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Composite Decking – What Is It?

It is a combo of wood and plastic that typically make up what we label composite decking. The plastic used can be recycled or virgin material, and the wood is usually by-products of the lumber industry like wood fiber, chips, and saw dust. These components are blended and prepared with preservatives and color, to make boards that appear comparable to wood. These boards are heavier, yet do not have the same toughness of wood. However, according to many composite decking reviews, this deck material is very insusceptible to rot, will not warp, and does not require staining, painting or sealing. All that you have to do to care for your composite decking is give it a sweep every now and again and then wash it with soap and water twice a year. However, the decking might need administration of a preservative depending on the proportion of wood used in the manufacture of the board.

Types of Composite Boards

There are hollow and there are solid composite decking boards. The hollow boards are lighter in weight, and must be handled carefully during the building process. Solid composite boards however are heavier and stronger, but they have a tendency to contract and expand with the variation in climate. The solid variety is usually the popular option because it looks more like wood, and has better strength.

Types of Composite Materials

Material for composite decking is of three types; non-wood plastics, polypropylene with wood, and polyethylene with wood. Wood composites will have varying wood percentages – normally between 40 and 70 percent. Many suppliers now prefer using polypropylene compared to polyethylene, as it is stronger, and has a lesser propensity to contract and expand. Polyvinyl chloride is used in composites having zero wood content. The advancements in modern technology are making things such that this material is able to look more like real wood than ever before.

How to Choose the Right Product

While selecting the material for composite decking, you will have to consider the price, color preference, site of the deck, and the screw system. Among the three types of products, non-wood plastics are quite costly, and are much lighter in weight than the other materials. It is also worth bearing in mind that any non-wood composite will normally be twice as costly than wood due to its pressure treatment. This is a double edged sword though because it will generally last longer than wood. If the location of your deck is directly in the sun, you will have to choose a product that has least propensity of fading. In some cases it might just come down to what you like the appearance of since not all varieties will come in all shades and colors.

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