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Composite Decking vs. PVC Deck Comparison – What you should know
Composite Decking materials are not in fact the "solution" to wood.
Composite decking materials first started to appear in the early 1990's. Products were intended to be very environmentally friendly, by combining polyethylene resin(PE) from recycled materials and organic fillers. However, many shortcomings became evident such as mold, crumbling, splitting, staining, combustability, scratching and color fade. Some composites had to be pre-drilled and few if any can be nailed. In comparison, PVC decking is made for comfortable lounging and easy maintenance, trouble-free.
Organic fillers are prone to production of mold
Bacteria, molds, fungi and other organisms can attack the organic filler in traditional composite decks such as wood, flax, rice hulls etc. Several prominent scientists tested composite decking products for rotting activity. Some products have improved this somewhat by compounding fungicides and anti bacterial chemicals into their formulations.
Organic fillers are prone to staining.
Organic fillers are usually exposed to the surfaces and ends of the board. These products are prone to staining from ordinary materials such as grease from the BBQ, condiments etc. These materials get absorbed by the organic fillers and wick from the surface down into the composite board staining it permanently. It is usually impossible to remove this stain.
Weatherability challenges-UV Color Retention and Product Integrity issues
Ultra violet(UV) radiation from the sun can cause the color of these products to change from the beautiful look you purchased to gray. UV can also attack the resins that bound the organic materials together resulting in the product completely losing integrity and crumbling. Because the polyethyene is coming from the post consumer recycling waste stream, manufacturers have difficulty controlling the resins, grades and contaminants going into the products. Bacterial activity can exaggerate this problem further. In 2009, a major recall of composite decking occurred due to the decking deteriorating prematurely. Screws become easily unfastened and when exposed to hot temperatures, the decking boards can unexpectedly break. This poses an extreme safety threat. In short, the decking does not live up to its purpose and can become a safety issue. Do you really want your deck to be biodegradable?
Splitting, Scratching and fastener issues
The PE composites can be prone to splitting and some have to be pre-drilled. Consumers have been disappointed when the deck look that they selected fails to meet their expectations after it is installed.
Many composite deck boards and even some celluar PVC board can become very slippery in both wet and dry conditions. Consumers have found that products that look wonderful in the showroom are slick once installed. Many products cannot have a non-slip deep texture woodgrain because of their designs using UV clear coatings and films.
Pay for long-lasting results, not temporary looks
With all of the activity meant to occur on a deck, materials should be sturdy, safe and easy to clean. The process to care for composite decking can pose a serious problem. With a composite deck, cleaners can leave the decking looking powdery. Products needed to "clean" the decking can be a threat to the environment. The finish is often easily scratched and shows flaws immediately.
Cellular PVC without any organic fillers and a true hard shell capstock on all 4 sides
With PVC, materials are made to withstand any condition. A hard capstock shell should protect your deckboard on all 4 sides for durability and easy cleaning (simply run the hose over trouble areas). Some deckboards have cut corners with the hard shell capstock on only 1,2,or 3 sides. Let the buyer beware. Customers can let their kids run around without worrying about their safety.
Non-durable composite materials force you to keep replacing your deck
Yes, composite decking may be an initially cheaper choice. But with all of the potential problems surrounding the materials, what will your real investment look like? You cannot refinish a composite deck. Instead, you are forced to replace it. As each day goes by, your deck will continue to show its age. The long life of a capped cellular pvc deck is also good for the environment because of its long life cycle.
Get more information about sturdy and reliable Endeck PVC decking today
Download brochures and guides about Enduris PVC decking, get answers to any questions you may have, or find a certified Endeck dealer in your area. You'll quickly be on the road to a quality investment in your property, and reap years of enjoyment for you, family, and friends.