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Dino decking composite boards

How Long Does Composite Decking Last?

Building and maintaining decking can be costly, so you want to make sure that it lasts as long as possible. This is why many people opt for composite decking, an alternative to conventional wood or PVC decking, favoured by homeowners for its long lifespan and durability. In this article, we’ll explore the lifespan of composite decking so you can make the right decision for your garden. 

How Long Does Composite Decking Last on Average?

Composite decking can last upwards of 25 years, and with proper maintenance it can be enjoyed for even longer. Unlike traditional wood decking, composite decking is resistant to rot, mould, and insect damage, making it a much more durable option.  Additionally, composite decking has minimal fade in the sun and doesn’t scratch easily, maintaining its sleek appearance over time.

What is Composite Decking Made Of?

Composite decking is a synthetic material made from a blend of recycled wood and plastic. The plastic element prevents many of the issues that are associated with wood fencing products. The result is a durable and low-maintenance product that lasts longer than wood, which is the most common alternative material.

How Long Does Composite Decking Last Compared to Wood?

Unlike traditional wood decking, which may only last around 10 to 15 years, composite decking is much more durable. This longevity is primarily due to the materials used in composite decking. The plastic in composite boards protects them from many of the major issues that affect wood, such as rot, warping, splinters, and splitting.

The wood fibres found in composite decking are coated in plastic, which help to protect them from these issues. Wood-boring insects also won’t attack composite decking boards, eliminating the need for the treatments required for wood decks.

Other reasons homeowners may opt for composite decking rather than wood include:

  • Slip resistance – slip resistance is essential for decking to ensure user safety. Composite decking inherently possesses anti-slip features, including grooves for added traction. In contrast, traditional wood decking requires frequent maintenance and treatment to maintain its slip-resistant properties.
  • Maintenance – composite decking is very low maintenance, while wood decking demands more upkeep. Wood decking needs regular cleaning, along with weatherproofing, oiling, and staining, to protect it against rot and wood-boring insects. It’s still advisable to regularly clean composite decking in order to keep it looking its best, but this can be done simply using a soft brush with warm soapy water. 

Environmental Benefits of Long-Lasting Composite Decking

Since composite decking has a much longer lifespan than wood decking, it requires less frequent replacement. This reduces the energy and material inputs needed to produce new decking and results in less waste being sent to landfills.

As the wood that’s used to make the decking is recycled, it also means no trees have to be felled in order to make it, contributing to forest preservation. It also uses recycled plastic. Additionally, composite decking doesn’t need to be stained or sealed like traditional wood decking, which reduces the number of harmful chemicals that enter the soil.

Potential Challenges that Can Affect the Lifespan of Composite Decking

Certain factors can affect the lifespan of composite decking, including maintenance and the quality of materials used. Other factors to be aware of include:

Incorrect Installation

The main factor that can affect the lifespan of composite decking is incorrect installation. Ensuring your decking is installed with adequate airflow underneath is crucial to prevent moisture trapping, which can lead to mould growth and structural issues. Additionally, proper ground preparation and the use of correct tools are essential. If you plan to install composite decking yourself, read our guide on how to install composite decking to ensure it’s done correctly.

Spacing

When installing your decking, it’s vital to ensure proper spacing between the boards, maintaining a gap so they aren’t touching. For composite decking, the spacing should be 300mm; otherwise, the boards may begin to curve, leading to bending.

Fasteners

Another crucial aspect of installation is using the correct fasteners. Only Dino Decking fasteners are compatible with Dino Decking composite decking products. Using our fasteners also ensures that your warranty remains valid.

Expansion and Contraction

Expansion and contraction can occur in all decking materials, due to temperature fluctuations between seasons. It’s therefore important to factor expansion gaps into the installation process, as failing to include these gaps can hinder your decking’s longevity.

Sun Exposure

Prolonged sun exposure can cause composite boards to contract and expand, potentially leading to cracking, warping, and splitting over time. Therefore, proper installation of your composite decking is crucial. Additionally, darker colours tend to heat up more quickly, so it’s advisable to avoid walking on them barefoot during hot weather.

Debris Build Up

Natural debris such as leaves and branches can cause issues for your composite decking, as they can lead to mould and mildew when combined with wet conditions. Therefore, it’s important to remove the build up as soon as possible.

Incorrect Cleaning

Using incorrect methods of cleaning can also negatively impact your composite decking over time. For example, using harsh and abrasive chemicals such as chlorine bleach, which can damage the surface and cause the colour to fade. 

Water Pooling

To prevent puddles from forming on the decking surface, ensure it has a sloped gradient that directs water away from the property, allowing for proper drainage and surface run-off.

Composite Decking at Dino Decking

At Dino Decking, we take pride in offering low-priced, high quality composite decking that you can enjoy for years to come. Our durable decking boards are available in a range of popular colours including:

Classic Range

Premium Range

You can also find a variety of composite decking accessories including corner trims, bullnose edges, fascia, skirting and end caps. Order composite decking today from the UK’s top supplier, and receive an exclusive 10-year warranty. 

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FREE Sample Pack

Our sample pack contains a sample piece of each colour currently available. Order your free sample pack today to compare the colours and get a true feeling of the Dino Decking range! 

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