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Five Questions For...

Choosing the Right Composite decking material

What questions are the right questions?

So you’ve made the decision to use composite material for your deck: excellent choice! Because composite material has been around for a while and comes in so many shapes and varieties, you may feel like you don’t know where to start. Let the following five questions be your guide to finding the appropriate composite decking material for your property!

Too hot to handle?

1: How hot is hot?

One of the wonderful things about composite decking is its density. Because there’s very little wiggle room, and the material doesn’t decay as rapidly as wood, the potential for rot is so low you might as well count it as an impossibility. As with so many things, however, there’s a cost. That density means composite material tends to absorb heat.

Before you purchase a composite material for your deck, find out how hot it gets in the summer. Most manufacturers will know, and many companies have designed material to be cooler at higher temperatures. The last thing you want on a hot summer day is a deck that fries your feet when you step on it.

2: What’s the composite material made of? You’ll want to know, as the material makes the deck. Literally. As mentioned above, some materials cool faster than others. And a lot of composite decking is comprised of recycled products, so if you’re eco-conscious, this might be a selling point for you. Whether or not the recycled composite out-performs the competitors is another matter entirely. These are the sorts of pros and cons you’ll have to weigh into your particular situation. 

3: Has the composite material ever failed? You might be asking yourself, what does failed mean? A handful of composite materials have had very public lawsuits due to structural failure after installation. You’ll want to check on the history of the composite material to make sure nothing like this has ever happened in the manufacturer’s past. Or if it has happened, the brand has taken quick steps to rectify the issue.

4: Is there a warranty? Yes, composite decking often comes with a warranty. Not that you’ll need it! But it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

5: How much moisture does the composite decking material absorb? You may be thinking, hopefully none, right? The fact is, composite material commonly has a certain amount of wood in it. The ratio of wood to other materials is a big part of what makes it water resistant over time. If the other materials aren’t properly encapsulating the wood, the ability for rot to occur is heightened. You’ll want to make sure your composite material has at the very least been tested and ranked for water resistance.

If you use the above five questions as your guide, you’re bound to find a composite material that checks all of the boxes you’d like it to. If you’d like to hear our recommendations, click the green Contact Us Today button below and get in touch!

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