How Long Will Composite Deckboards Last? Is it Worth It?

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Mitchell

Mike Mitchell is an award-winning deck builder and designer who specializes in urban decking, transforming cityscapes with his creative constructions. He is a second-generation deck builder.

Table of Contents

Whether you are adding a brand new deck to your home or updating the one you already have, upgrading your outdoor living spaces is an investment in your home. For those who only look at the bottom line, wood decking may seem to be the most cost-effective option. Once you add in the proper maintenance costs and the product’s overall lifespan, there may be better options.

Composite decking may cost more for materials to install, but is it worth it?

The Average Lifespan of Decking

In most cases, the average expectancy of natural wood decking is between ten and 20 years. Some may last longer depending on weather exposure and how well the decking is maintained over the years.

On the other hand, composite decking will last at least 25 to 30 years and may last up to 50 years. Trex, for example, offers a 25-year warranty against deterioration such as splitting and splintering as well as damage from pests or fungus. In addition, Trex also provides an additional 25-year warranty against fading and stains.

In other words, for at least the first 25 years following the installation of a Trex composite deck, your deck is guaranteed to look amazing. Plus, a warranty is far from an expiration date. Most composite decks continue to provide a structurally sound, beautiful extension of your Frankfort home for many years beyond the warranty period.

A Few Extra Expenses

For homeowners who want to enjoy a long life from their wood deck, there is a list of annual chores that comes with the installation. First up is the unavoidable staining or sealing that must be done every two to three years. Skipping this step leads to fading, cracking, and eventual rotting, splintering, and decay. Composite decking does not require any refinishing of the surface for the lifetime of the product.

Then there are the other maintenance tasks to keep in mind. For example, nails or screws can start to work their way out from wooden decking and could cause an injury. Periodically, damaged or deteriorated boards will need to be replaced. The entire surface may need to be sanded before it can be sealed.

The main focus of maintenance for a composite deck is to keep it clean. Periodic sweeping of the deck should be done to keep it free from dirt and debris. Plus, periodically washing the surface of the deck with mild soap and water will keep it looking fresh.

Bonus Points for Trex Composite Decking

One important note for composite decking material is that it is completely impervious to pests such as termites. Plus, Trex composite decking is made from 95 percent recycled materials. That means it’s as great for the planet as it is for your home. In fact, Trex has saved over 400 million pounds of plastic and wood from heading to the landfill every year!

Bottom Line: Is it Worth It?

Let’s cut to the chase: a composite deck is absolutely worth it. Many homeowners will choose a natural wood deck because they prefer the material and don’t mind the added long-term maintenance that comes with it. Still, there’s no arguing with the maintenance-free enjoyment that comes with composite decking and the peace of mind knowing that you won’t be spending a dime on replacement costs for decades.