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Composite decking vs natural wood decking
Traditional wood decking has been popular in the UK since the mid 1990's when garden designs of the time turned many suburban gardens into decking masterpieces. Since that time, while still being a popular garden / outdoor design feature, the sight of rotting & moss covered garden decks has made them seem less attractive to those looking at a garden / outdoor area make-over & increasing more expensive to maintain in good condition.
Decking Rot & Mold / Mildew
While the rot & mould of garden decks can be held at bay with regular maintenance & replacement of effected decking boards, such costs have lead to home owners discarding the traditional garden sun deck due to long term costs incurred in maintaining the appearance & stability of a traditional wood decking structure.
Now we have WPC Composite garden decking products & while these new WPC decking solutions may have a slightly higher initial cost their numerous other benefits are leading the way in a rebirth of the garden deck across the UK for the reasons that follow:
Cost of Garden Decking
Let's get straight to the point, traditional wood decking tends to be cheaper than WPC composite decking , but is that really true?
From a short term perspective traditional wood decking is probably cheaper than WPC composite decking as an alternative for your garden decking project, but once you start to factor in such as : maintenance costs; life of the decking & the ecological costs, WPC composite decking wins hands down on cost.
The Timber Decking & Cladding Association state that a traditional wood decking should last between 10 & 25 years, the proviso being that it is treated / maintained twice a year. Assuming that just one of these decking treatment / maintenance jobs costs you £50 a time and for many it would cost more. That's £100 a year minimum to maintain a traditional wood deck. Given a lifespan of up to 25 years that's an extra £2,500 over & above the cost of maintaining a WPC deck, although to be fair we should deduct the cost of a couple of bottles of washing liquid that would be required to maintain a WPC deck over the same period!
The cost of maintaining a traditional wood garden deck far out ways the difference in the initial cost between a wooden deck & an equivalent WPC deck.
In most instances the cost of maintaining a wooden deck over its life will be more than the total cost of an equivalent WPC deck.
When you buy traditional wood decking the chances are it will have been treated in some way in an attempt to protect it from such as rot, insect attack & the UK weather, but this treatment is only temporary. A leading UK supplier of traditional wood decking recommends that a wooden deck should be cared for twice a year - "in spring to prepare for the summer months and in autumn to prepare for the winter ahead". This includes, cleaning, oiling the deck, painting the deck & updating any repellent treatment. Each of these procedures incurs a cost of some man made chemical, paint, oil or detergent.
With WPC composite decking boards you will need to give it a wash down with soapy water when & if it gets dirty. That's low maintenance!
Eco Friendly Composite Decking
Probably the biggest advantage that composite decking has over traditional hard wood decking is its eco friendly credentials.
Composite decking is made from recycled wood and recycled plastic, both being reduced to fine particles then re-combined into the composite used in the manufacture of modern wood plastic composite (WPC) decking boards.
By choosing to use composite decking over traditional natural wood for your garden decking project you are helping save our planet.