While natural wood is grown wood fiber is old wood, often damaged and reclaimed old wood that repurposed as wood fibers. Plastics, binders, and adhesives are used to hold the wood fibers together and the form is pressed into shape. The result is composite lumber. Its been very popular lately because it is far cheaper than real wood and the companies that sell it have been making some very big claims about how It outlasts real lumber by 15 years. Now composite wood-like plywood is the mainstay in house construction but it took till the nineties for composite wood to be used for aesthetic items like decking, which is intended to be beautiful.
It did not take long, by the late twenty-tens the composite wood deck had become almost as popular as the natural wood deck had been before it. There are thousands of new composite decks made every year and the popularity is growing. People will come to your home and see the gorgeous deck, and when they hear how cheap it was they will go out and get one built for themselves. It has become the new thing to use composite deck boards over wood supports for a cheaper deck all around. However, manufacturers may not be telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Composite decks are not garbage, they are functional and have many pros over wooden decks. The issue with these kinds of decks is the manufacturers are making huge claims, not all of them are correct and when you realize what has happened you will be left with an unusable deck and a lot of money spent on nothing. SO make sure to do your research and find out what is good and bad about this type of decking.
These are some of the issues with composite decks that may cause problems down the road.
It is said that composite wood resists moister in all forms. This is not entirely true. The edges of composite wood are often rougher than sanded natural wood and can hold liquid. While the wood is made with chemicals that resist mold and rot the amount of time the water spends on the side of the lumber can eventually cause rot. And once it starts it cannot be stopped like with natural wood. You cannot chip away the rot and spray wood hardener. This wood is made of wood flour, so fine it’s like powder. The rot will travel through it like lightning ad your deck will be down for the count.
The wood is not immune to warping and in some situations and ecological areas are more prone to warping than natural wood. The staining also leaches into the wood and has to be re-stained and retreaded more often due to the microscopic wood particles its made form. The sun hammers it like it does any wood but without the strong fibers of natural wood, it will break down and turn into mulch.