How Long Does Composite Decking Last?

The service life of composite decking materials varies depending on several factors, including material quality, maintenance level, and local climate. However, with proper maintenance, composite decking can survive for 25 to 30 years or more.

Composite decking is popular due to its longevity, resistance to decay, insects, and moths, and low maintenance. Regular cleaning, avoiding hard impacts, and timely maintenance can significantly increase the life of composite decking. Choosing high-quality composite decking board products and adhering to the manufacturer’s care requirements are critical stages in guaranteeing the deck’s long-term beauty.

Lifespan of Various Deck Materials

Outdoor living areas are built with several decking materials, each with a different lifespan. We’ll look at some common deck materials and their typical lifespans. Choose the appropriate deck material based on how long it will last.

Pressure Treated Wood Decks

Most people prefer the look of solid wood decks. However, most wood decks, except ipe, are not very long-lasting. Because of this, they should have the shortest lifespan.

Biodegradable indicates that the wood can degrade spontaneously. This means that as the wood dies, it decomposes naturally rather than piling up in the forest like garbage.

To keep a wood deck looking good for a long time, it must be regularly maintained. First, the wood should be given a particular treatment to increase its strength. Allow the treated wood deck to survive weather, decay, and insects. Most wood decks will endure between 10 and 15 years if properly maintained.


People who want their wood decks to last a long time prefer cedar. Cedar is more resistant to decomposition in a variety of ways. For example, cedarwood oil is an organic insecticide.

Your wood deck must be sealed every two years and kept very clean. Furthermore, due to its softness, pets and outdoor furniture might easily damage it. However, with proper care and cleaning, your cedar deck can survive for up to 20 years.


It is a sturdy and durable hardwood that has been imported. This wooden deck often lasts for decades. In comparison, it is significantly more expensive than traditional wood decking and composite decking.

Composite Decking

Composite decking requires less upkeep than wood decking. All you need to do is carefully clean them every six months.

Composite decking is created from a combination of recycled plastic and wood fibers. As a result, it is less prone to moisture, mold, and decay than typical wood, and it is not damaged by insects like termites. Composite decking also incorporates a variety of chemicals, including UV inhibitors. This means that the composite material will retain its attractive appearance for a long period.

Composite decking should last between 25 and 30 years. If properly maintained, it can live for 30 years or more. Many people prefer composite decking over wood decking because it can be manufactured to resemble real wood.


Metal Decking

Metal decks can survive for up to sixty years, although few people pick them. This is because they are pricey, and most people dislike the way they appear.

Furthermore, steel is not as effective a barrier as aluminum. Steel decks can get hot in the summer and freezing in the winter. If you don’t mind these issues, metal decks can endure a long period.

Why Does Composite Decking Last So Long?

Moisture Affects the Longevity of Your Deck

Moisture is a major contributor to the breakdown of outdoor decks over time. Traditional wood decks expand when exposed to water. When it starts to swell, cracks emerge in the deck boards, compromising the deck’s structure.

Even if the wood deck does not develop cracks, extended exposure to moisture can cause mildew and decay. Moldy boards become brittle, further weakening the deck structure and threatening pedestrian safety.

Because water and moisture can harm traditional wood decks, sealers should be applied at least twice a year. Without frequent sealing, wood decks can warp and decay.

Composite decking materials include a significant amount of recyclable plastic. It is commonly known that plastics do not absorb water. As a result, composite decking is very resistant to water and mold. This is one of the reasons composite decking is more durable than wood decking.


The Impact of Splitting on Decking Durability

Regular wood decking will ultimately splinter. Water can enter through fractures or breaks. Cracks in the wood can also make walking barefoot on the deck hazardous, and certain boards may need to be removed and replaced.

Composite decking boards contain wood fibers that are coated in a polymer, making them far less likely to splinter. Composite decking is trustworthy since it is long-lasting and does not splinter. It has a long lifespan and can be utilized for a variety of outdoor living projects.

The Impact of Sunlight on the Appearance of Decking

Intense sunlight exposure can cause wood decking to fade, while high temperatures can cause the boards to swell and warp. Wood decks must be restored, stained, and sealed every two years to avoid deterioration. Even if your wood deck is well-maintained, you may need to replace damaged decking after several years of use.

