Composite decking claims a 25 year fade warranty. That sounds great, right? Well after the initial install you will not notice the fading that is really taking place. It is a very slow process. How ever, if you have the need to replace one or more of the topping boards a year later, you will see the drastic change in color fade. There is a positive side to this however. In time, the new boards will also fade into the same color as the original boards. So if you can bare to live with the different colors for some time than its all good for you. If you think the difference would bother you, then you may want to do some more research on composite decking before you purchase.
Reasons why you may need to change composite topping after installed-
Composite topping boards are not scratch proof. Let me repeat this, composite topping boards are not scratch proof. Although they are very durable, they are not by any means scratch proof. And if a scratch happens, it can not be removed by sanding are any other means. You will either have to live with it or replace the board and deal with the color difference until it fades to match.
The good side to composite decking-
If you can live those downfalls, the upside to having a composite deck is the life span of the material. The composite decking will not rot. You will never have to paint it, stain it, or seal it. So once it has been installed it becomes virtual maintenance free. And that was were the down fall to pressure treated wood coming into play.
Pressure treated wood decking warranty-
Most pressure treated wood manufacturers will have between 15 to 25 year warranty on their product. This warranties only if you maintain proper maintenance for the life of the product. Yes that means you will need to power wash the decking at least once every 3 years and seal it with a good sealer. It is extremely important to do this or the decking will dry out, crack, and rot.
The up side to having an pressure treated wood deck-
Although you will have to keep up maintenance on it, the natural wood deck has the best appearance to it. You can use a semi translucent sealer to leave the natural wood grain exposed or you can use a solid stain to color it to match just about any color you may need. If a board gets damaged by a scratch it can be sanded and sealed again to match. If need be that more than one board needs to be replaced, they can also be sealed to match in color.
Well, in all of my years of installing decks, I have to say I like the wood decks better. They just look like they are real. I feel that the composite decks are very rich looking and elegant, and practical as far as maintenance goes. So it really is just a matter of what type of house do you have, what look you are going for, do you have time for maintenance, and maybe even what area you live in.