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Composite Decking: What is it and why do I need it?

Composite decking has gained significant popularity in recent years as an alternative to traditional wood decking. Made from a combination of wood and plastic, the benefits of composite decking make it an attractive choice for homeowners in damp climates. In this article we explore what composite decking is, its advantages over wood decking and why you should consider it for your outdoor living space in Orange Beach, Alabama.

What is Composite Decking?

Composite decking is manufactured using a mixture of wood particles, such as sawdust, wood chips or fiber pieces, and either virgin or recycled plastic components. Additionally, chemical additives and coloring elements may be included in the composition. By combining these materials, composite decking achieves a remarkable level of strength and durability that surpasses traditional wood decking. This means that your deck will be more resilient to heavy foot traffic, furniture placement and harsh weather conditions, making it an excellent choice for the coastal climate of Orange Beach, Alabama.

Capped vs. Uncapped

One important consideration when choosing composite decking is whether it is capped or uncapped. Capped composite decking features a protective shell that partially or fully encapsulates the wood. This shell acts as a barrier against moisture, preventing mold and mildew growth that can damage the surface of uncapped composite decking. By selecting capped composite decking, you can enjoy a deck that maintains its pristine appearance with minimal upkeep, ideal for the humid conditions often found in Orange Beach, Alabama.

Three Types of Composite Decking

Composite decking boards are available in three main types: solid, hollow and capped.

  • Solid composite boards offer exceptional strength and durability, making them an ideal choice for high-traffic areas.
  • Hollow composite boards are lighter and stiffer, providing a more rigid deck surface.
  • Capped composite decking combines the strength and durability of solid boards with the added protection of a plastic shell.

Choosing The Perfect Color

When selecting a color for your composite decking, you have the opportunity to blend your deck seamlessly with the outdoors or create a structure that will complement your home’s architectural style. With numerous options on the market, you can find brands like Trex, offering an extensive palette of 20 colors, or Deckorators, providing a range of 18 colors to choose from.

Proper Installation of Composite Decking

To ensure the longevity and visual appeal of your composite decking, proper installation is crucial. It is important to remember that composite decking requires ventilation. Leaving a gap of at least six inches beneath the bottom of the joist allows for proper airflow. Additionally, if your deck is being installed on soft ground, it is recommended to cover the ground with landscaping fabric or weed control before laying down gravel or pea shingles. Finally, paving stones can be placed on top to support the joists, ensuring stability and durability for years to come.

In conclusion, composite decking offers homeowners in Orange Beach, Alabama a compelling alternative to traditional wood decking. Its composition of wood and plastic provides enhanced strength, durability and weather resistance. The option for capping provides an extra layer of protection, helping to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. With a variety of types and colors available, composite decking allows homeowners to create a beautiful and functional outdoor living space. By choosing composite decking, you can enjoy a low-maintenance, long-lasting deck that will enhance your outdoor living experience for years to come. Ready to build your dream composite deck? Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

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