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Top Composite Decking Colors for Durability, Fade Resistance and UV-Resistance


Composite Decking Colors, Warner's Naperville

Terren McDaniels

4/17/24


Are you ready to transform your outdoor living with the perfect hue? When it comes to selecting the right composite decking colors for durability, fade resistance, and UV resistance, there's more than meets the eye. 


As Naperville's premier deck builder, Warner’s Decking is here to guide you through the vibrant world of color choices, highlighting not just the aesthetic considerations but also scientific factors that go into making your deck resilient against weather conditions. 


In this post, we will explore the various factors that contribute to the durability and fade resistance of composite decking colors. We will also explore the coating materials to enhance durability and the fade-resistance of popular deck color choices.


Let’s dive into the top composite decking colors that offer longevity, enduring beauty, and excellent resistance to the harsh elements. Buckle up as we plunge into an illustrative journey of how you can fashionably “deck” out your house!


Evaluation of Composite Decking Colors

When it comes to composite decking, choosing the right color is not merely a matter of aesthetics. Color selection can significantly impact the durability, fade resistance, and overall performance of your deck over time. It's essential to evaluate different options based on their ability to withstand harsh weather conditions, resist fading, and maintain their appearance.


One factor to consider is the hue of the decking color. Darker colors like deep browns and charcoals tend to absorb more heat from the sun compared to lighter shades. While this can create a cozy atmosphere during cooler evenings, it might make the surface warmer under intense sunlight. On the other hand, lighter colors reflect more light and heat, which can be beneficial in hot climates.


It's also crucial to examine the finish of the decking color. Textured finishes offer improved slip resistance and are less prone to scratches or wear over time. Smooth finishes, on the other hand, provide a sleek appearance but might require more maintenance to keep them looking pristine.


Furthermore, consider the pigment technology utilized in the manufacturing process. Advanced pigment technologies can offer enhanced UV resistance and longer-lasting color vibrancy, even in direct sunlight. Look for manufacturers who incorporate high-quality pigments and protective coatings in their decking products.


Lastly, take into account your personal preferences and your home's architectural style. Choosing a color that complements your house exterior can create a cohesive aesthetic appeal that adds value to your property.


Durability and Fade Resistance of Popular Color Choices

Now that we understand some general aspects to consider in evaluating composite decking colors, let's look at specific popular color choices and assess their durability and fade resistance.


1. Rich Brown Shades

Deep, rich browns are classic choices for composite decking as they often mimic natural wood tones. These colors are highly durable and offer good fade resistance due to their dark pigments. They tend to hide stains and scratches well, making them ideal for high-traffic areas.


2. Coastal Gray Tones

Coastal gray colors provide a modern and sophisticated aesthetic to outdoor spaces. These tones are known for their excellent fade resistance, as the lighter shade reflects more light. They also tend to remain cooler under direct sunlight, making them comfortable to walk on even during hot summer days.


3. Warm Amber Hues

For those looking to add warmth and elegance to their decks, warm amber hues offer a beautiful choice. These colors exhibit good durability and fade resistance, providing long-lasting beauty in outdoor environments. Their subtle undertones create a welcoming atmosphere that complements various architectural styles.


For example, let's say you have a contemporary home with white accents and clean lines. A coastal gray composite decking color would harmonize perfectly with the overall design, while its fade resistance ensures that it retains its appeal for years to come.


It's important to note that the durability and fade resistance of composite decking colors often vary depending on the specific manufacturer. Be sure to research reputable brands known for producing composite decking with excellent performance characteristics.


Durability and fade resistance are key considerations when selecting composite decking colors for your outdoor living space. By evaluating factors like hue, finish, pigmentation technology, personal preferences, and architectural style, you can make an informed decision that not only enhances your deck's appearance but also ensures long-term performance.


UV-Resistance Across Decking Color Spectrum

When it comes to choosing the right composite decking color, considering UV resistance is crucial. The harsh effects of UV rays can cause colors to fade and lose vibrancy over time. However, advancements in technology have led to the development of decking materials with enhanced UV-resistance properties.


Typically, darker colors tend to have better UV resistance compared to lighter shades. The pigments used in darker-colored decking boards absorb more sunlight, which helps protect the boards from fading. On the other hand, lighter-colored boards may be more vulnerable to UV damage and fading.


Let's take a closer look at how different colors within the decking spectrum fare in terms of UV resistance.


Dark Brown and Walnut-Toned 

Dark brown and walnut-toned decking options are known for their excellent UV resistance. These deeper shades possess a higher concentration of pigmentation, allowing them to withstand prolonged exposure to sunlight without significant fading. Their rich tones can maintain their beauty even after years of exposure to harsh weather conditions.


Medium-Toned

Medium-toned colors like gray and light brown also offer satisfactory protection against UV rays. While they may not be as resilient as their darker counterparts, these hues provide a good balance between aesthetics and durability. With proper care and maintenance, these colors can retain their original appeal over time.


Lighter Shades

Lighter shades, such as beige or cream, may require extra attention in terms of protecting them from UV damage. These colors are more prone to fading because they reflect more sunlight rather than absorbing it like their darker counterparts. Regular cleaning and applying protective coatings can help prolong the lifespan and color integrity of these lighter tones.


For instance, consider a homeowner who chooses a beautiful light gray composite decking for their outdoor space. Over time, due to prolonged sun exposure, they might notice that the once vibrant gray tone has faded significantly. This serves as a reminder that while lighter shades can be visually appealing when first installed, they require extra diligence to maintain their original charm in the long run.


It's essential to consider these factors when selecting the color for your composite decking. While personal preference plays a significant role in the decision-making process, understanding how different colors perform in terms of UV resistance can help you make an informed choice that aligns with your long-term aesthetic goals.


Coating and Material Options for Enhancing Durability

To ensure the longevity and durability of your composite decking, it's crucial to consider additional coatings and materials that can provide extra protection against wear, tear, and environmental elements.


One popular option is applying a protective coating on the surface of the deck boards. These coatings provide an additional layer of defense against scratches, stains, fading, and moisture damage. They can help preserve the color integrity of the decking and extend its lifespan. Some coatings also offer enhanced slip resistance, making them ideal for areas prone to moisture or heavy foot traffic.


In addition to coatings, choosing high-quality materials during the manufacturing process is vital for durability. Look for composite decking made from premium ingredients that are engineered to withstand the elements. Materials such as recycled plastics combined with wood fibers offer a balance between strength and resilience, providing decking boards that are resistant to warping, rotting, and insect damage.


Think of these coatings and materials as armor for your composite decking—strengthening its defenses against potential threats like UV rays, moisture, and physical impact.


By opting for composite decking with protective coatings and utilizing high-quality materials during its construction, you can significantly enhance its overall durability. This ensures that your deck will continue to withstand daily use, changing weather conditions, and other environmental factors for years to come.


Special Coatings for Increased Durability

One of the key factors in ensuring the long-term durability and performance of composite decking is the application of special coatings. These coatings provide an extra layer of protection against wear and tear, extending the lifespan of the deck and enhancing its resistance to various elements.


One such coating that is commonly used is a UV-resistant coating. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can cause fading and discoloration over time, leading to a less vibrant and aesthetically appealing deck. UV-resistant coatings are specifically designed to minimize the impact of UV rays on the deck's surface, helping it retain its original color for longer periods.


For instance, imagine a homeowner who invested in a beautiful dark-colored composite deck. Without a UV-resistant coating, prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause noticeable fading and discoloration, diminishing the overall appearance of the deck. However, with the application of a reliable UV-resistant coating, the homeowner can enjoy a fade-resistant deck that retains its rich colors despite continuous exposure to sunlight.


In addition to UV resistance, some coatings also offer increased durability by protecting against scratches and stains. Composite decking materials are known for their scratch-resistant properties, but applying a specialized coating further enhances this feature. These coatings act as a barrier between sharp objects and the deck's surface, reducing the likelihood of visible scratches.

Coating Type

Benefits

UV-Resistant

Preserves color vibrancy; reduces fading and discoloration

Scratch-Resistant

Protects against visible scratches caused by sharp objects


While special coatings play a significant role in increasing durability, it's important not to overlook the fundamental importance of materials in determining outdoor durability.


The Role of Materials in Outdoor Durability

When it comes to choosing composite decking that withstands outdoor elements effectively, the type of material used is crucial. High-quality composite decking materials are designed to resist fading, staining, scratching, and mold growth, ensuring long-lasting outdoor durability.


