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When planning a decking project, homeowners often have a general idea of their vision, including factors like the size and layout, which will depend on the property itself and the homeowner’s budget. One crucial part of planning is deciding on the material to use, and it’s common for homeowners to have conflicting opinions about composite decking vs. wood. Here’s why maintenance-free decking with composite and synthetic materials is a better choice than wood.
Comparing Composite & Wood Deck Materials
1. You Want a Deck That Won’t Succumb to the Harsh Winter Weather
Wisconsin and Minnesota experience temperature swings along with heavy snow and rainfall. Composite decking is a great choice for these areas because it’s built to handle these conditions. Untreated wood decking in this climate is prone to dry rot and structural damage, meaning it can require more maintenance and treatment than composite.
2. You Want A Decking Material That Won’t Stretch Or Warp
When considering different types of decks, it’s good to understand how the material weathers. Summers in the Twin Cities & Western Wisconsin are full of heat and humidity. Hot temperatures can cause a wood deck to shrink and dry out. This causes the wood deck to be more likely to absorb precipitation, and over time, this can cause the deck material to swell and buckle.
Composite deck boards are weather-resistant. They can handle rain, extreme temperatures, and high winds. There is no worry about this decking material fading over time in direct sunlight. Learn more about this by checking out our composite decking cheat sheet.
3. You Want A More Durable Deck
When deciding if you should build a wood or composite deck, know that wooden decks fail faster. That’s because wood is prone to rotting, splintering, and insect damage over time.
Quality composite-synthetic decking is built to withstand damage from:
- Direct sunlight
4. You Want a Deck Material That Requires The Least Amount of Maintenance
Composite or synthetic decking differs from wood decking because it does not need routine staining or painting. To keep decks made from composite looking their best, they only need an occasional washing down.
Wooden decking, on the other hand, needs frequent upkeep to keep it looking its best. Maintenance can include:
- Power washing
- Stripping off old stain
- Applying a brightener and conditioner
- Sanding or painting
Not only is upkeep tedious for wood decks, but it is also expensive and time-consuming.
5. You Want An Environmentally Friendly Product
The type of decking material you choose can have an impact on the environment. When comparing composite decking vs. wood, a product’s eco-friendliness depends on how it’s made.
Decks made from composite materials often have a better sustainability rating because of their longevity. And, composite deck boards are often made from recycled materials.
Obtaining wood to use for decking is often the result of deforestation, which can be harmful to the environment. Plus, the sealants and stains that are commonly used to preserve wood decking can be toxic to the environment.
Bonus Read: Decking & Energy Efficient Improvements
A Final Thought On Composite-Synthetic Decking
There are many reasons why a composite deck is a wise decision for Midwestern homeowners. Whether your priority is lower maintenance or greater durability, composite-synthetic decking is a solid choice.
When you’re ready to start your deck project, we encourage you to lean into an expert for advice. When installed the right way, a composite deck can last several decades. If you have questions about materials you’re considering contact us today or schedule your complimentary consultation to get an estimate.