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Traditionally the wood is chosen for decking, flooring, and fencing because of its availability and its least expensive material. But the wood has its drawbacks. Wood rots and splits as it gets older and due to water and moisture, thus wood needs high maintenance and has a higher cost of ownership. Whereas when compared to composites, it has less pron degradation by environmental factors. Both wood and composites are workable with common carpentry tools.
Looks and feel:
Composites closely resemble wood due to advances in manufacturing techniques. Now composites have a natural look of wood and having the same variegated patterns embossed to give the appearance of natural wood.
Wood needs regular maintenance, As the wood absorbs water and moisture makes it warp, split or rot. Whereas the composites are resistant to water. Wood requires regular/periodically treatment of Oil, sanding, painting whereas composites require none. It only requires cleaning.
Fungus, bacteria, and insects :
Moisture in wood is a perfect medium for fungal and bacterial growth. This growth eventually damages the wood which leads to cracks and splinter. Some insects such as termites bore the wood, thus destroying it. Composites are not prone to these issues.
Cost of ownership:
Initially, the wood is at a low-cost spectrum, but it has a high maintenance cost recurring every year. Also, the life of the wood is less and a lot depends on environmental factors. Whereas Composites have greater ROI as its has low maintenance cost. One has to consider the repairs and redoing the project once wood comes to the end of its life, this cost is saved when done by composites since it has higher product life.
Wood is known to better deal with summer temperatures. Whereas composites may get hotter than wood. But due to recent technological advances composites comes with reflective additives which reflect UV rays and infrared rays. Composites have advantages when heated to very high temperatures. At a very high-temperature composites are pliable, thus they can be cured or bent as per need. Thus it has high workability.