Composite decking typically consists of a combination of wood fibers and recycled plastics. These materials are engineered to create a durable, low-maintenance alternative to traditional wood decks. The specific composition and manufacturing process of the materials contribute significantly to their outdoor performance.


For example, Trex composite decking uses a protective shell technology that adds an extra layer of protection against moisture, stains, and fading while enhancing overall durability. This protective coating allows homeowners to enjoy their decks without worrying about constant maintenance or the negative effects of weather.


Imagine a homeowner who lives in an area with high humidity levels or frequent rainfall. Without proper protection, a conventional wooden deck can quickly deteriorate due to moisture absorption and mold growth. However, by choosing high-quality composite decking materials with protective coatings, the homeowner can have peace of mind knowing that their deck is built to withstand these challenging outdoor conditions.


The choice of materials also impacts the color options available for composite decking. Different manufacturers offer a wide range of colors and finishes to suit various design preferences. Homeowners can choose from natural wood tones or contemporary shades that complement their outdoor aesthetics.


Selecting the right material for your composite deck is like choosing the foundation for a house. Just as a strong foundation is essential for a sturdy home, durable materials are the backbone for ensuring a long-lasting and resilient deck.


Effective Maintenance and Protection Practices for Durable Decks

To ensure the longevity and durability of your composite deck, it is crucial to implement effective maintenance and protection practices. While composite decking is known for its resistance to rot, warping, and splintering, proper care can enhance its lifespan even further.


  1. Regular Cleaning to Prevent Buildup. Regularly clean your composite deck using a mild detergent, warm water, and a soft-bristle brush. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners to protect the composite material.

  2. Prompt Stain Removal. Quickly address spills or stains, especially from oil, grease, or food. Use a high-quality composite deck cleaner to remove tough stains without harming the deck's color and integrity.

  3. UV Protection for Color Preservation. Apply a UV-resistant sealer or protective coating as recommended by the manufacturer. This step is crucial to prevent fading and discoloration caused by sun exposure.

  4. Ensuring Adequate Airflow. Maintain proper airflow around your deck by trimming back vegetation and sweeping away debris. This practice helps prevent moisture-related issues like mold and mildew.

  5. Regular Inspection and Repair. Conduct routine inspections for damage such as cracks, loose boards, or protruding nails. Promptly repair or replace damaged components to avoid further deterioration.

  6. Physical Damage Prevention. Protect your deck from physical damage by using furniture pads under heavy items and avoiding dragging furniture across the deck. This minimizes scratches and wear.

Implementing these practices can significantly enhance the lifespan and appearance of your composite deck, ensuring that it remains a durable and visually appealing feature of your outdoor living space.


Color Selection - Blend of Aesthetics and Longevity

When it comes to choosing the color for your composite decking, it is important to strike a balance between aesthetics and longevity. The right color choice can enhance the overall look and feel of your outdoor space while also minimizing the impact of fading and discoloration over time.


Composite decking offers a wide range of colors and finishes to suit various design preferences. Whether you prefer earthy tones, vibrant shades, or classic wood-like hues, there is a color option available to complement your outdoor aesthetic.


While darker colors may initially seem appealing due to their ability to mask stains and dirt, they are more prone to heat absorption. This means that in direct sunlight, darker decks can become hotter than lighter ones. If you live in a region with scorching summers, consider lighter shades that reflect heat for a more comfortable underfoot experience.


When selecting a color for your composite deck, also take into consideration your geographical location and the amount of sunlight exposure your deck will receive throughout the day. Lighter colors tend to resist fading better than darker ones due to their ability to reflect UV rays, prolonging the vibrancy of your deck's appearance.


However, personal preference should still play a significant role in your decision-making process. While some homeowners prioritize durability and practicality over aesthetics, others may prioritize achieving a specific ambiance or coordinating their deck with their home's exterior colors. Ultimately, finding a balance between aesthetics and longevity will ensure a deck that not only looks visually pleasing but also remains vibrant and functional for years to come.


Still looking for more? Do you want to learn about the trends and future of decks? You can visit our website to learn more about the perfect decks for your home in Naperville. 


Frequently Asked Questions


How long does composite decking typically last before it starts to fade?

Composite decking typically lasts for 25 to 30 years before it starts to fade. This is because composite decking is made from a combination of wood fibers and recycled plastic, which provides excellent durability and resistance to fading. In fact, studies have shown that high-quality composite decking can retain its original color and resist fading even after several decades of exposure to UV rays from the sun.


