Before we go into how long composite decks last, we need to learn how composite decking is made and what materials are used to manufacture it – as this will decide the longevity of the composite deck tiles.
Composite Decking Materials
Ever wondered what composite decking is made from? – We will answer this question thoroughly, so you get an idea about the lifespan of the composite decking based on the materials used in their manufacturing.
The wood composite contains a mixture of recycled plastic, sawdust, and wood composite – all of these materials serve as the most used choice of decking material. With the look, feel, and appearance like wooden decking, wood composite decking in various colors and patterns styles to resemble the laminate flooring.
Plastic composite decking has various plastic materials, including polypropylene, polyethylene, and vinyl. The plastic composite is relatively durable and lightweight. Plus, they can be made to look a lot like wood decking.
Vinyl and PVC composite decking material is made out of polyvinyl chloride. This is easily customizable; vinyl offers an array of color options.
Other material variants used for composite decking include but are not limited to:
Other recycled materials
How long do composite decks last?
Let’s discuss the lifespan of untreated composite decking;
Are you looking to build a new deck? Or perhaps you want to give your old patio an upgrade. One of the options for the choice is the use of composite decking materials. The composite decks are relatively stylish than the wood alternatives and a bit less in need of constant maintenance.
Still, the question remains, how long do composite decks last? And what is their lifespan without treatment? These are important questions, especially for property owners who won’t be staying home much and also for people who want to build decks for their vacation homes.
Another important question is, ‘what can affect a composite decking’s lifespan?’ We will discuss this later in the article, but first, let’s discuss;
Before we get into our main question, ‘How Long Do Composite Decks Last? Let’s see how long these will retain their best condition without being maintained regularly.
We advise you to take a picture of the composite deck the day it is installed because it’s the best it will ever look. Composite decks deteriorate in look, smoothness, colors, and general aesthetics very fast, unlike Tanzanite Stone Decks, which last in their glory for more than 20 years – with rough use.
Back to the composite decking;
Composite decking is made out of wood and plastic materials. It looks like wood aesthetically while being relatively durable owing to its plastic composition. The composite decks are somewhat resistant to weather and insect damage. These are mostly covered with a special outer coating, which discourages fungi and mold growth.
Still, no matter how composite decks are made, they are not quite durable – in the essence of look, feel, design and quality. Despite being sold as the most durable, strongest materials, the reality is far from the truth, and composite decks can be damaged.
Businesses advertise the lifespan of composite decks up to 5-10 years without being properly maintained. This is the significantly lower promise of quality and longevity, and frankly, composite decks with this short lifespan do not justify their price.
But what are the factors that cause deterioration of the composite decking?
Read more: What is the best material for Outdoor decks?
What Can Damage Composite Decking
Despite the common outlook of these decks, various things and factors can damage composite decking. These factors are detrimental to the lifespan of composite decks. It is important to keep these in mind to avoid potential early damages.
Moisture is the worst nightmare of every wooden deck; while composite decks are not as prone as wood, these can still be affected by moisture. As all composites do have wooden parts in them. Exposed wooden portions of the composite decking boards are directly prone to moisture, causing warping, twisting, and eventual cracking.
Additionally, these damages can spread, exposing more wood to environmental factors. With time more and more damage can be observed – even when you treat the deck – once the breakdown of a composite starts, there is no complete recovery.
Mildew and Molds
Like the moisture, the composites are not prone to mold or mildews. However, they can grow somewhere else on the deck. If you happen to leave a pile of leaves or debris, it can become a breeding ground of bacteria and mold. Similarly, the dust stuck in-between the spaces of the deck can also be the source of mold. In both conditions, the mold will spread and do damage to the composite deck.
When it comes to rust, it is the same as to the mold and mildews as far as the composite decking is concerned. While rust won’t naturally build up on your deck or patio, it can spread from metal grills, rugs, and other metal furniture.
These are the common causes and factors of composite deck damages. Neglecting to treat these problems at the root can cause significant irreversible damage to your composite deck. Without being obsessively maintained, the composite decks will only last for 5 to 10 years or even shorter. When left untreated, the only fix is to replace the boards completely, or even worse, to replace the entire deck.
These are a few reasons, due to which we do not recommend composite decking. On the other hand, we recommend an innovative solution to all these problems – the Tanzite Stonedecks.
The Tanzite material is made from natural stones, which are not affected by rust, moisture, mildew, or mold. Additionally, there is no chance of a Tanzite Stone Deck cracking, discoloring, fading, or looking weary. A Tanzite stone deck will look good as new even after 20 years of use.