What Is Composite Decking?
Composite decking is an outdoor decking made from wood fibers and recycled plastic materials, such as polyethylene, polypropylene, or PVC. This mixture is then formed into boards that mimic the appearance of traditional wood decking. While composite decking offers the promise of more outstanding durability and less maintenance, composite decking does not last forever.
Composite Deck Pitfalls
Once composite decking is punctured or drilled through, the warranty is over. The older composite boards are hollow inside. Therefore, water will make its way in any way it can. These photos show a deck that admitted water from drill holes and uncapped ends. Water got in, froze during the winter, and expanded. The deck boards were ruined in the process. In this situation, installing a cap trim around the edges or installing end caps would have helped keep the water from entering the boards from the cut ends. While we recognize that DIY projects are often well-intentioned, products such as composite decking that are not installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions lead to damages that can potentially cause injury.
Don’t Let Your Deck Become a Safety Hazard
Uneven or deteriorating deck surfaces, loose or missing boards, or protruding nails can create trip hazards. Further, one of the most severe safety risks is the potential for the deck to collapse. If the deck’s structural elements, such as support posts, beams, or connections, are weakened or compromised, the entire structure may give way.
Thousands of people in America are injured yearly due to structural deck failure. If someone is injured on your deck due to its poor condition, you may be held liable for their injuries. Regular inspections and maintenance can help reduce your liability in case of accidents. Fortunately, Pilgrim Home Inspections is InterNACHI Certified in deck inspection so we can do our part to reduce this number. Contact us today to book your home inspection; we promise to pay close attention to the decking to keep you and your family safe!