Composite companies boast that their products have extensive lifespans, easily beating out traditional wood decks. There’s just one problem: the comparison is rigged.
Composite decking is sealed and protected from the elements during production. The finished, tested product then has a huge advantage over raw, untreated wood—and that’s exactly what the composite companies are testing against.
Turns out, a deck made of pressure treated pine, if properly maintained, will last just as long as a composite deck. The only real difference is the amount of work you need to put into it.
So, in terms of lifespan, composite decking and pressure treated pine are on roughly even footing. But what about other types of wood? Take ipe for example. Ipe’s been proven to last over 70 years, and it’s comparable to composites in price.
Alright, so a composite deck can be expected to last about 25 years, according to carefully controlled tests. Unfortunately, the real world is anything but carefully controlled. Do a little research, and you’ll find countless reports of composite decks only lasting a couple years.