You will agree that different sections in a home have different levels of importance. The levels of importance are measured by how frequently that sector is occupied or that sector’s purpose in the home. These areas do not only improve the house’s beauty, but they also add value, depending on how they are constructed.
Outdoor decking, also called veranda, is a vital area in any house because of the various purposes and the benefits it brings to a house. Various materials are used when constructing a veranda, and these materials have to meet specific requirements. One of the best materials adopted for this purpose is a composite material that has proven to be more than efficient over the years. However, like every other material, your composite decking may develop faults like cracks after a while.
Of course, it doesn’t get damaged right away. But then, these cracks can be an eyesore, making your once-so-beautiful deck look much less appealing. Thankfully, it’s not all bad news, as there’s a lot you can do to either prevent or fix these cracks on your composite decking. Here, this article will teach you everything you need to know about composite decking maintenance.
What is Composite Decking?
Composite decking is a type of deck or floor that involves the use of composite materials. Composite materials, in turn, are the solutions of a mixture of wood fiber, recyclable plastic, and various binding agents. The result of this mixture is referred to as composite lumber, and it is one of the best materials for indoor and outdoor decking. The sublime finish on this material also makes it an excellent designing agent, and it is no wonder many modern houses are adopting it as their go-to decking option.
Well, the benefits of using composite lumber for your decking go beyond what it offers aesthetically. In fact, one of its best characteristics is its sturdiness and the stability it brings to your floors. It also comes in several types, giving you multiple options for different aspects of your home. As expected, composite lumber is durable but requires regular maintenance to remain excellent.
Causes of Cracks on Composite Decking
While it is already established that composite lumber is among the most durable materials for indoor and outdoor decking, it is worth mentioning that this seemingly invincible material can develop faults if not adequately maintained. One problem experienced with composite decking is cracks; here are the common causes.
- Poor Foundation: Foundations are one of the most important aspects of construction, and a poorly constructed foundation can bring down even the most sophisticated structures. The same applies to decks. If the foundation of your deck is not constructed correctly, it will develop problems like cracks very quickly.
- Joist Span: Joists refer to the perpendicular beams placed underneath the composite lumber for support and stability, and joist span is the arrangement of the beams. If these beams are placed too far apart, then the deck will be affected, and the composite material will become subject to wares and cracks.
- Excess Weight: One aspect that should be considered during the construction of any deck is the amount of weight it would carry. If this process is ignored, it may become a problem in the long run. No matter how solid composite decking is, it reacts badly when constantly subjected to more weight than it can carry.
- Moisture: As much as composite decks are strong and durable, there’s only so much poor conditioning they can endure before they start to show signs of damage. Well, it is a known fact that wood does not do very well with moisture, and composite lumber is not very different. If your composite deck is constantly exposed to moisture and other unfavorable conditions, it will eventually crack.
How to Fix Cracks on Composite Decking
Cracks on composite decking can be very bad, depending on the level of damage. But luckily, cracks are often not the end of the line for your composite decks, as you can easily fix them with the simple steps highlighted below.
- Step 1: Check the top and bottom surfaces of your composite decking boards to the severity of the crack. If the crack is still one-sided, you may have more time. But if it has extended to the other side, then you need to act really fast.
- Step 2: Check for residues and foreign objects in the crack, and use an air nozzle to remove them if you find any.
- Step 3: Douse a cloth in mineral spirit, and use the damp material to clean the crack. This step is crucial as it helps prepare the crack for sealing.
- Step 4: Place masking tape on both sides of the crack but not over it. The masking tapes will help protect the board surface from the filler. You might want to use quality masking tape for this process so you don’t damage your deck surface.
- Step 5: Place a utility knife into the crack and open it slightly to allow space for the filler. Then, with the mouth of the filler tube in the crack, gradually fill it up with the filler so it gets to the root of the crack.
- Step 6: Clear the space and protect the area from contact until the filler dries out.
How to Prevent Cracks on Composite Decking
The fact that you can easily fix the cracks on your composite decking allows for more user flexibility. However, it would be much better to prevent these cracks so your deck can last longer. Here are some of the best ways to prevent cracks on your composite deck.
- The first step to preventing cracks in your composite decking is to only use quality composite lumber for your construction. Of course, there’s always the temptation of saving costs, but it would be a mistake to compromise the quality of materials for such a significant project.
- Next, ensure the composite lumber is correctly installed using suitable materials. To see this through, you should hire qualified professionals to handle this installation.
- Although composite decking requires less maintenance than other decking types, a little regular maintenance will go a long way to ensure durability. Also, you want to ensure you don’t subject your deck to more weight than it can handle.
Composite decking is a superior decking system used in modern buildings, and you may want to adopt this system for your homes and offices. However, one problem that you may experience with these decks is cracks. Luckily, this article has highlighted how to fix and prevent cracks on your composite decking.