Tag Archives: Composite Decking Problems

Is There Such Thing as a Maintenance-Free Deck?

This is probably the question asked most often by both our potential and current customers, along with the entire internet. Everyone wants a maintenance-free deck that once it’s installed, you do absolutely nothing and it’ll stay looking just like the first time you stepped on it.

This popular belief was pioneered by some of the manufacturers of synthetic decking products, promising a maintenance-free, trouble-free surface that would last for years without lifting a finger. These fantastic claims resonated well because people were tired of the same Southern Yellow Pine, Cedar or Douglas Fir that would need yearly stripping, sealing and painting just to try to keep it together for a few years.

However, the properties that make these woods popular for construction don’t apply to exterior use.  They need to be painted or sealed constantly to protect the wood, otherwise it will deteriorate, splinter, crack, and rot beyond repair. Though cheap initially, the cost of maintenance and the enduring hard work has proven these species unsuitable.

We recommend Pressure Treated wood only for deck framing.
We recommend Pressure Treated wood only for deck framing.

The wonderful thing about our decking is that it maintains its structural integrity as the decades pass. This means there’s none of the deterioration that is typical with species like Southern Yellow Pine. Our decking weathers beautifully to grey, but it stays solid. With our hardwood choices of Ipe, Cumaru, Tigerwood, Garapa, and Massaranduba, you can expect to have one of the densest and strongest woods available on the market. All of these woods are at least 2x stronger and much denser than any of the common wood used for decks.

DSC_9891

Having a desire for a low-maintenance material is when our Brazilian hardwood decking becomes most enticing. Using any of our species of hardwoods won’t promise you a deck that, without any help, will be pristine for many decades. We are realistic and we know that our decking needs some maintenance, no matter how minimal it is. The maintenance you can expect with our hardwoods is to have to rinse off the deck with warm water.  

If you leave the deck without cleaning for months, you may need to use a cleaner and brightener solution. Don’t worry, this is a powder that dissolves in warm water and gets applied with a mop; if you can mop a floor you can use these solutions. Finally, to keep the color of any of our woods, you will need to re-apply Ipe Oil once every year to two years depending on how much sun your deck sees.

This oil acts as a sunscreen, and brings out the rich tones of the wood’s grain. Unlike most other products on the market, this oil doesn’t need a million things before it’s applied. If your deck is clean, just apply it again!

What we offer is a no compromise decking material that lasts well over 30 years, is 100% natural, low-maintenance, and can always be repaired should there be any scratches or gouges. Even more importantly, compared to any other material, if our hardwood is left to fade, it can always be returned to its original color.

Composite Decking Reviews Uncover Major Recalls & Lawsuits

Once again, while searching for composite decking reviews, I was once again struck by how many people regret spending their hard earned money on an expensive, yet inferior product. It’s no secret that I am not a fan of composite decking. However, my reasons are not because I think the decking is ugly or that the cost is too high. On the contrary, I hate to see people save, plan, and then build a deck, only to have it crumble or worse, transform before their eyes. What do I mean? Well, just take a look at these pictures:

Composite Decking Pictures:

Need further proof that composite decking is not all that it’s cracked up to be? I’ve posted these before, but it’s worth noting again that the US Government has already warned consumers about plastic decking. All of these issues, problems and composite decking complaints make you wonder…is composite decking the next asbestos?

Composite Decking Recall

Using hardwood once again is the best option for all your decking needs.

Composite Decking Problems & Recalls

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you know that I am not a fan of composite decking. After all, there’s a good reason why this blog is called the “Ipe Decking Blog”! 🙂

However, despite my own personal reasons, if you conduct your own research into composite decking comparisons and composite decking reviews, you will run across countless complaints and maintenance issues.

These complaints are coming from hard-working people like you who have invested their hard-earned time and, above all else, money, building what they thought would be a beautiful addition to their home. If you put yourself in their shoes wouldn’t you want to make sure that no one else goes through what they just went through?

If you want to build a deck, or replace your composite deck with decking that will last, then choose a hardwood such as ipe decking. If you look through the other posts on this blog, you will see that ipe decks are vastly superior to composite decks and can even be cheaper to build too!

Last, but certainly not least, if you’re convinced that using ipe hardwood decking is the right way to go, call us at AdvantageLumber.com. We’d be honored to help you build the deck of your dreams and avoid the nightmare of dealing with fixing your composite deck.

Composite Decking Reviews Reveal the Truth

Responsible and savvy homeowners are doing their research when it comes to composite decking problems and drawbacks. Composite decking reviews all over the internet show that there is a clear distinction between composite decking and other hardwood decking materials.

Although composite decking materials are heavily marketed and popular due its low cost, the fact of the matter is that composite decking cannot compare to hardwoods like ipe . But, what about the long term costs? To put it simply, those that say that composite wood is a viable and more eco-friendly alternative wood are not seeing the bigger picture.

Composite wood is detrimental to the environment due to the ingredients used to create it. In addition, the cost to constantly maintain, repair, and in many instances replace a composite deck means that your return on investment is actually worse than if you went ahead and installed an ipe deck instead.

When you do research on composite decking reviews, you are certain to find the following complaints:

  • Composite Decking Reviews Reveal Mold and Mildew ProblemsAbsorbs water like a sponge
  • Composite materials are made of oil-based products like polyethylene
  • Susceptible to mold, mildew, and fungi
  • Photodegradation – composite decks degrade due to UV exposure
  • The more plastic used in the composite decking, the more likely it is to warp
  • The less plastic used in the composite decking, the faster it rots
  • Termites and other insects feast on composite deck materials
  • Due to substandard construction process, planks and sometimes the whole deck needs to be replaced
  • Many lawsuits have been filed because of injuries
  • Use of resin may lead to the release of formaldehyde in the finished product

While it would be nice to say to your neighbors that you saved money with your brand new composite deck. I highly doubt you would be gloating if, after a couple of years your deck looked like the picture above.

In fact, I’d bet that you’d even stop inviting the neighbors over at all because you’d be worried about what people would think. Or worse, that someone would get injured on your property. The savings are short term, yet long regretted. When it comes to composite decking, the saying is definitely true, “You get what you pay for.”

Check out this video below which shows just some of the problems associated with various composite decking materials: