“Does composite decking fade?”
We’ve heard this question a lot over the years and during our many installs. And with good reason – there’s a bunch of conflicting information out there regarding composite decks. But the quick and easy answer is: Sure. All decks, regardless of the material used, will fade over time.
The longer version is that – for the most part – composite decking is a low-maintenance and incredibly durable option that is designed to withstand the elements better than wood.
Man-made, composite decking is made using recycled wood fibers and plastic polymers, like polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE), both of which are naturally resistant to UV rays. (At least for a while.) Traditional lumber, on the other hand, requires regular staining and sealing to protect it from the weather. Composite decking typically has a relatively long shelf-life after installation, without sacrificing aesthetics or quality construction.
But it’s not invulnerable.
Here are just three factors that contribute to the fading of a composite deck:
- UV rays: The sun’s UV rays are one of the main culprits when it comes to fading. The more exposure your composite deck gets to direct sunlight, the faster fading occurs. Taking steps to protect your composite deck from direct sunlight – like an awning or strategically placed trees to provide shade – will help to keep your deck’s color vibrant for years to come.
- Upkeep: How you maintain your composite deck can make all the difference in how well it stands up against the tests of time. Sweeping away dirt and debris is essential. Not only does it keep your deck looking clean and tidy, but it also prevents discoloration as a result of mildew and other elements getting trapped between nooks, crannies, and grooves. Pressure washing your deck periodically also helps to remove built-up grime from crevices that routine cleaning may miss.
- Weather woes: Most composite decks are designed to be rot, warp, and splinter-resistant despite the weather. Still, rain and snow will ultimately lead to fading if your deck is left untreated. Water-resistant sealant should be reapplied every few years to ward off moisture and preserve your deck’s original hue. Using a quality water diversion system, too, is always beneficial, and protects your deck’s framing structure while providing a dry, functional space below.
In fact, installing a DEK Drain® system benefits your composite decking in multiple ways:
- It extends the life of your deck by protecting it from moisture that could lead to premature deterioration.
- It prevents the growth of unsightly mildew and mold that is not only dangerous for your deck but also for your family and friends.
- It wards off the potential for soil erosion under your deck and near your home, and the associated dangers.
So, does composite decking fade? Eventually. Remember: all decks require some maintenance at some point in time. But with proper upkeep and attention paid towards protecting against sun exposure and weather damage, you can enjoy a stunning outdoor living space free of visible signs of wear. And with DEK Drain, you can enjoy double the space, functionality, and fun for years to come.