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Does Composite Decking Get Hot In The Sun?

Does Composite Decking Get Hot in the Sun?

Composite decking is a popular choice for outdoor spaces due to its durability and low maintenance. However, a common concern is whether composite decking gets too hot in the sun. Let’s explore this topic in detail, looking at what causes decking to heat up, comparisons with wood decking, and ways to keep your deck cool.

Does Composite Decking Get Hot?

Yes, composite decking can get hot when exposed to direct sunlight. Like any material, it will absorb heat from the sun, making the surface warm to the touch. However, modern composite decking is designed to manage heat better than older versions or even some types of wood decking.

Factors That Affect Deck Temperature

Several factors influence how hot your deck can get in the sun:

1. Decking Color:

Dark colors absorb more heat than lighter ones. Choosing lighter shades, such as grey or light wood tones, can help keep your deck cooler. Darker colors like black or dark grey will retain more heat, similar to how wearing a black shirt on a sunny day makes you feel warmer than wearing a white one.

2. Direct Sunlight:

The amount of direct sunlight hitting your deck significantly affects its temperature. Decks in full sun will heat up more than those in shaded areas. The position and exposure of your deck play a crucial role. Decks with partial shade or intermittent sunlight will stay cooler than those under constant exposure to direct sunlight.

3. Ambient Temperature:

The surrounding air temperature also influences how hot your deck gets. On hot days, any decking material will feel warmer. However, composite decking tends to heat up more evenly and retain heat longer than wood.

Comparison to Wood Decking

Composite decking doesn’t necessarily get hotter than wood. Innovations in composite materials mean that modern composite decking can remain cooler than wood in some cases. Additionally, composite decking resists cracking and splintering from heat, which is a common issue with wood. Wood can expand and contract with temperature changes, leading to structural issues over time.

Keeping Your Deck Cool

Here are some practical tips to keep your composite deck cool in the summer:

1. Choose Light Colors:

Opt for lighter shades of composite decking. Light colors reflect more sunlight, reducing heat absorption. Colors like grey, tan, or light wood tones are ideal for keeping the deck surface cooler. Lighter colors not only contribute to a cooler deck but also blend well with various outdoor themes, offering both aesthetic appeal and functional benefits.

2. Add Shade:

Install structures like pergolas, sail shades, or umbrellas to provide shade. This can significantly lower the deck temperature. You can also use retractable awnings for flexible shading options. A pergola with climbing plants can create a cooler area underneath, adding a natural, green touch to your outdoor space.

3. Proper Ventilation:

Ensure there is adequate airflow beneath the deck. This helps to dissipate heat and keep the deck cooler. Avoid blocking ventilation with skirting or other obstructions. Designing the deck with sufficient gaps between the boards and ensuring unobstructed air movement around the perimeter can prevent heat from becoming trapped.

4. Use Cooling Accessories:

Incorporate outdoor fans or misting systems to reduce the heat on your composite deck. Outdoor fans create a breeze that aids in dissipating heat, while misting systems provide a cooling mist that lowers the temperature of the surrounding area.

5. Use Outdoor Rugs:

Place outdoor rugs on your deck. They stay cooler than the decking surface and provide a comfortable area to walk on. Rugs also add an aesthetic appeal to your deck. Be cautious with rubber-backed rugs, as they can trap heat and cause damage to the decking surface.

6. Choose Heat-Resistant Deck Accessories:

When furnishing your deck, opt for heat-resistant accessories and furniture. Materials like metal, certain woods, or outdoor fabrics designed for heat resistance do not absorb as much heat, making them more comfortable to use even on hot days. Light-colored patio umbrellas and cushions can also contribute to reducing the surface temperature of the deck while adding a touch of style and comfort to your outdoor living area.

Pet-Friendly Surface

Composite decking can be safe for pets. It tends to be less slippery than wood and can be cooler if you follow the tips above. Always check the temperature before letting your pets walk on it during hot days. Providing shaded areas and cool spots, like outdoor rugs, can make the deck more comfortable for pets.

Conclusion

Composite decking does get hot in the sun, but so do all decking materials. By choosing lighter colors, adding shade, using outdoor fans, outdoor rugs, and ensuring proper ventilation, you can keep your composite deck cooler and more comfortable to use. Modern composite decking is a durable and low-maintenance option that offers many benefits for outdoor spaces.

Remember, all decking materials will heat up in the sun, but with the right choices and a bit of planning, your composite deck can be a comfortable, enjoyable extension of your home throughout the summer.

If you want more details or help choosing the best composite decking for your project, check out our selection of top-notch products or reach out to our team of professionals.


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