Low-maintenance decking is no longer the “newest thing” in the decking industry. Though the industry continues to grow, low maintenance decking has been available to the consumer for more than 20 years. Despite its history, there remains many misconceptions about these products – misconceptions that can have people turning away from the option of low-maintenance.
The question of mold is one that gets asked often. A good low-maintenance composite or vinyl board will not take mold into the boards. While moss and/or mold can grow on the board. (especially in damp and shady areas) the substance, along with the other stains, will wash off. Some boards can be easier to clean than others but any mold that grows on the boards should not grow in them.
When we think of low-maintenance decking, only one or two names come to mind. There are, in fact, dozens of manufacturers of low-maintenance decking. On top of these choices are hundreds of colours. When choosing the right deck for you and your family it’s important to consider several options. You aren’t looking for the best product, you’re looking for the one that’s right for you.
Low-maintenance, not No-maintenance
Many years ago, when the low-maintenance industry was in its infancy, one of the largest manufacturers advertised their composite boards as maintenance free. This was a misconception. This did not sit well with the consumer. These decks didn’t get washed and grew mold. It is important to remember when considering low-maintenance decking that it is just that. Manufacturers guidelines should be followed when it comes to the care and maintenance of your low-maintenance deck.
There are many misconceptions about the quality of low-maintenance decking. Quality, like any manufactured product, can vary. Most low-maintenance products fall into three categories. Composite boards are simply that. They are comprised of a combination of wood and plastic. Sometimes these materials are new and sometimes these are recycled. Some manufacturers have chosen to wrap their composite boards in vinyl. This has gone a long way In making these products easier to clean. Vinyl decking is typically longer lasting. Vinyl boards are made from 100% vinyl. They also often come with a higher price point.
There are misconceptions about the cost of low maintenance decking products. Low-maintenance products generally have a higher price point. That said, because low-maintenance decking typically lasts substantially longer than its wood counterpart, owners of low-maintenance decking can make their money back when they aren’t having to replace their deck earlier and don’t have to spend money on maintenance for things such as cleaning, sanding and staining.
Like any investment in the home, due diligence needs to be done. If you think low-maintenance decking might be in your future, explore your options and displace any misconceptions.