How Does Composite Decking Fare in Full Sun?

If you’re planning to build a new deck in an area that receives plenty of direct sunlight, you may be wondering what the best decking material is for your project. While traditional wood decking might seem like a natural choice, it’s not always the most suitable option for areas exposed to full sun. In this article, we’ll explore how composite decking fares in full sun and why it might be the best choice for your outdoor living space.

Understanding the Effects of Full Sun on Decking Materials

When a deck is exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods, the deck surface can absorb heat and become hot to the touch. This heat absorption can cause discomfort for those walking barefoot on the deck and may even lead to damage over time. Different decking materials react to full sun exposure in various ways:

  • Traditional Wood Decking: Wood is a natural insulator, meaning it doesn’t conduct heat as easily as some other materials. However, dark-coloured wood decking can still absorb a significant amount of heat, leading to a hot surface in direct sunlight.
  • PVC Decking: PVC decking is known for its durability and resistance to moisture, but it can become quite hot in direct sun. PVC deck boards tend to expand and contract more than other materials when exposed to temperature changes, which can cause warping or buckling over time.
  • Composite Decking: Composite decking is engineered to withstand the elements better than traditional wood. Many composite decking products are designed with heat-resistant properties that help them stay cooler in direct sunlight compared to other materials.

Why Composite Decking is the Best Choice for Full Sun

Composite decking is an excellent choice for areas that receive a lot of direct sunlight. Here’s why:

  1. Heat Resistance: Many composite decking products, such as Ecoscape’s capped composite decking, are engineered with heat-resistant properties that help them stay cooler in direct sunlight. This means that your composite deck will be more comfortable to walk on barefoot, even on hot summer days.
  2. Colour Options: Composite decking comes in a variety of colours, ranging from light to dark. Lighter-coloured composite deck boards absorb less heat than darker colours, making them a great choice for areas exposed to full sun. Ecoscape offers a range of light-coloured composite decking options, such as Silver Birch and Argent, which are designed to stay cooler in direct sunlight.
  3. Durability: Composite decking is made from a combination of wood fibres and plastic, making it highly durable and resistant to weathering, fading, and staining. This means that your composite deck will look great for years to come, even when exposed to full sun and other harsh weather conditions.
  4. Low Maintenance: Unlike traditional wood decking, composite decking doesn’t require regular sealing, staining, or painting to maintain its appearance. This makes it a low-maintenance option for homeowners who want to spend more time enjoying their outdoor living space and less time maintaining it.

Choosing the Right Composite Decking for Full Sun

When selecting composite decking for an area exposed to full sun, there are a few factors to consider:

  1. Colour: As mentioned earlier, lighter-coloured composite deck boards absorb less heat than darker colours. If your deck will be in direct sunlight for most of the day, consider opting for a light-coloured composite decking material, such as Ecoscape’s Silver Birch or Argent.
  2. Brand and Product: Not all composite decking products are created equal. Look for brands that specifically engineer their products to withstand full sun exposure, such as Ecoscape’s capped composite decking. These products often feature advanced heat-resistant properties and UV protection to ensure your deck stays cooler and maintains its appearance over time.
  3. Installation: Proper installation is crucial for ensuring your composite deck performs well in full sun. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for spacing between deck boards, as this allows for adequate airflow and helps prevent heat build-up. Additionally, consider adding shade structures, such as pergolas or umbrellas, to provide relief from direct sunlight during the hottest parts of the day.

Composite Decking Full Sun FAQs:

How much hotter does composite decking get compared to traditional wood decking in full sun?

The temperature difference between composite and traditional wood decking in full sun varies depending on the specific products and colours used. However, heat-resistant composite decking, particularly in lighter colours, generally stays cooler to the touch than dark-coloured wood decking.

Can I use a darker-coloured composite decking material in an area with full sun?

While it’s generally recommended to use lighter-coloured composite decking in areas with full sun, you can still use darker colours if you prefer the aesthetic. Just keep in mind that darker colours will absorb more heat, so your deck surface may become hotter to the touch.

Will my composite deck fade or discolour in full sun?

High-quality composite decking products, such as Ecoscape’s capped composite decking, are engineered with UV protection to minimise fading and discoloration caused by sun exposure. However, some degree of fading may still occur over time, particularly with darker colours.

Is composite decking more expensive than traditional wood decking?

Initially, composite decking may have a higher upfront cost compared to traditional wood. However, when you factor in the long-term costs of maintaining a wood deck (sealing, staining, repairs), composite decking often proves to be a more cost-effective choice in the long run.

For Specialist Composite Decking for Full Sun Areas, Shop Ecoscape Today

When it comes to choosing the best decking material for full sun, composite decking stands out as an excellent option. Its heat-resistant properties, durability, low maintenance requirements, and versatile colour options make it a smart choice for homeowners looking to create a comfortable and long-lasting outdoor living space.

Ecoscape’s composite decking products, particularly their light-coloured options like Silver Birch and Argent, are engineered to withstand full sun exposure while staying cooler to the touch than many other deck board products. By investing in a high-quality composite decking solution from Ecoscape, you can enjoy your beautiful outdoor space for years to come, even under the hot summer sun.

Gary is the founder and CEO of Ecoscape UK. Gary graduated from Liverpool JM University in 2007 with a 2:1 in Economics. A passion for innovation, design and sustainability, Gary has put to market numerous wpc products/systems, some of which have UK and European registered designs. Outside of work Gary enjoys spending time with his family, the great outdoors and watching Manchester United.


Leave a Reply