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Composite decking is a new building material. That is becoming more popular due to its high durability, longevity, and lower maintenance. Many homeowners are using composite decking as an alternative to traditional wood. But some homeowners are wondering, do composite decks need to be sealed?
Homeowners who install wood decks are very familiar with the maintenance and care requirements of decks, such as sealing them. The main reason wood decks need to be sealed is because of their water absorption. Moisture is a major cause of decking rot and mold growth. The use of sealed decking can effectively reduce the effects of water absorption and can extend the life of the wood deck. With composite decking material, however, there is no need to worry about water absorption. Because it is made of a stronger protective plastic layer that ensures that the deck is less susceptible to moisture infection. In the next article, we will look at why composite decks need to be sealed and why you need to maintain your deck.
The difference between composite decking and traditional wood is that composite decking is made from a mix of recycled wood and plastic, whereas traditional wood is a 100% natural product. Because of the special characteristics of composite deck material, it is much stronger and more durable than natural wood. However, it lacks the natural texture of traditional decking. But as technology has evolved, it now mimics the texture of natural wood very well. Composite decking’s durability means that it can withstand long periods of time in outdoor spaces.
When you install decking outdoors, it is very susceptible to the weather and the environment’s effects of rain, snow, and moisture. Sealing a deck is to protect it from moisture, sunlight, and other elements. These effects can damage the natural wood and over time even rot and cracking. Sealing the deck also effectively prevents the growth of mold and mildew. Maintaining the appearance and longevity of the deck. Composite decking, however, is made up of wood fibers as well as recycled plastic. Which provides greater strength and allows it to resist the effects of rot and moisture. So does this mean that sealing a composite deck is not required?
As mentioned above, composite decks sealed are not necessarily required. Unlike wood decking, composite decking is already resistant to moisture, rot, and insect damage. This means that composite deck boards will not rot, crack or bend like traditional decking.
However, some composite decking boards will still absorb water and can grow mold if not maintained. Another reason homeowners want to seal their decks is to maintain the original color of the deck for a longer period of time. Although composite decking will not absorb too much water, it will swell from side to side, but only by 2 to 3 mm. These decks are designed to outperform traditional wood in every way. So choosing to seal composite decking is optional, but not highly recommended.
Sealing your composite decking begins with removing everything from the top of the deck. It is important to note that you need to maintain your deck and clean the deck surface before sealing. Make sure the deck is clean and free of debris and dirt before sealing.
Clean the deck surface thoroughly until all dirt is removed. If there are stubborn stains and oil stains that are difficult to clean, use a soft deck brush and warm soapy water to scrub. Use a hose to rinse the surface until the deck surface is free of any dirt.
Pour your sealant for the composite deck into a roller and use the roller to spread the glue evenly over the surface of the deck. You will need to follow the texture of the composite decks and wait for the cement to dry once you have finished applying it. Afterward, you will notice that the deck has gained in appearance and looks more distinct.
It is important to note, however, that if you choose to use a sealer for long-lasting beauty, you will have to reseal the deck and maintain it over time. And most manufacturers do not offer after-sales service or warranties for sealed composite decking. So sealing decking is not a recommended option.
Proper maintenance is important to maintain the appearance and durability of your deck. Here are some tips and suggestions for maintaining composite decking.
Like wood decking, composite decking can accumulate dust, mold, and stains, so regular cleaning is necessary. You can use a soft deck brush, warm soapy water to scrub the deck surface, and a hose to rinse off these stains and mildew. This goes a long way in maintaining the appearance of the deck. It is important to note that you should not use sharp objects and power washers to clean the deck. Which can cause damage to the deck and leave wear and tear that is difficult to repair.
Do not use some chemicals on your deck to clean it, such as bleach or ammonia. These solvents can severely damage the deck’s protective coating and have a huge impact on the life and durability of composite decks. It is feasible to choose some mild cleaners to clean stubborn stains, which will not harm your deck.
Even though composite decking is very durable, it can be damaged due to weather, humidity, and other reasons. Regular inspections can identify any problems in time and keep your outdoor space safe. If any damage is found, it should be repaired or replaced in time to prevent more serious accidents.
Sealing composite deck boards is not a recommended option. But if you want your deck to be free from fading and cleaning, and you are comfortable with regular maintenance and sealing of the deck. Then sealing composite decking is also a desirable decision. In fact, proper maintenance of the deck, if cleaned regularly and inspected periodically. It also can be effective in maintaining the appearance and longevity of the deck.