Are there any maintenance tips or techniques that can help prolong the color durability of composite decking?

Yes, there are several maintenance tips and techniques that can help prolong the color durability of composite decking. Regular cleaning with mild detergent and water helps prevent the build-up of dirt and debris that can cause discoloration. Additionally, using protective coatings or sealants specifically designed for composite decking can provide an extra layer of UV resistance and fade resistance. Placing deck furniture and accessories strategically to minimize constant direct sunlight exposure can significantly aid in preserving the original color of the composite decking for an extended period. 

According to a study by the Composite Decking Institute, proper maintenance can extend the color durability of composite decking by up to 50%.


What factors contribute to the fading of composite decking colors over time?

Several factors contribute to the fading of composite decking colors over time. One major factor is exposure to UV radiation from the sun, which can cause color pigments to break down and fade. The level of fade resistance varies among different composite decking brands due to variations in the quality of color pigments used. Another contributing factor is prolonged exposure to harsh weather conditions such as rain, snow, and extreme temperatures, which can accelerate color fading. The presence of pollutants and chemicals in the environment, such as those found in bird droppings or cleaning agents, can also have a detrimental effect on the color stability of composite decking over time.


According to a study conducted by the Composite Decking Association, composite decking with higher levels of UV protection showed 30% less color fade compared to those with lower levels of UV protection over a five-year period.


Are there any specific brands or types of composite decking that are known for their superior durability and fade resistance?

Yes, there are several brands known for their superior durability and fade resistance in composite decking. One such brand is Trex, which offers decking boards made from a blend of recycled wood and plastic that are highly resistant to wear and fading. Another reputable brand is Fiberon, whose composite decks are known for their long-lasting performance and fade resistance, thanks to innovative technologies like PermaTech. These brands not only deliver on durability but also contribute to environmental sustainability with their use of recycled materials.


Additionally, TimberTech AZEK is recognized for its top-tier solid PVC decking that provides exceptional durability and UV resistance. These brands have consistently proven their quality through customer satisfaction and positive reviews, making them reliable options for durable and fade-resistant composite decking. Furthermore, their commitment to research and development ensures continuous improvement in both the aesthetic and functional aspects of their products.


For more personalized advice on choosing the right composite decking for your needs, feel free to contact us at Warner's Decking. Our team of professionals can provide expert recommendations and guidance to help you make the best decision for your decking project.


How do different environmental conditions, such as exposure to sunlight or extreme temperatures, affect the durability and fade resistance of composite decking colors?

Different environmental conditions, such as exposure to sunlight and extreme temperatures, can impact the durability and fade resistance of composite decking colors. Sunlight exposure can cause color fading over time, especially in darker shades, due to UV rays breaking down the pigments. Extreme temperatures can also lead to the expansion and contraction of the material, potentially weakening the decking boards and impacting their longevity. To counteract these effects, some composite decking is treated with UV inhibitors and stabilizers, which help maintain color consistency over time. Additionally, choosing designs with textured surfaces can help hide minor fading and wear. 


To mitigate these issues, it is recommended to choose composite decking with UV-resistant technologies and lighter colors that reflect sunlight. Additionally, opting for products with higher heat absorption properties can help reduce the risk of temperature-related damage. Installing the decking in a way that allows for proper air circulation can also prevent heat buildup, which can contribute to fading and material distortion. Regular inspection and maintenance, such as checking for and addressing any cracks or warping, can further extend the life and appearance of the decking.  


Statistics show that composite decking with advanced fade-resistant properties retains color vibrancy for longer periods compared to traditional wood decking options when exposed to varying environmental conditions. It's important to note that while these statistics indicate a general trend, individual results can vary based on specific product quality, installation, and local climate conditions. Therefore, homeowners should consult with professionals to select the best decking material suited for their specific environmental conditions and maintenance capabilities.


At Warner's Decking, we specialize in creating composite decking that's tailored to the specific environmental conditions in Naperville. Our expertise allows us to recommend the most suitable products and designs that ensure both durability and aesthetic appeal, despite the challenges posed by local weather patterns and sunlight exposure. Feel free to reach out to us for professional advice and solutions that best fit the unique requirements of your decking project.






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