My wife and I have been working on plans for adding a deck onto our house, and our initial plans had all been geared towards a composite deck of some type. We really don't want to add another maintenance item to our home, if we can avoid it.
However, I've had some doubts cast on my initial impression of composites being "maintenance free." I've been doing some searching and reading, and I've found a number of wood-decking guys making the assertion that the "maintenance free" claims are only true if you plan to replace
your deck every 5 years or so. Our goal was to have a deck that will last us decades, and not require annual sealing/staining (as I believe a wood deck would).
In the experience of folks here, do composites hold up to these claims? When I say "composites" I'm referring to any of the "non-wood" products, like "cellular PVC", vinyl wrapped decking, and so forth. I don't understand all the distinctions between the different names these products have--we just want something that won't mold, crack, or require replacement in a few years.
We plan to be in the house for a long
time--several decades. So we want to make the right decision about this deck, and put something in that will last. Are the claims made by composite companies about being "maintenance free" the honest truth? Or are they not being forthright?
For reference, here are some of the articles I've come across.
As far as composites go, we've looked at Azek Deck, CertainTeed EverNew, Evergrain Decking, and Gossen Decking. Pretty much all of them claim
they are scratch, fade, splits, and rot resistant--maintenance free--all the stuff we're looking for.
Thanks for any insights you can provide us. We've only gotten more uncertain about the materials for this project the more reading we do!