Deck Construction: Advantages of a Cedar Deck vs. Composite

deck materials

Homeowners are often encouraged to choose a composite deck over a wooden one to avoid extensive maintenance. Doing so may not be necessary, as a cedar deck could be every bit as easy to maintain for a number of reasons. Keep these four things in mind when determining which type of deck construction is best.

Replacing Damaged Boards 

Composite decking materials are made from some type of plastic such as polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride. Most composite planks used in construction are hollow, as solid ones are far more expensive. Hollow boards may shift in one area, leaving gaps in the floor of your deck over time. Hollow composite planks may also hold water and can therefore be prone to warping. When either of these things happen, the need to replace boards can become just as apparent as if you were using cedar lumber.

Keeping your Deck Clean

Mold and mildew can grow on composite decking just as it does any other surface. As such, the idea that a vinyl deck is maintenance free is not really accurate, since both types require regular power washing. Even so, cedar lumber is more resistant to staining. If you are using your deck for entertaining, you won’t have to worry as much about spills with cedar. This wood is not very porous, which means it will not absorb liquids easily.

Painting or Staining

Many people choose composite decks because they believe they never need to be painted or stained. That’s not exactly the case, as vinyl or plastic materials fade in direct sunlight, and must be painted from time to time to keep them looking like new.

Repairing Scratches and Dents

Unlike cedar, plastic or vinyl decking is especially vulnerable to scratches, dents, dings, and other minor damage. Fluctuations in temperature can also cause planks to crack as the material expands and contracts. This type of damage is challenging to fix because it cannot simply be sanded away.

These are just a few ways in which a cedar deck could be a better choice. Cedar’s timeless beauty and rugged durability make it an excellent choice for any type of outdoor building project, particularly decking. For more information on cedar decks, please contact us.