LOW-MAINTENANCE DECKING OPTIONS: TOP PICKS FOR BUSY HOMEOWNERS

The popularity of low-maintenance decking solutions like composite and PVC is on the rise, as consumers seek durable and hassle-free outdoor living solutions, thus, entertaining the desire for a functional and stylish outdoor area; the demand for low-maintenance decking materials and services continues to rise.

The low-maintenance decking market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.51% during the forecasted period, particularly between the year 2024-2028.

On the other hand, water absorption remains a key issue with traditional wood decking. Without the regular application of stains and sealers, wood decking is susceptible to warping, splintering, decay and rotting. Thus, it requires so much time and effort to look pristine, last longer and retain its quality as time passes.

Sharing his expert insights, Lee Smith, the Marketing Manager of Ultra Decking, a leading deck supplier in the UK, argued that traditional wood decking deteriorates over time. In his words: “Wood decking is vulnerable to the effect of weathering, UV exposure, fungus, pest infestation and dirt. This increases its maintenance demand tremendously. Owners of wooden decking are usually forced to either totally sand or refinish parts or their entire structure.”

Lee also explained that it isn’t just deck materials themselves that are negatively impacted by the effect of bad weather. According to him, wooden deck fasteners start to deteriorate as time passes and they become less effective in securing the timber due to heating and cooling cycles. This can be a cause of concern when the fasteners become exposed.

For these reasons, he recommends the use of more contemporary, low-maintenance options.

Here are top low-maintenance decking picks for you,alongside considerations and thorough analysis of which may be the best fit for your home;

 

Composite Decking

Composite decking is far more water-resistant and requires minimal upkeep. This makes it an ideal choice for the unpredictable weather conditions often experienced in the UK.

Not to mention, a simple cleaning with soap and water is all it takes to keep your composite deck board looking pristine year after year, saving you time and effort.

PVC decking

PVCor vinyl decking is non-porous, which prevents it from fading, absorbing moisture, staining, scratching, rotting, and warping. It can be made flexible or rigid, and some manufacturers add foaming agents to make it strong but lightweight. PVC decking is available in a variety of colours, including light and dark grey, brown, red, and black.

Capped Decking

This associates a Wood core with a protective cap – a type of decking that has a water-resistant polymer sleeve around its core to protect it from the elements. Capped decking has several advantages over traditional wooden boards and cheaper composite alternatives, including a durability of 35-60 years depending on installation, a natural wood look, plus resistance to moisture and environmental stress.

Metal Decking

Metal decking (including steel and aluminium) is a high-performance sheet of thin galvanized steel used in floor and roof construction. Both steel and aluminum offer environmental benefits including being recyclable and energy efficient. When considering which metal material is best for your construction designs, it is important to note the differences between the two metals. Steel is more resistant to severe weather, mould or termites, and neither does it decompose. Aluminum provides a high-strength, lightweight alternative to steel. It also provides a level of corrosion resistance not found in carbon steel.  The demerits to both materials may include heat absorption, noise, the hollow sound generated by footsteps and heavy rainfall, which can make them feel cheap and unsubstantial.

Treated Wood Decking

This is a popular choice for decks and other outdoor projects because it’s durable, affordable, and easy to work with. However, it can be solar-reactive and may change colour, crack, warp, and cup if not properly cared for. Depending on the environment, it may also be susceptible to mould, rot, and insect damage. Thus, they require a lot of maintenance and may not be suitable for busy homeowners.

Below is a comparison chart made for easy comprehension of the top low-maintenance decking options for busy homeowners;

COMPARISON CHART

 MaintenanceCostLifespan (years)Aesthetics
Composite deckingLowHigh10-50Range of colours textures and finishes
PVC deckingLowLow50-80Flexibility, colours and designs
Capped deckingModerateHigh10-50Pleasing and longlasting
Metal deckingModerateLow30-70Versatility, textures and finishing
Treated wood deckingHighLow10-25Classic with a natural look

Factors to consider when choosing low-maintenance decking options

However, before making the big decision of choosing a low-maintenance decking option, there are many factors to consider such as;

  • Budget: Low-maintenance decking options cost 60-100% more than wood decking, but then, it is a much safer and better option if one intends to stay in the home for years. This makes it a better choice or investment.
  • Desire: This runs deep as one may have a preferential style, colour, need and a pre-conceived imagination of what he/she desires. This determines taste, class and type of material chosen and how much effort and time is required.
  • Climate: A low-maintenance decking material should be able to withstand rain, snow, and extreme temperatures. It should also be waterproof, stable, and have a low rate of expansion and contraction due to temperature and climatic changes.
  • Professional preferences: The expertise of a known professional should always be considered as they are more versed in the decking field and market. Seeking professional services leads to better choices, preferences and decisions.

Conclusion

Have you imagined having a decking feature in your home with characteristics such as weather resistance, stain resistance, zero splinters or rot, 30- 40 years warranty, easy to clean, simple to install, variety of colours and scratch resistance and many more all in one?

Then, low-maintenance decking options have got you covered. No wonder it is in increasing demand and popularity amongst busy homeowners today.

Low-maintenance decking options offer homeowners a serene, beautiful and conducive home. It also positively impacts the environment through recycling, reduced deforestation and sustainable waste management.

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