Composite decking is generally easier to maintain and more durable than standard wood. However, some factors could result in the warping of your composite decking, such as UV light exposure or moisture. Below are some guidelines on how to protect your composite decking from warping.
Avoid direct sunlight
Before laying your decking, ensure the surface is clean of dirt and debris. If cleaning does not help the surface, consider using a non-UV protective sealant to help shield your composite decking from UV light. You will want to apply the protective sealant directly to the composite decking, taking care not to get too much on surfaces you want to remain exposed.
Keep your deck dry
Moisture is one of the biggest culprits of warping in composite decking. Composite decking should always be kept as dry as possible. To do this, you can use an automatic irrigation system and keep trees away from your deck if possible. Water can also physically warp your exterior decking, destroying its structural integrity and causing irreparable damage. Using a water-resistant sealant can help prevent physical damage due to moisture.
Keep your deck clean
Regularly keep your composite decking clean to avoid dirt and debris getting under the composite decking. If you are using a non-UV protective sealant, then be sure to clean or remove the sealant after placing your composite deck on the surface.
Inspect for imperfections and good workmanship
You want to inspect areas of your composite decking where there might have been mistakes during installation, or that may have changed over time, such as warped boards, loose boards and nails, gaps between boards, and missing or over-driven nails.
Use boards with UV resistance
If you are using composite decking made of materials that will be exposed to UV rays, such as recycled materials, then consider buying boards specifically made for such conditions. These materials are more expensive, so check with your local lumberyard or roofing manufacturer before purchasing.
Use a sealant
Use a water-resistant sealant to not only help protect your composite decking from UV light but also to prevent moisture damage. If you are using a composite deck that should be kept dry, consider using a specific water-resistant sealant.
Keep your boards aligned straight
If you are installing a composite board on an already existing deck, or if you’re installing a new composite deck board on an existing structure, then make sure all the boards are straight and aligned adequately before laying each one. This will help ensure no gaps between the individual boards, which can cause the wood to warp when exposed to moisture and UV light.
Use screws to attach the boards
While composite decking generally requires less support than traditional wood decking, it is still recommended that you at least use a few screws in your composite decking boards. It will help your board stay securely in place, reducing its chances of moving and causing warping.
Always follow the manufacturer’s directions to ensure you get the best use out of your composite decking. Learn how to protect your composite decking from warping and get the best from your newly installed deck. Choosing the best decking brand will also determine the longevity of your deck. Sherwood Lumber’s Moistureshield deck is currently one of the best in terms of quality and durability.