Can you install composite decking over the wooden deck?
You have an outdoor deck where you can enjoy life, and the most common pressure treatment wooden deck is used. In daily life, you have dinner and play with your family and friends on the wood deck. What a wonderful life! But after years of use, you find that the wood deck not only needs regular maintenance. And it will be moldy and rotten, which will bring you a lot of trouble. Therefore, you want to replace the existing wood deck, and you want to use the popular composite deck. The question you need to know is, can you install composite decking on the wooden deck?
Installing composite decking on the existing deck frame can save a lot of time and cost. This is because you don’t need to rebuild the deck frame. If your original deck frame is in good condition, the new outdoor deck will be strong and durable.
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Can you put the composite decking boards on the wood deck?
If your wooden deck frame is in good condition, you can install the composite deck on the existing wooden deck. Therefore, before installing the composite decking on the wooden deck, the following three factors need to be considered:
Age of wooden deck
The treated wooden deck usually has a service life of 10 to 15 years. If your wood deck lasts longer than this, you can’t install composite deck boards on the wood deck. This is because moisture will remain between the wood deck frames. Water is the chief culprit of wood decay, which creates a hotbed for fungi, thus leading to wood decay.
Wood type for building an outdoor deck
Building outdoor decks with corrosion-resistant wood can reduce the possibility of rapid decay of wooden decks. Mahogany, mahogany, and cedar have good corrosion resistance. Before repainting the composite board, please consider whether your wooden decking is made of these sturdy woods.
Signs of decay
In another case, the surface of the wood decks is in good condition, but it may be rotten inside. Faced with this situation, how should we judge? The proper way to solve this problem is to probe around with a screwdriver for soft spots. If there are many soft spots in the wooden deck frame, it means that it has rotted inside.
If your wooden deck boards show signs of decay, or there is shaking and creaking under the wooden decking. Then the composite decking cannot be installed on the wood decks, and you may need to install the composite deck from scratch.
Install composite decking on existing wood deck
Using the right tools and procedures to build the composite deck boards can save you time and make the new outdoor deck more durable.
Step 1: Remove the existing wood decking
First, clean up all the furniture and deck railings on the old deck to provide you with sufficient working space. Then, with the help of a pry bar, remove your old deck. Next, you need to check whether your deck frame is rotten. Then make necessary repairs, and even install additional frames in squeaky or wobbly areas.
Step 2: Protective measures
Before installing the new composite boards, it is necessary to treat the old wood frame with anti-corrosion. Coat all cutting ends of the treated wood frame with liquid wood preservative. At the same time, it is necessary to cover the holes in old nails or screws to avoid water accumulation. To do this, you can use joist protective tape. Use this tape to cover the top of the joist to prolong the service life of the deck.
Step 3: Install the composite deck
To cut the composite deck to a suitable length, it is necessary to leave an appropriate gap at the end. Use the deck screws or fasteners matched with the composite decking to fix the composite deck. During installation, use shims to leave a gap between decks so that water can be drained when it rains. This spacing allows the composite decking to expand and contract when heated, thus avoiding the warping of the composite deck.
In this step, you can seek the help of the composite decking contractor. Or you can DIY the outdoor deck according to the installation instructions provided by the composite decking manufacturer.
Step 4: Finishing and completion
When you have completed the installation of the composite deck. Then reinstall your deck railing and put back your deck furniture. Then you can enjoy your sturdy new composite decking.
Pros and cons of installing the composite decking on an old wood deck
Society is progressing, and decorative materials are constantly developing. As a new type of composite material, there will be a lot of arguments. After comparing the advantages and disadvantages of your building materials options, you will understand your actual situation more easily. Then you can take the best course of action according to your actual situation.
Pros of composite decking
It requires minimal maintenance and can save you a lot of maintenance costs and time.
The composite material is environmentally friendly. The composite material is made of wood fiber and recycled plastic. It not only improves the utilization rate of trees but also reduces domestic garbage.
The composite material has a realistic appearance. Unlike the plastic deck, the composite decking looks like a wooden board.
Long service life. The composite deck can be used for up to 30 years, more than twice as long as the wood decking.
There are many colors. As an artificial building material, the composite deck has many different colors. Therefore, it will save you the time and cost of painting.
Will not split and shatter. They are made of stronger materials and are less likely to split when handled during installation.
It is highly waterproof. Can avoid the decay caused by water.
They have insect resistance. Because of the material properties, the composite deck will not attract insects such as termites. The safety problem caused by termite bites is also avoided.
Composite decking board will not fade as quickly as wood. This means that your outdoor deck can keep a beautiful appearance for a long time.
Cons of the composite decking on wood decking
Mold on the old deck may rot on the new deck. If you don’t check properly, the mold on the old wooden deck may gradually erode your new deck.
If the wooden support structure below is not strong, the new deck may collapse. Rotting will weaken the whole deck structure.
The original mold stains may form on your top deck. The rotten wood layer below may migrate upward, which will eventually dirty your new deck.
Composite decking is more expensive than wood decking. If your budget is tight, the price of composite flooring will prevent you from buying them.
If the existing frame is in good condition, it is a common practice to use composite decking to replace worn or rotten wooden decks. This is more economical and time-saving than tearing it all up and starting over.