How Long Does Composite Decking Last? Composite Deck Lifespan

Beautiful Deck

Enhancing Outdoor Spaces: The Longevity of Composite Decks

When it comes to investing in a deck, one of the primary considerations is its lifespan. Homeowners want a durable, long-lasting option that provides value for their money. In recent years, composite decking has gained popularity for its impressive longevity compared to traditional wood. But just how long can you expect a composite deck to last? Let’s dive into the details.


Exceeding the Lifespan of Wooden Decks 

In stark contrast to the average lifespan of a wooden deck, which typically hovers around a mere 10 to 15 years, composite decking transcends such limitations owing to its meticulously engineered composition. Through a process involving the melding of natural wood and synthetic fibers, culminating in the application of a protective vinyl shield, composite deck boards acquire a longevity that eludes their cheaper wooden counterparts. A fascinating tidbit: composite decks also play a role in curbing plastic pollution by repurposing recycled plastic that might otherwise find its way into landfills!


What is Composite Decking?

Before we explore its lifespan, let’s understand what composite decking is. Composite decking is a blend of wood fibers, plastic, and binding agents, resulting in a sturdy, attractive, and low-maintenance material. This combination resists rot, mold, and insect damage, making it an excellent choice for outdoor spaces.


The Resilience of Composite Decking

Consider how composite addresses the three most prevalent issues that curtail the lifespan of wooden decks:


Mold & Rot Resistance 

The bane of wooden decks, mold, spells impending doom as it inexorably leads to rot and structural degradation. Composite boards, however, emerge impervious to this menace. While unsightly, mold poses no existential threat to your composite deck. This stands as a paramount factor contributing to the superior lifespan of composite decking.


Color Retention 

Aging leaves its indelible mark on wooden decks, a transformation not witnessed in their composite counterparts. Where composite reigns supreme in durability, wooden decks, over time, transmute from symbols of opulence to weathered relics. This contrast underscores the capacity of composite decks to maintain their youthful allure even after a quarter-century or more. Notably, manufacturers’ warranties frequently cover color-related concerns. The infusion of color in composite decking spans the entirety of the board, thereby avoiding potential chipping or scratching.


Splinter-Free Comfort 

A testament to its engineered prowess, capped-composite decking stands resolute against the scourge of splintering—a common affliction endured by wooden decks. It’s not uncommon for wooden deck boards to splinter and disintegrate around the 10-year mark, a fate prevented by the use of composite materials. This translates into an expanded operational lifespan for composite decks. Furthermore, the upkeep of composite decking proves to be a straightforward endeavor.


Composition and Durability

Core Material

The core of composite decking is typically made from a mixture of wood fibers and recycled plastic. This combination provides the deck with structural stability and strength.


Capping Material

The top surface of composite decking is covered with a protective polymer shell. This capping material adds an extra layer of defense against moisture, UV rays, and general wear and tear.


Factors Influencing Longevity

Quality of Materials

Not all composite decking is created equal. Higher-quality materials tend to have a longer lifespan due to their superior resistance to environmental stressors.


Installation Process

Proper installation is crucial for the longevity of any deck. Ensuring that it’s securely fastened and properly supported will contribute to its overall lifespan. This is why it’s always important to contact a professional deck builder like Inside Out Construction. Armed with decades of experience, we proudly serve as the most trusted deck builders in Snohomish and King Counties, Washington. Let us help you plan your project or bring your dreams to life, get your free quote today or call us 206-353-4937 and we’ll help you get started. 


Maintenance Practices

Regular cleaning and maintenance play a significant role in preserving the integrity of a composite deck. Clearing debris and addressing any stains promptly will extend its lifespan.


Manufacturer’s Warranty

Many composite decking manufacturers offer warranties ranging from 25 to 50 years. This warranty provides assurance of the product’s expected lifespan under normal usage conditions.


Realistic Lifespan Expectations

Composite decking, based on our extensive experience, stands as the pinnacle of durability and boasts the lowest maintenance requirements within the current market landscape. But how long can one expect a composite deck to endure? The answer lies in a range of 25 to 30 years, with potential longevity stretching from 30 to a remarkable 50 years. It’s worth noting that not only do these figures stem from manufacturer-reported data, but third-party testing has also proven the remarkable expected lifespan of composite decking.


Capped Composite vs. Uncapped Composite

Capped decking is manufactured using co-extrusion processing, whereas traditional uncapped decking is produced through compression molding, also referred to as co-extrusion decking. Capped composite decking generally has a longer lifespan due to its additional protective layer. Uncapped composite decking options may require more frequent maintenance to achieve the same longevity. 


PVC Decking

While PVC decking (100% synthetic) is known for its durability, it may not surpass high-quality capped composite decking in terms of lifespan, but still a very popular choice nonetheless. PVC decking won’t rot, looks great, has warranties, and lasts at least 25 years! In fact, some PVC products are guaranteed for up to 50 years! 


Environmental Impact and Sustainability

Opting for a long-lasting composite deck is not only beneficial for your home but also for the environment. The use of recycled materials in composite decking contributes to a more sustainable choice.


Advantages of Long-lasting Decking

Cost-Effectiveness Over Time

Although the initial investment for composite decking may be higher than wood, its extended lifespan often leads to cost savings in the long run.


Aesthetic Appeal

Composite decking maintains its visual appeal for an extended period, requiring fewer replacements or refurbishments.


Low Maintenance

The minimal maintenance required for composite decking translates to less time and effort spent on upkeep, further enhancing its lifespan.


Seasoned Composite Deck Building Professionals

Composite decking offers a remarkable lifespan compared to traditional wood decking. Be it the initial stages of your inquiry or a poised leap towards realization, trust Inside Out Construction to be your faithful companion in deck construction. For inquiries about composite decking or those eager to schedule a design consultation, contact us today! 

We also offer other outdoor living services, including:

Interested in building a composite deck for your home? Contact Inside Out Construction today! Armed with decades of experience, we proudly serve as the most trusted deck builders in Snohomish and King Counties, Washington. Get your free quote today! Or call us 206-353-4937