comparison on maintenance between Ipe hardwood decking and composite decking

Composite decking – is composite decking maintenance free or good on refinishing?


Maintenance comparison between Ipe hardwood decking and composite decking


Composite Decking Manufacturers stopped using “Maintenance Free” when describing their products early on after law suits. Nowadays they refer to it as “Low Maintenance”. Composite decking sellers will tell you that the product requires a good cleaning a couple of times a year to make it look good again. (Good—not, “Like New”). The cleaners leave the composite decking looking powdery. They are acidic and chemically strip the finish and kill the mold for a time. Green clients should be aware that to “maintain” these products it involves splashing chemicals around your yard. A good stiff brush is required to physically scrub the decking. More on environmental aspects on the two types of decking below, here the maintenance of the composite decking. This is very simple; you cannot refinish a composite deck—you simply replace it. 5 years from now, your composite deck will look like a 5 year old composite deck—with scratches and stains.


Instead, in the worst case scenario, your ipe decking can be sanded over and over and a brand new deck appears. In fact, ipe decking is world-renowned for it's ability to look just as good after decades. Your ipe hardwood decking is so dense that it naturally resists, mildew, mold, fungus, and insects. Instead, your composite decking because of the above outlined mixture between vinyl and pulp wood, it absorbs moisture, then dispels it this creates a pocket within the vinyl that soaks up moisture every time it gets wet. Over time your composite decking will face black mold, like an un-vented shower stall and it will never subside. Cleaners may make it look alright for a few days—but it will always come back. Apparently they still have issues. If composite decking contains wood it may be prudent to steer clear of the product. Warrantees offered by Composite decking companies are notorious for pointing out their tragic flaws. Pool chemicals, mechanical wear, mold growth are often not covered by their limited lifetime warrantee!


For example, a company called Trexä, which is likely to be the largest composite decking company in the world, has settled it’s class action law suit, and it appears that they still have mold issues. Numerous people have called prior to signing a confidentiality agreement with Trexä agreeing not to talk about it. For more information about the Trexä Class Action suit try a search on Google or click here for a good description of the Trexä class action lawsuit. Talking about legal, using it for joists and handrails then it will be deemed structural materials. Most composite hand-rails are not Building Code Legal. Most composite decking manufacturers advise to create a frame that has the joists about 12” apart, rather than the typical 16” since the materials will tend to sag under it’s own weight. So composite materials are designed to compliment the deck via the same manufacture but rarely are all needed railing parts stocked by supplier of Composite decking, while in ipe hardwood there is a complete line of matching railing lumber, post caps, lighting, balusters and much more. In respect of the legal building code: landlords and real estate mangers, be aware!


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as the pictures show, sellers that promise your WPC decking to be mold-free are NOT telling the truth

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this will NEVER ever happen with your natural wood decking

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