How Eco-Friendly are Non-Wood Deck Options?

It’s time once again for us to celebrate this wonderful world that we live on during Environment Day. At Timbertown Austin, we go to great lengths to support sustainable harvesting and offer our customers eco-friendly deck building options whenever possible.

This World Environment Day we’re taking a look at how composite decks are helping deck lovers minimize their eco-footprint.

Composite Decking

Recycled Materials

Many composite decking options are a mixture of plastic and wood fiber. Manufacturers like Trex use recycled shopping bags, wood and other plastics to create their composite decking. The result is a building material that’s made of 95% recycled components. The company notes that Trex decking keeps 400 million pounds of wood and plastic out of landfills every year.

Unfortunately, right now composite decking isn’t recyclable at the end of its lifespan or if there’s construction waste during the build. You can minimize the potential for waste by taking steps before the build to plan out all the cuts. There’s also the possibility of repurposing the decking once it’s no longer a deck.

Less Maintenance Means Less Impact

Unlike many woods that need regular staining and sealing, composite decking is nearly maintenance free. This is ecologically important when you consider that while there are environmentally friendly options, many of the sealers and stains used can be quite harsh or even toxic. Additionally, every product used has an eco-footprint that consists of the materials and energy used to make the product plus packaging and shipping it.

The less products you use to maintain your deck the lower impact it has over its entire lifecycle.

Longer Lifecycle

Speaking of lifecycles, that’s a feature that gives composite decking an edge over numerous wood selections. While some woods have a lifespan of 10-20 years before needing to be replaced, composite decks are estimated to last for 30+ years. Longer lifespan means less waste potentially ending up in landfills and a reduced need for replacement materials.

Rot and Insect Resistant

Two things that can dramatically shorten the lifespan of a real wood deck is rot and insects, neither of which are as big a concern for composite decking. Because there is a small percentage of wood fiber in the material it isn’t 100% rot or insect-proof, but it is much, much less susceptible. Composite decking also won’t warp, splinter or crack, common problems for some wood decks that end up creating the need to additional replacement materials. Furthermore, potentially harmful pesticides and sealants won’t need to be used to keep bugs at bay.

If you’re building a deck this Environment Day we encourage you to consider all the composite decking options that are now available. They are attractive, durable and best of all they’re eco-friendly.

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