Does Composite Decking Get Hot? (PVC vs. Composite Decking)

Building across Worcester County & Metrowest since 2016

Designing the perfect outdoor retreat involves making several key decisions, one of which is choosing the right decking material. It’s crucial to understand how hot your deck could get, especially during the scorching summer months. The two main contenders in the decking uindustry are PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and composite decking. Today, we delve into the heat retention properties of composite decking and how it compares to PVC decking.

Decking Materials 101

PVC Decking

PVC, an acronym for polyvinyl chloride, is a popular choice in the decking industry. It’s a type of plastic known for its lightweight nature, resistance to moisture, and the absence of wood fibers. These qualities not only confer resistance to rot and insect damage but also aid in keeping the material cooler.

Composite Decking

Composite decking is a blend of plastic and wood fibers. This combination gives the decking a more natural look, with the plastic offering protection against moisture. However, the inclusion of wood fibers could lead to increased heat retention in composite decking.

The Heat Retention Question: How Hot Does Composite Decking Get?

The temperature of decking underfoot is influenced by several factors, such as the color of the deck, the density of the material, and its heat absorption properties.

Color and Heat Absorption

Regardless of the type of material, darker colors tend to absorb more heat than lighter ones. This principle of heat absorption means that dark colors, absorbing more wavelengths of light, also absorb more heat. Therefore, whether you’re opting for PVC or composite decking, a lighter shade could make your deck cooler.

Material Density and Heat Dissipation

PVC decking, being less dense and lighter than composite decking, can dissipate heat more quickly, resulting in a cooler surface.

Heat Absorption Properties

Entirely synthetic materials like PVC decking don’t absorb as much heat as natural materials. In contrast, composite decking, which contains wood fibers, may retain more heat, thus resulting in a warmer surface.

While PVC and composite decking both have their pros and cons, if a cooler deck surface is your priority, PVC decking might be your go-to option. Its lower density and entirely synthetic nature contribute to its ability to stay cooler underfoot. However, always remember that the color of your decking plays a significant role in heat absorption, with lighter shades offering a cooler surface, regardless of the material.

Need more advice on your decking choice? Renovista Construction has got you covered. With years of experience and a team of dedicated professionals, we can guide you through the process and ensure your outdoor space becomes your dream retreat. Visit our website here for more information.

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