Anything that is outdoors year-round in Iowa will face some extreme temperatures. From the heat and humidity of late July to the bitterly cold months of snow and ice, your deck needs to weather it all. In climates that aren’t as variable, most any pressure treated wood should hold up relatively well, but in Iowa, composite decking can double the life of your deck.
Composite Decking Won’t Take on Water
Unlike traditional wood, composite decking won’t absorb water. This can be helpful during the humid summer months, but it’s essential during Iowa winters when snow and ice melt and refreeze. If you’ve ever left a can of soda in the freezer, you know that water expands when it freezes. Now, imagine this happening to water that has soaked into the wood of your deck.
Composite decking contains a higher percentage of waterproof, synthetic material so there is much less expanding and contracting due to changing humidity and temperatures.
Composite Decking is STRONG
If your deck is made from composite wood, you can stay inside where it’s warm and let the snow drifts pile up. A properly framed composite deck can survive the weight of more than three feet of snow. But if one of those monster Iowa snowstorms does come through, you can shovel your composite deck (with a plastic-edged shovel) without fear of splintering or cracking the wood. Or, if you’d rather skip the shoveling, you can sprinkle some calcium-chloride-based ice-melt on your composite deck, without worrying that it will shorten the life of the wood. Most ice-melt products that are labeled “safe for children and pets” should be fine to use on your composite decking.
Composite Decking is Mold and Mildew Resistant
When traditional wood decking becomes coated in pollen, dirt or other natural residue, water can be trapped underneath, creating a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. But because very little sticks to composite decking, and it dries faster than traditional wood, it’s difficult for mold or mildew to grow. Any sort of deck will naturally collect some pollen and dirt, but with composite decking, it can be easily swept away or rinsed with a hose. This is why composite decking requires next to no maintenance compared to traditional wood.