Tag Archives: Composite Decking

Refinishing All Decks, Even Composites

Refinishing is a tradition that all deck owners know well. Whether its pressure treated, cedar, redwood, pine, or any other type of softwood, usually every year in the spring time a proper cleaning and refinishing is necessary to restore its former beauty.

Decks built out of wood look beautiful year in and year out because of the wood’s natural properties. Wood deck surfaces can be power washed or sanded to remove any surface debris without adverse effects to the core of each board.

Take care when power washing to use a wide fan tip nozzle and make sure you hold the wand back far enough away from the deck boards. Once the boards are clean and dry, a stain or protective coat can be applied to keep wood looking wonderful another twelve months before the process starts again.

In the case of our Brazilian hardwoods, it’s a little easier than that. If needed use a cleaner and brightener specific for hardwoods to clean excessive dirt and balance the pH of the wood. Once this step is completed, apply a coat of Ipe Oil to provide protection from the sun’s UV rays.

This process is only necessary once per year depending on how much direct sunlight the deck gets, some home owners can get away with applying the oil to their deck every other year.

Advances in technology created synthetic man-made materials that claim to be the latest and greatest materials to build decks with. Composites claim that their product has all the qualities of a durable, reliable material without any of maintenance that wood requires. As the years pass and composites begin to feel the test of time, a lot of products fail to uphold their promises.

A faded and moldy composite decking will require a complete refinishing
A faded and moldy composite decking will require a complete refinishing

More and more homeowners turn to the internet to search for something that was supposed to be an oxymoron: composite deck refinishing. As their composite decking begins to fade or worse, suffer from delamination resulting in cracked and flaked surfaces, homeowners quickly find their composite decking needs refinishing with chemical products, resulting in a bigger hassle than refinishing regular pressure treated decking.

The classic “all that glitters is not gold” proves once again that if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Decking Reviews – Compare Composite & Wood Deck Materials

Ipe wood decking
Genuine wood decking creates a sanctuary you won’t soon forget.

If you found this blog post searching for “Decking Reviews”, congratulations! You’re right to do your research. You might have even read some negative feedback or heard a lot of marketing hype from both hardwood and composite decking companies. Hopefully, this post clears the confusion about which direction to go in and what material to choose for your specific project.

If you’ve ever heard the saying, “You get what you pay for” then you understand that when people cut corners, focus on buying cheap materials, and fall for that marketing hype, disappointment, regret, and frustration set in. We’ve received a ton of phone calls from people who were tricked into buying “Tropical” materials that composite decking companies sell. We’ve even received calls from people who bought their decking from a different supplier only to be disappointed to find that their material was not premium grade, or was handled incorrectly.

Many of the problems you might hear when it comes to hardwood decking could have and should have been prevented.

  • Was an end grain sealant used to protect the boards from drying out too quickly and checking?
  • Were the boards allowed to properly acclimate to the surrounding climate for the recommended 3-5 days?
  • If using dense materials like cumaru or ipe, were the deck boards pre-drilled prior to fastening?
  • Seeking the advice of the company who supplied the material is also highly recommended.
  • Also it helps to chose to work with a reputable contractor in your area who understands multiple materials and how best to install them.

With regards to composite decking materials, we strongly advise against them for many practical reasons:

  1. It’s more expensive than real wood decking
  2. The benefits (or lack thereof) don’t justify the high cost
  3. There are too many composite recalls and lawsuits and general complaints to count
  4. Mold, mildew, decomposition, and discoloration are common complaints
  5. Composite deck boards cannot be recycled by a majority of local recycling plants

Let’s be honest, if composite decking were so great, we’d be selling it. However, with these facts in mind, we can’t in all good faith, offer products we know to be inferior to genuine hardwood.

Ultimately, what you need to consider is not how the material will look 1-2 years after it’s installed, but what the material will look like and be able to handle in 10-15 years…that’s the benchmark.

Discover more about real wood decking from AdvantageLumber.com

Looking to Build a Deck? Now is the time!

ipe-deck2

Now more than ever, homeowners are looking at their home and thinking,

“With the housing market the way it is, we may be at this home for much longer than we thought. Is now the time to build a deck or do a room addition?”

In short, the answer may be “Yes!”

After all, if you are choosing rethink the length in which you and your family will occupy their home, then why not make the most of your time there?

There are many practical factors that you may not be aware which will make the decision to build a deck much easier…

  1. The fact is, professional labor costs are much cheaper now than in years past. Simply put, it is in a deck builders best interest to build a deck for less AND well so that you can refer them more business in the future.
  2. Ipe decking is now cheaper than most composite decking! Due to the high price of oil (a key ingredient in the making of the plastic that composite decking needs), composite decking is now MORE expensive than ipe decking. Now is the time to take advantage of the low price of ipe decking. If you need more reasons to choose ipe over composite decking, check out some of the other posts I’ve done which highlight the harmful side effects that composite decking can have on the physical and monetary health of you and your family!
  3. Building a deck helps the overall community and our economy. When you build a deck for your home, you’re not only employing the services of a labor company and their workers, you’re helping the livelihood of the the truck driver who shipped the wood to your home, the person who took your order, the person who initially cut your ipe decking…on and on. When you step onto your finished deck, you will be rest assured that many people also benefited from your choice to build a deck for your home

At AdvantageLumber.com, it would be an honor to be chosen by you for your decking needs. It is our goal to ensure that the hardwood that you choose for your deck suits your needs both now and into the future.

Ipe Decking Costs Less than Composite Decking

ipe-decking

GREAT NEWS! Ipe decking is now more affordable than most composite decking. For a while, this was not the case. However, since the price of oil is so volatile, the cost of composite decking materials have risen substantially.

Why is this the case?

Because composite decking uses polyethylene and polyethylene is made from oil. So, there’s no getting around it, because composite decking has a core ingredient that is tied to such a volatile commodity, anyone looking to build a deck with composite decking may have to spend a lot more than their budget calls for. A lot more!

What do you do now?

It’s time to consider ipe decking. Simply put, when you do a apples to apples comparison, ipe is far superior to composite decking.

Here are the facts to consider when comparing ipe to composite decking:

  1. Ipe decking comes from is 100% natural wood. Composite decking is made of synthetic plastic that is tied to the high price of oil.
  2. The price of ipe has remained steady due to the managed forestry practices that industry leaders like Advantage Lumber have embraced and promoted
  3. Ipe is going to last decades due to its natural density and resistance to mold, mildew, fungus, and insects. Composite decking companies cannot make this claim with a straight face.

Moreover, ipe is a renewable resource and is 100% biodegradable. This is an important distinction to make because composite decking is made from non-renewable resources such as petroleum.

Many homeowners with composite decks are now learning the hard way because their composite decking ends up in a landfill because it fails to stand up as promised. Doesn’t it make sense to choose a decking material that is proven to stand the test of time and is also less expensive?

When you choose AdvantageLumber.com for your ipe decking needs, you also have the option of purchasing a whole host of decking supplies and accessories to make building an ipe deck simple and easy.

For more information and to see our list of ipe price list, check out our Ipe Decking Prices page.

Ipe Decking is Safer than Composite Decking

Many people settle for composite decking due to the fact that composite wood and materials are cheaper than more high-quality exotic hardwoods like ipe. However, while the cost may be appealing, the long term viability of the materials is suspect at best. If you do a simple Google search for “composite decking complaints” or “composite decking lawsuit” you will see that, while people and businesses may have saved some money initially, they took a great risk in choosing an inferior product.

Here’s a simple ipe decking versus composite decking comparison chart: Continue reading