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Old 03-25-2018, 09:31 AM   #1
sky's
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Default composite vs. pressure treated decking

There have been many discussions over the years about these two products. composite is good but like any man made product on the market today will expand and contract with temperature changes. Pressure treated over time can slightly shrink as well. these pictures show a deck we just recently finished and as you can see this material is awesome. very few knots and looks amazing. if you can find a contractor that will take the time to carefully select the materials you dont need to spend thousands of dollars on a composite deck. Just "food for thought" enjoy, summer isnt to far away?????

https://photos.app.goo.gl/VlMlVJR5ryPHS4Q42
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Old 03-25-2018, 10:01 AM   #2
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I think that deck is nice but there certainly isnít any wow factor in my opinion. We have a mahogany deck at home and the upkeep is crazy. If I had to do it again I would go composite for the maintenance factor alone. They were roughly the same price.

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Old 03-25-2018, 10:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sky's View Post
There have been many discussions over the years about these two products. composite is good but like any man made product on the market today will expand and contract with temperature changes. Pressure treated over time can slightly shrink as well. these pictures show a deck we just recently finished and as you can see this material is awesome. very few knots and looks amazing. if you can find a contractor that will take the time to carefully select the materials you dont need to spend thousands of dollars on a composite deck. Just "food for thought" enjoy, summer isnt to far away?????

https://photos.app.goo.gl/VlMlVJR5ryPHS4Q42
Someone really took their time to do a nice job of picking out and fitting that deck floor!
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Old 03-25-2018, 10:38 AM   #4
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They all look nice for the first few years. The wood decks just require more work to keep them looking that way 10 to 20 years later.
I have 3 houses, one with a mahogany deck that is 22 years old that needs to be completely redone and another with a Trex deck that is 12 years old that, after washing every spring, looks almost like the day it was built.
My Meredith home has 2 small ground level pressure treated decks that have to be redone and I'm going to do them over in Trex but I also want to build a roof top deck which I will build in pressure treated wood. I just did the roof over so I figure it's good for 20 years, then the deck would have to come off to reroof.

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Old 03-25-2018, 08:44 PM   #5
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They all look nice for the first few years. The wood decks just require more work to keep them looking that way 10 to 20 years later.
I have 3 houses, one with a mahogany deck that is 22 years old that needs to be completely redone and another with a Trex deck that is 12 years old that, after washing every spring, looks almost like the day it was built.
My Meredith home has 2 small ground level decks that have to be redone and I'm going to do them over in Trex but I also want to build a roof top deck which I will build in pressure treated wood. I just did the roof over so I figure it's good for 20 years, then the deck would have to come off to reroof.
sorry not our issue you have three houses, i was simply pointing out that pressure treated decking has come along way in the past 10 years and folks can save money.
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:46 PM   #6
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Someone really took their time to do a nice job of picking out and fitting that deck floor!
thank you just trying to help folks out that are doing some homework in decks
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Old 03-26-2018, 05:30 AM   #7
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sorry not our issue you have three houses, i was simply pointing out that pressure treated decking has come along way in the past 10 years and folks can save money.
The issue is wood decks, particularly mahogany, require more maintenance to keep looking good, not having three houses.
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Old 03-26-2018, 07:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
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sorry not our issue you have three houses, i was simply pointing out that pressure treated decking has come along way in the past 10 years and folks can save money.
The reason I mentioned the 3 houses is because I have all three products, pressure treated, Trex, and Mahogany at these houses so I think I can honestly represent the quality of each product. But if my opinion isn't to your liking then just ignore it. No need for the attitude!
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Old 03-26-2018, 08:03 AM   #9
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I have older composite on my deck at home. It's about 20 or so years old now.

These issues maybe brand specific or they may have improved it lately, but after 20 years it's not totally maintenance free if you want it to look like the day they installed it.

1. It collects mold over time that seems to grow inside the boards, so you have to wash it with a bleach based deck cleaner every 2 to 3 years to bring back the original color. If you don't do this it may look a bit dirty or tarnished.

2. It gets hot under bare feet, much more than any natural wood deck.

3. As others said, it often expands with age, rather than contract like wood. Unless properly installed with larger gaps between boards, and at the ends, you may have standing water on the deck, or have to retrim the ends if they press against other deck parts like post's, etc. Maybe current installers know this now and it's less of an issue now.

On the good side, no rot, and no spinters.
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Old 03-26-2018, 09:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich View Post
I have older composite on my deck at home. It's about 20 or so years old now.

These issues maybe brand specific or they may have improved it lately, but after 20 years it's not totally maintenance free if you want it to look like the day they installed it.

1. It collects mold over time that seems to grow inside the boards, so you have to wash it with a bleach based deck cleaner every 2 to 3 years to bring back the original color. If you don't do this it may look a bit dirty or tarnished.

2. It gets hot under bare feet, much more than any natural wood deck.

3. As others said, it often expands with age, rather than contract like wood. Unless properly installed with larger gaps between boards, and at the ends, you may have standing water on the deck, or have to retrim the ends if they press against other deck parts like post's, etc. Maybe current installers know this now and it's less of an issue now.

On the good side, no rot, and no spinters.
I think you will find that mold and mildew will attach itself to any product if the conditions are right. My mahogany deck and pressure treated decks get mold and mildew also because they don't get enough sun.
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Old 03-26-2018, 09:23 AM   #11
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The older original decking had the wood in it and that is what held the mold. It was also hotter, or maybe that was the brand. My Azek is not hot to walk on.
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Old 03-26-2018, 11:55 AM   #12
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Sky - the boards seem awful close should they be spaced for drainage? Maybe they are and I don't see it. Looks good...
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Old 03-26-2018, 02:53 PM   #13
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I think you will find that mold and mildew will attach itself to any product if the conditions are right. My mahogany deck and pressure treated decks get mold and mildew also because they don't get enough sun.
You are right, but my point was that anyone that expects the composite decking to be totally maintenance free should keep this in mind.

In my case the mold wasn't on the surface, but inside the product, and this is on a deck that is south facing, and gets plenty of sun all day, so it's usually considered a dry area. It's not an area that would usually be considered prone to mold growth.
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Old 03-26-2018, 03:12 PM   #14
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Sky - the boards seem awful close should they be spaced for drainage? Maybe they are and I don't see it. Looks good...
If the photo was taken soon after install, there would be almost no gap. As the PT boards dry out they shrink in width providing a drainage gap.

After out new PT decking sat over winter the gaps are perfect. Also we then applied solid stain both for looks and for protection. PT decking needs to be sealed in some way or over the years cracks will form. And then freezing will enlarge to cracks. The clear slap on sealer will work as well as stain.
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Old 03-26-2018, 04:59 PM   #15
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Sky - the boards seem awful close should they be spaced for drainage? Maybe they are and I don't see it. Looks good...
You are correct when we install we don't gap them because they will shrink as the product dries out. Great question thank you
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Old 03-26-2018, 09:23 PM   #16
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Thankfully my house is level to the ground out back....I dropped a cement patio that is in perfect shape 7 years later. No maintenance no fuss. Much better choice if possible IMO than putting up any kind of decking.
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