Composite decking is a sustainable, safe, and cost-effective alternative to natural timber. It is an artificial product composed of recycled thermoplastics and wood fibres. This means that whilst it retains the striking beauty of wood, it is protected against the elements for a much lower cost than comparable timber decks!
It’s natural to assume that composite decking will be installed similarly to timber. But, composite decking has different properties, which means it expands and contracts at a different rate to timber. This results in a less-than-perfect fit, so gaps form between it and vertical cladding.
Installing composite decking is something that you’ll enjoy doing a lot. One of the main reasons to install a deck is the fun that you can have with the family or your guests. But it needs a little preparation and planning before you start. Please do this to avoid problems later down the line.
Commonly, recycled plastic and wood products are combined to create composite decking. That’s right, and it’s not really made out of wood! The majority of the wood used in composite decking is also recycled; typically, it is leftover wood from sawmills and cabinet factories.
Composite decking is a fairly new product in the decking market. It is made of multiple man-made materials such as plastics, minerals, glass and other composite materials. To install a composite deck, there are a few things that you must consider.
Plan ahead to determine your desired composite decking
To help with this, consider asking yourself the following questions:
Make sure your deck has the proper clearances
It’s crucial to consider the clearances required to guarantee proper ventilation beneath the decking. Are you going to install it over grassy or earthy areas or over already-existing paved or concrete surfaces?
Choose a decking board for your deck that will support your goals
Since composite deck boards are available in a variety of colours, you get to choose the best that complements your current decor. You should, however, also take into account your expectations and way of life.
Exposure to sun
The challenge is obvious if you happen to live in a hotter climate. You will be dealing with the extra heat and the added cost of cooling your home. In general, wooden decks are cooler than cement because they are more absorbent and slower to transfer heat. This can make them uncomfortable walking barefoot. Indoor rugs and area rug placement under your outdoor furniture will help keep your deck more comfortable.
Build the deck as per your vision
Since composite deck boards are available in a variety of colours, it only makes sense that you would want to select one that best complements your current decor. Taking into account the board’s length and width is also crucial. Each brand has unique qualities, and one of them will be better suited to your project and your financial situation.
Extreme climates have a tendency to kill garden structures. Wooden arbours and trellises, for instance, are prone to rot and mold when left out in the rain or snow. The addition of pressure-treated lumber will help prolong the life of these structures as long as they are covered with plastic sheeting when not in use.
Here are five blunders to avoid when installing a new composite deck at your house or hiring someone.
1.Creating unstable deck framing
The design and construction of the deck depends heavily on the deck framing. It can be easily damaged if its framing is flimsy. If the picture frame board is attached to the frame improperly, the outcome is the same. Installing the appropriate is crucial because of this.
2.Using invisible screws
You might be pleasantly surprised by the fantastic outcome undetectable screws can produce. An expert installer will be needed for this. Utilising powder-coated screws is the alternate choice (matching the board colour). You can hire experts to check it out before you start the installation.
The joists are too far
Installations of composite decking require joists for stability. Your outdoor deck may have safety issues if the joists are too wide apart. Suppose the joists are made of pressure-treated pine. The pine joists should then be spaced 30 cm apart and at least 2″ x 10″ in size. Use of composite joists should be spaced no more than 35 cm apart. Of course, it is best to contact the composite decking manufacturer before use.
Despite having good waterproofing qualities, composite decking prolonged contact with moisture can also dull the deck’s surface. On composite decking, this encourages the growth of mould and mildew. Therefore, a 12 mm clearance from the frame structure is typically needed for composite decking. Additionally it helps the drainage of moisture from beneath the deck while preserving ventilation.
Incorrect panel installation
Extending the panels to the end of the covering deck is another composite decking installation error that is made. The gap between adjacent decks may become clogged with moisture and dirt due to this poor installation technique. Additionally, the composite deck may warp as a result of thermal expansion.
This is a pretty simple process to go about. Regular sweeping and dusting must be done in conjunction with a light soapy clean every now and then. Cleaning up after a party or after food has spilled on the deck may require this. It may also be necessary after a storm or wet season when wet leaves and dampness have been sitting under your furniture for some time. Doing this regularly will keep it in good shape for some time.
If you are looking for low-maintenance decking material, composite is a good way to go. It offers the durability of natural timber without the increased maintenance required to protect it from the elements or costly treatments for insect infestation. While you might not get the same quality solid timber you’d expect from natural timber, composite does come with a host of other benefits that make it a viable alternative for your next decking project.
In short, composite decking is a surprisingly environmentally-friendly product. It’s sustainable, cost-effective, and won’t have to be repainted or refinished anytime soon. Give it a shot if you’re thinking of doing your next deck!