An Intro to Our First Material Walkthrough:
With so many options to choose from when deciding on your future fence or deck, picking out what material to use can feel overwhelming. With these concerns in mind we’ve decided to put together a Material Walkthrough where we analyze the key points of the materials we have on offer. We’ll break down what the materials are, their pros and cons, how to maintain them, and answer some FAQ’s.
With introductions out of the way, let’s jump into the first entry of our Material Walkthrough series: Composite Decking
What Exactly is Composite Decking?
We’re gonna start with the basics, and it doesn’t get more fundamental than explaining what composite materials are. Basically, composite lumber is a combination of real wood fibers, plastic, and a binding agent. With Fence and Deck Depot we source all of our composite material through Timbertech. What differentiates Timbertech from the competition is their industry leading technology. Not only their boards constructed through a uniquely durable polymer mix, but they are also made up of 80% recycled material. This focus on tech makes Timbertech tough, but sustainable. In 2021 Timbertech diverted 500 million pounds of waste from landfills by reformulating it into their products. Timbertech makes ethics easy!
For more information on the technology behind our composite, I encourage you to check out the Timbertech website:
The Pros and Cons of Composite
Now that we know a bit more about what exactly composite decking is, how does it stack up against other materials? Let’s get into the pros and cons:
Composite decking lasts longer: A recent study by Consumer Reports proved that composite lasts up to three times as long as traditional wood decking. In fact, they found that composite decking often lasts thirty years or longer!
No Maintenance, No Problem: That same study found that the annual maintenence cost of Composite was about $50. This cost is almost entirely made up of the water you should use to wash it, but more on that later!
A Clean, Modern Style: Composite isn’t increasingly popular only for practical reasons. Composite decking gives your future deck a consistent look in a variety of colors. Where some argue that wood’s inconsistency adds character to a deck, those looking for uniformity find their home with composite. Finally, the hidden-fastening system we use with Timbertech’s decking leads to a clean surface devoid of any screws.
Upfront Price: With all of its benefits, composite is somewhat pricier starting out. However, its longevity should be kept in mind when looking at the price as the lifetime value of your deck will make it less expensive than wood. If you’re curious about what a composite deck could cost for you, call us for an estimate at (636) 425-3369
So, what would maintenance look like for your future composite deck? As mentioned earlier, maintenance is incredibly minimal; however, there are still a few tips if you want your deck to be at its best:
Sweep Regularly: This one is pretty simple. Sweeping often stops debris from accumulating on your deck and keeps it looking great.
Clear Your Gaps: The gaps between boards are one of primary sources of organic decay in composite decks. It’s common for things like grass or leaves to find their way in the gaps. An easy way to clear out these gaps is getting a hold of something like a putty knife and gently sliding it through the openings.
Wash Occassionally: While build up of dirt or rock-salt isn’t a pressing issue, it gets harder to handle the longer it goes unaddressed. An easy way to wash your deck of dirt and grime is by getting a power-washer (on a lighter setting) and combining it with some mild soap. Alternatively, a simple scrub brush will do the trick just as well!
Redirect Downspouts and Standing Water: If there are any specific areas on your deck that deal with more water than others, try to address it. While TimberTech’s Composite Decking resists water and rot, mold and mildew are universal issues when things are overly moist and warm.
What kind of colors are on offer?
For the Timbertech Pro and Edge lines there is a total of 14 colors on offer. If you’re interested in learning more about options we recommend the Timbertech Website or their Instagram. Alternatively, check out our Projects Page for examples of some work we’ve done.
Are there slip concerns with composite decking?
While some composite manufacturers don’t prioritize your safety, we’re glad to say that Timbertech does. Timbertech’s unique grain patterns led to its brand performing 40% better on slip tests than the competition. This makes Timbertech as safe as wood when it comes to slips, without any of the safety concerns around splinting or rot.
Does this material scratch easy?
No. As mentioned previously, Timbertech is leading the decking space technologically. Timbertech decking uses their patented Alloy Armour Technology which is designed specifically to resist scratching.
How much does it heat up under sunlight?
We pride ourselves on transparency at Fence and Deck Depot. In keeping with this, anything will heat up on warmer days when under direct sunlight. If heat is a concern, lighter color options like Coconut Husk or Antique Leather are wise options. Alternatively, Timbertech’s Azek line stays 30% cooler than standard decking boards. However, Azek and other forms of Vinyl decking will have to be tabled for a future Material Walkthrough.
I hope this brief walkthrough has helped you become more informed on the ins and outs of composite decking. If you find yourself interested in getting a composite deck of your own, please contact us at (636) 441-7374 and we can get you a free, no obligation estimate!