One of the most effective ways to add function, style, and value to your home is to build a beautiful deck. A deck also provides an outdoor space to enjoy nature and host gatherings.
If you’re interested in improving the aesthetics and enhancing the value of your property with outdoor deck space, it is important to understand the types of decking materials available.
While wood deck material is traditional, it is not necessarily your best option. Timbertech composite decking offers a sustainable alternative.
You’ll want to make an informed choice when designing your new deck. That means taking into account which material is best for South Carolina decks and coastal weather.
Here’s what you need to know about the benefits and challenges of the top decking materials on the market: wood deck material and Timbertech composite decking.
Benefits of Wood Deck Material
There are several reasons why wood is the original and traditional decking material. Many people appreciate the timelessness and aesthetics of natural wood, despite its challenges.
If you decide to build a wood deck, it is important that you make sure the wood you use is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. That way you know it complies with transnational environmental policies.
The number one reason people enjoy wood decks is their natural beauty. Hardwood has a natural warmth and beauty to it that can’t be replicated. Wood also possesses a comforting aroma you won’t get with composite.
Some types of woods can be less expensive than composite decking material. However, this is mostly specific to softwoods. Softwoods make a less desirable decking material than hardwood for a few reasons.
Softwood is more prone to scratching, rotting, and warping. Overall, it is less durable than hardwood or composite decking. Therefore, you may save money upfront, but over time you will find it is not the best investment.
While composites get manufactured to look a certain way, wood is versatile. If you decide you want a different appearance, you can sand the wood and put on a fresh coat of paint or stain.
It is also easier to add an addition to wood decks. All you need to do is get the same type of wood and possibly some stain or paint to match the original.
When it comes to composite decking, if you want to add on you need to make sure the style and color of your original decking are available.
Benefits of Timbertech Composite Decking
It should come as no surprise that composite decking has become one of the fastest-growing residential decking materials over the past decade.
You’ve likely seen composite decks among the homes of your friends and neighbors. It’s possible you’ve sat on a composite wood deck without even realizing it.
The reason behind its popularity is that Timbertech composite decking offers benefits that wood deck material simply does not.
A natural wood deck’s lifespan is not as long as a Timbertech composite deck. A wood deck may last for a couple of decades with meticulous maintenance and care. A Timbertech deck will easily last over 30 years.
In fact, some Timbertech composite decking varieties come with a warranty that guarantees they won’t fade or stain for over 30 years. That kind of a warranty would be impossible to guarantee with a wood deck.
Even the best quality, most weather-resistant hardwoods will experience some damage over a couple of decades of use. A Timbertech composite deck will not rot or crack. It is an effective way to avoid structural issues.
The initial cost of a composite deck may be more expensive than a wood deck. But in the long run, it is a better investment because it lasts longer and doesn’t require any maintenance costs.
In order to keep a wood deck looking good, you need to do regular light maintenance. You also need to do extensive maintenance every couple of years.
This can include power washing, re-sanding, re-staining, and re-painting. You may also need to replace rotting and warped boards, or even support beams. This requires a lot of hard, costly work.
Many people choose composite decking because they think it doesn’t require maintenance at all. While any material exposed to the elements requires some maintenance, composite decks require very little.
The most maintenance you will need to do is to occasionally mop the boards with diluted soap and water. Always remember to use a soft bristle brush to avoid scratching the composite.
When it comes to which material is better for the environment, Timbertech composite decking takes the cake. Whereas a hardwood deck requires lumber, composite decking comes from recycled wood and plastic.
It is important to keep in mind that all of the sustainable value of composite decking goes out the window if the decking is not recycled in the end. A lot of composite decking ends up in landfills.
Make sure you understand how to recycle composite decking once it has reached the end of its lifespan. Overall, the durability of composite decking makes it the more eco-conscious choice for decking materials.
Challenges of Timbertech Composite Decking vs. Wood Decking Material
In order to make an informed decision, you need to understand both the benefits and challenges of the most popular decking materials. Both hardwood decks and Timbertech composite decking have their drawbacks.
Timbertech Composite Decking
No matter how technologically advanced composite decking gets, it will never have the authentic look and feel of real wood. If what matters most to you is a natural wood appearance, composite decking may not be for you.
Composite decking can also get slippery when wet and very hot under a baking sun. In a hot, wet climate, it’s worth incorporating some type of shade covering over your deck so you can enjoy it in all weather.
Another thing that’s important to know is that composite decking is not resistant to mold or mildew. However, occasionally wiping down your composite deck should take care of this issue.
Hardwood decks are an expensive investment upfront. They also require significant maintenance over time. This also adds to their overall cost.
Without regular maintenance and care, wood decks will split, crack, warp, rot, and experience discoloration.
In addition, wood decks are not resistant to mold and mildew either. However, getting rid of mold and mildew on a wooden deck is not nearly as simple or convenient as it is with a composite deck.
Which Decking Materials Are Best for South Carolina?
The climate in South Carolina is humid and sub-tropical. Residents experience long, hot summers, and short, mild winters prone to damp weather.
South Carolina decks require protection from the elements. Therefore, it is most likely your South Carolina deck will last longer and require less maintenance when it is constructed with Timbertech composite decking.
Timbertech Composite Decking Or Wood Decking?
Is Timbertech composite decking or wood deck material the best solution for your outdoor space?
Wood decking has the benefit of its natural beauty, but when it comes to South Carolina decking, the better choice is Timbertech composite decking. You will spend less and enjoy a much longer lifespan on your investment.