UV inhibitors and other additives are mixed into composite decking materials. This ensures that composite decking is resistant to UV rays and will not fade even after being exposed to sunlight for an extended length of time. When installing composite decking, simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions. With the right intervals between neighboring decking boards, you won’t have the boards expand with heat and create warping.


Effects of Pests on Deck Life

Termites are another big concern for the durability of wood decks. Painting and sealing prevent termites from infiltrating the deck. Termites, on the other hand, frequently cause extensive damage over time. Professional pest control services are required to eliminate termite colonies from wood decks before they spread inside the residence.

Because composite decking contains a certain amount of recycled plastic, so it is resistant to termite infestation. The possibilities of termites starting to feed on composite decking materials are slim, but they almost always prefer real wood. This is because wood contains cellulose, which termites prefer to eat, whereas composite deck boards do not.

These are the more comprehensive reasons why composite decking lasts longer than wood decking. This is more of a beneficial influence of the materials used to make composite decking.

Common Factors That Limit the Lifetime of Composite Decking

Many people believe that composite deck boards are extremely durable, however there are numerous things that might destroy them. These things can shorten the life of your outdoor deck. Keep the following considerations in mind to avoid harm.



Excess moisture can damage any type of deck. Water is not good for wooden decks. While composite decking products provide better waterproofing than wood decks. However, continuous exposure to high moisture levels can still harm composite decking boards.

Mold and Rot

However, mold will not form on top of composite decking boards. However, if you leave too many leaves or other organic debris on the surface of your deck. Then mold can grow on top of the organic waste. This mold can eventually harm your composite decking.

Moving Heavy Objects

Composite decking provides superior anti-slip qualities. But it doesn’t mean it won’t be damaged. If you transport heavy metal furnishings on top of your composite deck. Then you’re likely to scratch the decking surface.


How to Extend the Life of Composite Decking

Even so, composite decking can maintain its performance and appearance for a long time. However, we know that with occasional maintenance, our outdoor decks can last longer. Here are some guidelines for caring for your composite decking planks.

Regular Cleaning

Manufacturers of composite decking recommend that you clean your deck every three to six months to remove dirt, leaves, and organic waste. We recommend washing your composite decking boards with warm soapy water and a soft-bristled brush.

To remove surface dirt from your deck, use a jet washer with a pressure of no more than 3100 PSI for best results. If you intend to use a fan connection, ensure that the distance between the fan and the boards is at least 250 mm. If you follow these guidelines, you will be able to keep a long-lasting polish on your deck surface.

Whatever method you use to clean your deck planks, make sure to clean the entire length of the boards so that nothing accumulates and clogs the drain.


Remove Ice and Snow

To keep your composite decking safe during the winter, we recommend that you remove all snow and ice from the surface. When removing snow and ice from your deck, avoid using a metal shovel, rake, hoe, ice breaker, or other sharp tools. Instead, use a plastic shovel. Failure to do so may result in damage or scratches to the board’s surface.

We propose using an ice melt without salt or corrosives. This form of ice melt leaves no trace on the boards and is generally more effective than salt-based ice melts. This form of ice melt can be used before the frost arrives or in frozen areas.

To avoid damage or scratches on the surface of composite decking, we recommend removing the rock salt as soon as possible after application.

Using Furniture Pads

When you’re relaxing on your outside deck, it’s customary to add some deck furniture to make yourself more comfortable. However, heavy furniture can cause damage to composite decking surfaces. As a result, matching it with the appropriate house cushions might help protect your deck.


Summing Up

Finally, composite decking’s durability and adaptability demonstrate its longevity. With proper care, composite decking can withstand the elements and provide a practical and visually beautiful outdoor living environment.

The longevity of composite decking may vary by geography. However, with an average lifespan of 25 to 30 years or more, this decking material is extremely durable. Invest in high-quality composite decking boards, along with regular maintenance and following the manufacturer’s instructions. This ensures that your composite decking material not only withstands the elements, but also provides years of enjoyment and relaxation.

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