirely composite, they are much less expensive than PVC decking.
Currently, the three main companies offering capped composite decking are TimberTech, Trex, and Fiberon. Each capped composite product from these manufacturers is slightly different and offers its own unique benefits.
Personally, I think capped composite decking can be a great choice for homeowners who want an easy-to-maintain deck. Capped composite decking is only slightly more expensive than composite decking, but this extra cost can be more than worth it for the mold and mildew prevention alone. The fact that capped composite decking will resist fading is just icing on the cake.
If you are in the process of planning for a new deck, the decking material you choose is going to be one of the most important choices you make. It will affect the cost of your project, the look of your deck, and how much time and effort you will need to spend every year maintaining it. I strongly suggest speaking with a professional deck builder, like Best Rate Repair, about all of your decking options before making a final decision on decking material.