Plastic roof decking is often used as an alternative to a wood deck because it requires less maintenance and can, in some cases, replicate the look of wood. It is also available in a wider range of colors than wood rooftop decking.
Plastic decking can refer to a few different types of decking, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Plastic roof decking can create a functional roof deck, but it can also come with a number of problems.
Plastic Roof Decking Categories
The term plastic roof decking can refer to a few different types of rooftop decking, so let’s look at a few different types that fall under this category. Each of these types of plastic roof decking typically seeks to replicate the look of wood by creating a wood grain-like texture on the top of the boards:
PVC decking is made of polyvinyl chloride that has been compressed to form deck boards. This type of decking rose to popularity after it was put on the market in the early 2000s. Its popularity was a result of its stain resistance, color options, and lower maintenance needs than other decking materials, namely wood.
Composite refers to decking that is made of two or more materials to form deck boards. When plastic and composite are used interchangeably, it refers to decking that is made of wood fibers and plastic. This type of decking functions much like wood decking, but the plastic component allows it to last longer and reduces the maintenance that natural wood decking requires.
Capped Composite Decking
Capped composite decking is manufactured by compressing wood fibers and plastics into a core which is then coated with a plastic shell that protects it from weathering and staining. The caps can wrap around the entire deck board or just coat the top depending on the manufacturer.
Vinyl decking was also made of polyvinyl chloride, but it was hollow with internal ribs that acted as a support structure. Because it was hollow, it didn’t feel as sturdy or durable as traditional wood decking, but it was low maintenance and lighter so it was easier to maintain and work with during installation. Vinyl decking isn’t as common as it once was as other materials, like PVC, composite, and synthetic decking, have risen in popularity.
5 Plastic Roof Decking Problems
1. It Doesn’t Fully Capture the Look of Wood
Plastic roof decking is intended to be a low maintenance alternative to a wood deck. Plastic decking is manufactured to mimic the look of wood grain, but it has a different texture and sheen than authentic wood.
2. It Does Require Maintenance
Plastic roof decking is known for its lower maintenance needs than wood decking, but it should be cleaned periodically to prevent mold and mildew from growing and to keep the space clear of debris.
3. It’s Expensive
Plastic roof decking is an expensive option and can be more expensive than other materials like wood or concrete pavers. It requires less maintenance than wood or concrete, so the cost can be spread over its life, but it can raise the overall price of the project.
4. Can’t Create Unique Patterns
Plastic decking attempts to recreate the look of wood which means you won’t have the option to create unique patterns on the rooftop deck.
5. Prone to Cracks Due to Expansion and Contraction
One of the major disadvantages of wood decking is that it expands and contracts when exposed to heat and cold as well as moisture and evaporation. Plastic decking reduces the amount of expansion and contraction, but doesn’t eliminate it. This can lead to cracks in the plastic decking that create an unsightly appearance, uneven walking surface, and other issues as a result of leaks.
Create a One-of-a-Kind Deck with Aspire’s Composite Pavers
Aspire Pavers have distinct advantages that can’t be found with plastic roof decking:
Easy to Install
Plastic roof decking requires the same installation methods as wood, which means you’ll need screw guns, drills, bits, a saw, and more. Aspire’s patented grid installation system makes installation quick and easy. Simply lay the grids in the desired location and place the pavers onto the grid. The grid doubles as an installation material and a drainage mat, so water will be able to drain from the surface.
Aspire Pavers are made with up to 95% post-consumer recycled materials including recycled scrap, tire rubber, and plastics. This diverts materials from landfills, and helps the environment by creating a unique product.
Scratch and Stain Resistant
Aspire pavers resist stains from many everyday spills and are also scratch and crack resistant. In fact, our pavers come with a lifetime no crack guarantee in residential applications.
Can Be Used for Resurfacing Projects
Plastic roof decking, like wood, will need to be attached to a frame in order to be used for resurfacing projects which adds cost and time to the project. Aspire Pavers can be installed directly on the previous surface, to save both time and money on the project.
Contact the experts at Aspire today to create a one-of-a-kind rooftop deck without the problems that come with plastic roof decking!