In addition to being durable, attractive, hassle-free, composite decking is also incredibly versatile – so much so that it doesn’t only have to be used for decks! Composite boards are also a fantastic material for other outdoor structures, like docks and fences. Below are some of the pros and cons of opting for composite or PVC materials over wood for your fence or dock.
Con: Installation Costs
Whether you’re choosing composite boards for your deck, dock, or fence, your upfront costs are likely to be higher than if you chose to build with wood. However, as you’ll see in the next points, the long-term expenses associated with composite and PVC decking materials are significantly less than for real-wood structures.
Pro: Maintenance Costs and Effort
There is a major difference between the amount of time, effort, and money it takes to maintain a composite dock or fence vs one built from real wood. Wood fences require frequent repainting, re-staining, and various repairs, while composite materials fare better when exposed to inclement environmental factors like rain, snow, intense sun, insect infestations, and mould.
In fact, wood structures that are regularly exposed to tough conditions aren’t guaranteed to last longer than a couple of years. This description applies both to docks, which spend time in and around the water, and fences, which are rarely sheltered from the elements.
As mentioned above, composite material docks and fences are likely to last much longer than wood ones, particularly if you live somewhere that regularly experiences challenging weather. The difference in lifespan between wood and composite decking can be anywhere from 10 to 35 years; with docks or fences, the disparity may be even greater.
Con (with a solution): Heat
If you’re considering composite decking for the dock at your cottage or lakefront home, you should be aware that this material can become hot with sustained exposure to the sun, hot enough to be painful to walk on barefoot. Luckily, some composite decking material now comes with heat-blocking technology to keep your dock or deck cooler. You might also consider hollow boards, which cool down more quickly than solid ones, and a light colour to better reflect the sun’s rays.
Some purists may prefer the look of real wood materials for their fence or dock, and that’s fine. But advances in composite decking technology mean consumers can now purchase composite materials that closely resemble the real thing without sacrificing the many benefits we’ve already discussed in this blog.
Pro: Order Composite Decking Online
Through Composite Deck Direct, composite decking material is now available for online purchase! Contact us today to learn more about our products and services, or shop online.