Why Composite Decking Is the Best Choice for Cold Climates


Homeowners in climates with extreme temperature swings need outdoor decks that can withstand freezing temperatures, snow and ice, and still rally back in time for spring training and sizzling summer heat. For these types of climates, composite decking is going to be the best choice and here’s why…

Stability – Unlike traditional lumber, composite decking contains a high percentage of inert plastic material, so it is much less likely to expand and contract due to changes in temperature or moisture levels.

Quick drying – Since water has a hard time adhering (let alone absorbing) onto a composite deck, it’s surface will typically dry off much master than a traditional lumber deck.

Another benefit of composites is that because they are manufactured so precisely, they are also less likely to have indentations or other imperfections where water may pool up and be slow to dry.

A quick drying deck surface becomes more important during the periods of melting and re-freezing over the winter. Water that drains away from the decking can’t freeze and expand, potentially weakening boards over time. Just one more reason why many contractors now believe that composites are the best type of decking for cold climates.  

Mold and mildew resistance – Another attribute that helps composite decking maintain a high-quality appearance year after year is its built-in resistance to mold and mildew growth. When natural pollutants such as pollen, dirt and debris are allowed to remain on any outdoor surface (trapping moisture beneath) there is the potential for mold growth.

Because very little adheres to composite decking, most dirt and debris is easily swept away with the wind. Occasionally washing with warm soapy water and a soft bristled brush will quickly remove any remnants of previous seasons. 

No splintering – Unlike traditional pressure treated (PT) decking, composite decks are not prone to cracking or splintering. Machined to a precise, uniformed edge, it’s much more difficult to damage a composite deck board (using a plastic edged shovel only) to clear away snow buildup on a deck used as a primary or secondary entrance to the home during winter. Again, the small nicks and splinters in traditional lumber will ultimately lead to water absorbing into the wood, causing the board to eventually rot.

Strength – A properly framed DuraLife composite deck can hold the weight of more than 3 feet of snow, so homeowners can rest easy knowing that their deck will safely withstand the vast majority of winter storms without needing to be cleared by hand. Oftentimes, a few sunny days of melting will reduce the snowpack enough before the next snowfall arrives.  

Winter storage and installation – Contractors installing DuraLife composite decking are able to install decks deeper into the winter season because every board is sealed with a removable protective film at the final stage of the manufacturing process.

This clear protective film adds another layer of protection against the elements as well as reducing the potential for damage during the construction/installation process. Installers can walk freely from the work area around the deck and across it without concern for damaging the composite at all. When the job is complete, the installers simply peal back each protective coating and reveal a pristine new deck to the homeowner! 

Longevity – One of the biggest benefits of composite decking products is that it simply lasts for a very, very long time. DuraLife’s 25-year limited stain and fade warranty also includes 5 years of replacement labor. One of the best warranties in the business.

A Final Note About Using A Composite Deck During the Winter.

If ice and snow buildup does occur contractors should inform homeowners to apply a calcium-chloride based product to melt it away. Most calcium-chloride-based ice-melt products that contain words such as “safe for concrete,” “safe for flagstone,” or “safe for children and pets” on its packaging will be suitable for safely removing ice build-up from a composite deck.

Avoiding abrasive materials such as sand and rinsing away residue picked up from the roadways and sidewalks when temperatures warm will also help keep the composite surface looking great season after season.

Choose your samples of DuraLife composite decking and have them shipped directly to your door. Order your samples now!

This article is made possible by DuraLife. DuraLife’s unique polypropylene and hardwood composite decking materials simply outperform all other wood and composite decking productsMore solid and safe under foot, DuraLife decking is backed by a 25-year warranty. It is stain and fade resistant, mold and mildew resistant, and is available in the colors and deck railing options you want. Get Samples, try our Composite Deck Visualizer, or contact DuraLife now to learn more.