The classic look of a wooden dock is timeless and has been the preferred material of waterfront property owners for ages. Although it is a great material, lumber is actually prone to many wear and tear issues that can affect its longevity and leave you with a dock that is in a perpetual state of withering away, year after year.
If you’re planning to repair or replace an existing dock, or maybe you’re in the market for your first one, composite decking may be an option you’ll want to consider.
1. Wear and Tear
Marine environments are often unforgiving, especially to structures composed of lumber. Composite decking, however, is very durable and designed to tolerate the harsh conditions imposed by marine ecosystems. This ideal material is composed of recycled plastics and wood fibers that allow for it to remain more structurally sound and less prone to erosion in salt water. In spite of the fact that composite is not a natural material, it is available to be customized by texture and color to give it that wood-like quality.
2. Manufacturer Warranty
Not only are composite decks more durable, they often include great manufacturer warranties. With some ranging from about 20-25 years and potentially lifetime limited, you can rest assure you will get the desired mileage out of your new deck as well as peace of mind in the event damage occurs.
With the amount of waterfront locations in Florida, you must always take into consideration exactly where you are and what docking material is most suitable. For example, a simple floating wooden dock would do nicely on a fresh water lake and would require little maintenance. However, the same can’t be said if that same dock were to be placed in a more harsh salt water location. Thankfully, composite decks are very versatile and can be placed in nearly any type of marine environment and still hold firm at the end of the day.
4. The Look
The main apprehension with having a composite deck installed is its appearance. Being so used to wooden decks, you may think that composite decks only come in the phony, plastic PVC look that no one wants. But, composite decks can actually be customized in both texture and color to give it a nice wooden veneer without sacrificing material and structural integrity.
5. Worth and Cost
As is the case with many home-based expenses, you can pay upfront or when things take a sharp turn. Essentially, you may pay less than a composite deck for nice pressure treated wood, but after years of wear and tear you will most likely have to have it replaced or schedule some major repairs. Composite decks are more expensive upfront, certainly, but you pay for something that will last and be far less hassle in the long run.
After all is said and done, a professional consultation will help you find the exact answers you need to decide between wood and composite for your dock.