Deciding on decking materials used to be simple. You simply bought wood. Nowadays, there are many other materials you can select from, and composite decking is one of the top choices among many Maryland homeowners. At North American Deck and Patio, we get numerous requests for composite decks from customers who already did their research and understand the value of this investment. In case you need a bit more information before you decide, feel free to explore this page or just give us a call with any questions!
Benefits of Composite Decking
- No need to re-stain and reseal your deck ever
- Low maintenance
- Moisture-resistant and long-lasting
- Doesn’t splinter
- Resistant to rot and fading
- Doesn’t warp when properly installed
- Comes in a variety of color choices
What is Composite Decking Made of?
At its core, composite decking is made of wood fibers mixed with some sort of plastic, as well as other additives and preservatives. This mixture is then shaped into boards, colored, and textured to look like real wood. The exact plastics used to produce composite decking vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and include polyethylene-based plastics, polypropylene-based plastics, and non-wood plastics.
Earlier composite decking products were uncapped, which means they didn’t have any protective layer. Modern composites are capped, and the protective polymer cap is fused to the core during the manufacturing process. This cap not only protects composite boards from UV rays but also creates a beautifully textured and colored surface on both sides of the board, making boards reversible.
Types of Composite Decking
- Solid Composite Decking is the most common type of composite decking and the most popular choice among homeowners. These boards are typically heavier than regular wood and costs around $7 and $13 per square foot not including the labor.
- Hollow Composite Decking is only made by a few manufacturers in the U.S. It is much lighter than solid decking, which is why it’s often used for deck retrofitting projects. It is also less expensive and can provide as much as 20% savings compared to the solid decking.
How to Maintain Your Composite Deck
Composite decks are extremely easy to maintain. Just sweep it every once in a while when you notice accumulating leaves, twigs or other debris. At the end and beginning of the outdoor season, it’s also a good idea to give your deck a thorough rinse with a hose. Finally, just like with any type of flooring, if you spill something on your deck, try to wipe it clean as soon as possible to avoid staining and attracting insects.
If some of the areas of your deck are in constant shade, they may eventually develop mold because composite decking doesn’t absorb moisture. Keep an eye on these areas and apply a diluted bleach solution at the first sign of trouble.
Long-term Value of a Composite Deck
A composite deck has a higher upfront cost than a wooden deck. According to the recent Cost vs. Value Report for the Baltimore area, the average cost of a basic 16×20 composite deck is about $15,000 for a mid-range project and $36,000 for an upscale deck. You can expect to recoup between 67% and 77% of this cost upon selling your home. In addition to that, consider the annual savings from not having to strip and refinish your deck. For comparison, the cost of refinishing a deck of the same size over a period of 10 years can range from $7K to $17K, depending on whether you do it yourself or choose to hire someone.
Give us a call or contact online today if you have any questions about composite decks or would like to schedule a consultation!