Tag Archives: Composite Decking Reviews

The Future of Decking…Is it Man-Made?

Plastic decking

Plastic decking made to look like weathered wood.

I have seen the future of decking….and it is not plastic.

From looking over many of the exhibits at the International Builders Show in Orlando, FL, it was apparent there are a ton of composite decking companies there. There were the familiar names and a bunch from overseas countries like China. Despite the elaborate displays and fancy marketing materials, I can’t tell you how many times I overheard people going up to various reps and asking the same questions:

  • How does this compare to real hardwood like Ipe?
  • I heard about recalls due to mold, peeling and cracking? Why is your stuff different?
  • What chemicals do you use to ensure this stuff doesn’t fade like you claim?

Clearly, people have been doing their homework on these decking materials. With the shaky record composites have, it’s understandable that people are growing more skeptical about the claims of low maintenance.

Faded wood decking

Left to mature gracefully, this ipe deck hasn't checked, split, or warped.

Each time, I overheard rep after rep stumbling through the exact same answers. Saying that a product is “just better” because it’s recycled isn’t a real answer. Similarly, saying that you can’t disclose what chemicals are used within the plastic just doesn’t fly especially when you remember all the news of recalls and tainting that are currently plaguing many foreign made building products. However, the most glaring problem about these options is the plain and simple fact that composite and PVC decking looks plastic. There’s no mistaking it.

Despite the many attempts to mimic the look of authentic wood decking one thing is clear, you can’t fool the eye. And, if you’re going to claim that your product improves on mother nature, you better be sure it can handle whatever mother nature throws at it! As you can see from the picture about, that ipe deck lining the beach has been in place for years. It withstands the daily pressures of sun, rain, daily traffic, wind, sand, and every conceivable element you can think of. As you can see, it’s been holding up nicely. Contrast that with the composite decking reviews you read online and the pictures to back it up. Given the past performance of composite decking, the future doesn’t look too promising.

Have you replaced your composite deck? Are you considering building a new deck in the future? What are you looking for out of a deck material? Tell us your thoughts below…

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: