We all know that composite wood is more durable and lower maintenance than regular timber, but is composite wood waterproof? The short answer is no but it is very resistant. One of composite wood’s advantages over normal timber is that it has been engineered to have great water-resistance. That being said, Only 100% synthetic materials (like plastic) can be completely waterproof. Therefore, we need to protect your composite deck from water damage to keep them in pristine condition for longer.
What Does Water Damage Do To Composite Wood?
Swelling and Warping
When your composite wood absorbs too much water, it can cause the material to swell and warp. This can result in deck boards that are uneven, which is not only unappealing to look at, but can also create a tripping hazard.
Mold and Mildew
If wood composite is allowed to accumulate water over time, it can cause mold or mildew growth on the surface. Mold and mildew can (and will in most cases) cause composite wood to deteriorate and become weakened. In addition to the damage on the composite wood, mold and mildew can in some cases negatively impact your physical health. Addressing this issue as fast as you can is essential.
Fading and Discolouration
Water damage in composite wood can result in fading and discolouration. This will make your deck look old and worn-out, and it is very difficult or impossible to fix. Generally this is simple to avoid by keeping up with the maintenance required for your deck.
Loss of Strength and Durability
In truly severe cases of water damage, your composite wood can become weakened and less durable. Loss of durability can leave your decks in a vulnerable state, meaning that it will be more susceptible to damage from other sources like weathering or foot traffic.
How Can You Protect Your Composite Deck From Water Damage?
Keep Your Deck Clean!
Cleaning your composite wood decking regularly will not only improve the visual appeal of your deck, but will also remove any dirt or debris that can trap moisture and lead to mold and mildew growth. If you want to know more about how to clean your deck properly, take a look at our blog – How to Clean and Maintain Wood Composite Decking
Repair Any Cracks
One of the things you need to do as soon as you can, is to fix any cracks or damage on the surface of your deck. Water can seep into cracks and surface damage if left unchecked. If you are unsure how to fix cracks and other damage on your composite wood decking, contact a professional before doing anything.
Get Yourself A Gutter System
Installing a gutter system around your deck will help divert any rainwater, or water from other sources, away from your deck and will help you avoid water pooling on the surface of your deck. You can build a gutter system yourself with the right materials and experience, but we recommend consulting with a professional.
Trim Your Trees
Trimming any trees or shrubbery that is shading your deck will help improve air circulation and reduce your deck’s chances of retaining moisture. No need to cut down all of the trees in your yard just yet though, a little extra sunlight can go a long way in keeping your deck dry.
Inspect Your Deck Regularly
Check your deck regularly for any signs of damage from water or any other sources. Repairing any damage as soon as possible is the key to avoiding more expensive repairs down the line and keeping your wood composite decking looking pristine for as long as possible.
The most significant rookie mistake you can make regarding water damage is neglecting the advice listed above. Ignoring regular cleaning, fast repairs of cracks and other surface damage, and other preventative measures can lead to your deck potentially picking up some serious damage. Remember that water damage is preventable with timely action and proper maintenance.
At the end of the day, water damage can become a very serious problem for composite wood decking, but it is very preventable if you act fast and follow the tips in this blog.
Act fast, follow our tips, and consult a professional as needed to ensure your wood composite decking remains in pristine condition for many years. Alternatively, check out the 4Everdeck Ultra Decking range, which has been engineered to be even more resistant and durable than normal decking solutions. Have a look at our other blogs if you want to know more about decking types, decking maintenance, and so much more!