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How Long Does Composite Decking Last?

22 February 2024
Composite decking in garden Composite decking in garden

 

Composite decking can last over 20 years if it’s maintained well. It’s popular for its durability and long life span, and at Eurocell, we are so confident in the quality of our decking that we offer a 20-year guarantee. 


Anyone who’s chosen composite decking will know how much it can enhance an outdoor space but how do you ensure it lasts as long as possible, especially in the unpredictable British climate? 

 

What we'll cover:

What will affect the lifespan of composite decking? 

 

The type of decking you choose, the quality of installation, how well it’s maintained and some factors beyond your control – like the weather – will all play a part in the longevity of your composite decking. 


The quality of the material 


Composite decking can be engineered with properties that make it longer-lasting – for example, capped decking has a polymer sleeve that protects the surface of your decking. This makes it resistant to wear and tear, scratches, chipping and damage.


You could also opt for solid composite decking which is manufactured with strength and stability in mind. It can withstand heavy footfall and is more resistant to issues like bending and warping because it is made from a solid piece of composite. 


Eurocell’s composite decking is manufactured to a high standard with quality materials. By its nature, composite is stronger than both wooden and plastic decking, because it’s produced from a mix of both of these materials combining their strengths. 

Maintenance 


If your composite decking is well maintained, it will last longer. And the good news is, it doesn’t need a lot of energy or costly products for upkeep. Compared to wooden decking which requires painting, staining and sealing, composite decking is incredibly easy to maintain. 


To clean your composite decking, simply use household products like washing up liquid, a sponge and soft bristled brush. It only needs to be washed once or twice a year, but you can regularly maintain it by sweeping away any leaves and debris, which will prevent the growth of moss and algae.

Weather resistance 


Composite decking is weather resistant. Because of its polymer sleeve, it doesn’t absorb water which also means it’s less likely to rot or grow mould. During its manufacture, UV inhibitors can be added to the material to protect it against the sunlight, and issues like fading and discolouration caused by the sun. 


But no matter what decking go opt for, it can expand and contract because of weather fluctuations. With the changeable UK weather, the boards can move, so you need to follow the manufacturer's guidelines closely when installing


Your decking should be installed with expansion gaps which account for the natural movement of the decking. This can prevent the decking from cracking and warping, and these gaps also help any rainwater to drain. 

How can you make your composite decking last longer? 

 

Choose the right product 

When choosing your composite decking, go for the highest-quality product you can afford. Our pathway solid composite decking is manufactured from wood polymer, it’s anti-slip, resistant to fading and stains, and easy to install. The best part is that it comes with a 25 year guarantee, giving you peace of mind. 


Hire a professional 

When it comes to installation, it’s often best to enlist a professional who is experienced with composite decking. They can install it to a quality standard and prevent damaging the decking boards during installation. They have expertise in fitting decking and have the right techniques and tools for the job. You also need to follow the manufacturer's instructions when installing so that you don’t impact the warranty. 

Keep on top of cleaning 

Regular sweeping of leaves and other debris takes only a few minutes but it can increase the longevity of the decking. Make sure you wash the decking a couple of times in the year – this is easier in the spring or summer when the water can dry more easily. 


Gently does it

Avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach on your decking boards, or abrasive cleaning equipment. This can scratch, discolour and chip the decking, taking away its finish. You can also use soft pads under your furniture like chairs or tables, to prevent scratching the surface. 

 

Does composite decking last longer than wood? 

 

Composite decking lasts for a minimum of 20 years, whereas wood decking generally lasts between 10-15 years. Wooden decking also requires more upkeep like staining, painting and sealing, and it’s more susceptible to issues like warping, rotting, insects and mould. 


Although timber decking has lower upfront material costs, composite decking provides better value for money because it lasts longer, is low maintenance and you don’t need to pay for costly upkeep. Composite decking costs pay off because the decking is more durable, stronger and has a longer lifespan. 

Does composite decking fade? 

 

Composite decking maintains its colour and vibrancy over the years, because it’s designed to be fade resistant and its high-quality. You can even minimise fading by protecting your decking from the sun with the use of an umbrella and you should regularly clean it to avoid staining. 


Choosing lighter colours like light grey or beige can minimise the appearance of fading, and you should avoid using harsh cleaning products which can discolour it. 


To view our composite decking and find out more information, click here

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