Compared to traditional wood, composite decks offer better durability and low maintenance requirements. This is why this type of deck is becoming an increasingly popular choice for the outdoors. In an outdoor space, the deck must be scratch-resistant and resistant to wear and tear. Many homeowners prefer to know about the composite material’s resistance to wear and tear.
In this article, we’ll explore the scratch resistance of composite decking in detail. And examine the factors that affect its performance. Properly understanding the properties of composite decking material will help homeowners use their decks properly and safely.
Components of Composite Decking
Composite deck is made primarily from a blend of wood fibers, recycled plastics, and adhesives. These materials are carefully engineered. It is possible to create a highly resistant product to scratching and abrasion. Most manufacturers provide a protective outer layer to the plastic component of the deck. This protective outer layer effectively protects the decking from potential damage.
Factors affecting the performance of composite material
Composite wood decks are known for their superior durability. However, there are still some factors that can affect their performance.
Quality of composite material
The quality of the composite deck plays an important role in scratch resistance. High-quality decks tend to be made from stronger and more durable materials. Resulting in high scratch resistance. Lower-quality materials may not provide the same level of scratch resistance. Surfaces are therefore, more susceptible to damage.
As technology innovates and develops, some products utilize capping technology. Protective coatings and shells are added to the surface of the deck during the manufacturing process. This enhances scratch resistance. The addition of composite decking provides additional protection. Effective against scratches caused by furniture, pets, or daily foot traffic.
The texture and smoothness of the surface of Composite decks can also affect their performance. Some textures and finishes may be more susceptible to scratches and abrasion. While some finishes are better at hiding scratches. Decks with embossed textures are more likely to hide scratches than smooth surfaces. Surface scratches will not be easily detected.
Proper installation and maintenance
Please ensure proper installation and regular maintenance. This is essential to maintain the scratch resistance of composite decks. Incorrect installation techniques or incorrect cleaning and maintenance may result in surface damage. Therefore, please follow the manufacturer’s installation and maintenance guidelines during installation. This helps to maximize the scratch resistance and durability of the deck.
How to assess the scratch resistance of composite decks
To better evaluate the performance of composite wood decking, you need some tests to measure it. Some common tests are the Tabor Abrasion Test and the Janka Hardness Test.
Taber abrasion test
Tabor abrasion is a method used to determine the ability of a material to withstand wear and tear. Taber wear is evaluated using what is called a Taber wear test or Taber wear meter. Taber Wear uses two grinding wheels. The material being evaluated is rotated underneath it for a given time and a given load. The test provides a rating that indicates how well the material resists scratching. Composite decking with a higher rating can exhibit higher scratch resistance.
Janka hardness test
The Janka Hardness Test measures a material’s ability to resist indentations or dents. While it does not directly assess a material’s scratch resistance. But it can provide insight into a material’s overall hardness and durability. Typically, composite materials with higher hardness ratings have better performance.
In addition to the above two tests, you need to evaluate the performance and durability of the composite deck in everyday use. Examples include moving furniture, hauling heavy loads, or pet activities. Decks that are covered with composite decking or have a protective coating tend to perform better.
How to increase the scratch resistance of your deck
Several additional measures can be effective in increasing the durability of your deck.
Consider placing protective pads or cushions underneath outdoor furniture and heavy objects. This helps to distribute weight and minimize the risk of scratches. Protective pads form between composite decks and heavy furniture. It prevents them from coming into direct contact.
Keeping composite decking clean and free of dirt and debris is vital. Regular cleaning helps prevent abrasive particles from causing scratches during foot traffic or other activities. We recommend that you use a leaf blower and brush to remove debris and crumbs from the surface.
Avoid sharp objects
Composite decks have excellent properties. But you should avoid using sharp or abrasive objects directly on the surface. Metal shovels, knives, and chemical-laden cleaners can seriously damage composite material.
Due to its composition and protective properties, composite decking has excellent scratch resistance. High-quality materials, innovative technology, and proper installation. This can all effectively enhance its performance. Understand the factors affecting scratch resistance and take appropriate measures. Homeowners can further enhance its durability.