Free Samples | Contact Us
composite decking
Blog

Does composite decking get hot in the sun?

Monday, March 25, 2024

Low-maintenance composite decking is becoming a top choice for more and more homeowners. But when summer rolls around, will composite decking get so hot that it burns your feet and makes you have to run inside to be safe? Will it get hotter than a patio or wood deck?

We completely understand your concerns. After all, you will be spending long hours on your deck during the long summer days. If composite decking gets too hot it will affect your ability to use your outdoor deck. Today, we’ll answer those questions and show you how to keep your deck cool when it’s hot outside.

How Hot Is Composite Decking?

The color of your composite decking boards and whether or not it’s in full sunlight are the two main factors that affect the temperature of your deck. We researched this and found several tests comparing temperature changes between different colors of composite decking, several types of wood, and decking materials.

Test 1: Pressure Treated Wood and Composite Decking at 80°F

In the first test, four different colors of composite decking and two pieces of pressure-treated lumber were exposed to 80° F sunlight for several hours. The test results were as follows.

Composite Decking Boards:

  • Light Brown: 93°F
  • Medium Brown: 98°F
  • Dark Brown: 101°F
  • Medium Gray: 95°F

Pressure Treated Wood:

  • Unstained: 81°F
  • Dark stained: 91°F

It is important to note that these boards were placed on cool grass. As a result, they may not be the same temperature as if they were placed on a deck. Because there is more air movement above the deck, the deck boards will be relatively cooler.

traditional wooden deck boards | wood decking

Test 2: Composite Decking and Painted Wood in Temperatures of 86°F

The second test compares a number of different decking materials, but we’ll focus on light brown composite wood decking and painted wood boards, which are very similar in color:

  • Painted wood decking: 108°F
  • Composite decking: 111°F

Test 3: Testing Paver, Stained Wood, and Composite Decking at 86°F

For our third test, we left composite decking, IPE hardwood, treated yellow pine, and paving stones at 86°F for a full day. The weather was sunny with plenty of sunlight most of the time. Below are the temperatures of the different decking materials.

Composite decking boards:

  • Light brown: 135°F
  • Medium brown: 137°F
  • Medium gray: 135°F
  • Dark brown: 148°F
  • Dark reddish brown: 147°F

Stained IPE hardwood:

Temperature range for all colors: 136°F to 137°F

Stained and treated yellow pine:

  • Clear: 119°F
  • Cedar: 122°F
  • Redwood: 125°F
  • Golden: 128°F
  • California Cedar: 130°F
  • Russet: 132°F
  • Walnut Brown: 133°F
  • Slate Gray: 121°F

Paving Stones:

Temperature range for pavers: between 119°F and 126°F

Now that we know how hot wood and composite decks can get, what about concrete and pavers?

Composite-deck-board-1

Test 4: Different Deck Pavers at 90°F

Different types of pavers will stay at different temperatures in the sun. If you want to find out what the temperature of these pavers will be when they are outside at 90°F, compare them to the two tests above:

  • Concrete: 119°F
  • Slate: 112°F
  • Travertine: 108°F
  • Shellstone: 94°F

Note that concrete pavers are usually cooler than poured solid concrete. On hot summer days, poured concrete can reach temperatures of 135°F or more when exposed to the sun. In Arizona, Nevada, and other colder states, temperatures can reach as high as 175 degrees Fahrenheit.

On the other hand, any block made of brick, clay, or other ceramics absorbs and retains heat longer than other materials. On a sunny day with an outside temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit, light-colored pavers can reach temperatures as high as 150 degrees Fahrenheit, while dark-colored pavers can reach even higher temperatures.

Design-Ideas-for-Patio-Gazebos-3

Will Composite Decking Materials Get Hotter than Wood or Decking?

Wood vs. Composite Decking Boards

As we can see from these tests, unstained or very light-colored wood will be cooler in hot weather. However, the temperature may change depending on the density of the wood.

The difference between polished or painted lumber (which is what you typically see on wood decks) and composite decking boards of the same color is not as great. Typically, the average temperature of the wood is still a bit lower, but the color you choose will have a noticeable effect. You may not be able to tell these temperature differences without testing the temperature with an infrared thermometer.

Comparison of Paving Stones, Concrete and Composite Decking

Brick, clay, and poured concrete are the hottest of all decking materials. They have much higher maximum temperatures than the composite decking materials can withstand.

On the other hand, slate, travertine, and shellstone are about as hot as wood or composite decking materials. However, they may also get hotter or colder depending on the situation.

Design-Ideas-for-Patio-Gazebos-2

Caution

If you have conducted your own temperature tests on these decking materials. You may find that each test yields different results. This is because where the decking materials are placed and how long they are left in the sun can have a big impact on the temperature of the boards.

Look for boards with a sample of the color or material you want to use. Place them outside the house on a hot, sunny day. Then walk on them in socks or bare feet, depending on your usual outdoor activities. Finally, hold an umbrella over the samples and do the test again.

The Best Way to Keep Composite Decking from Overheating

There are many different ways you can keep composite decking cool during the hottest months of summer.

Choose a Light-colored Deck

There are many different shades and colors of composite decking from COOWIN and other companies. If you are concerned about the deck being too hot, choose composite decking boards that are light gray or light brown. These lighter colors will not retain as much heat as darker decks.

Adding a Deck Pergola

You can cover all or part of your deck with a pergola made of wood, vinyl, fiberglass, or metal. The lattice-like roof can be used to hang shade cloths or vining plants, as well as for shade.

Deck-and-Patio-Furniture-Buying-Guide

Use of Parasols and Awnings

One advantage of retractable sunshades is that they can be easily moved around the deck when needed. Umbrellas can be purchased separately or with many outdoor table sets.

You can attach an awning to the side of your home to make it last longer. Awnings can be fixed or retractable. If the weather in your area changes more frequently, we usually recommend a movable awning.

Building a Deck in a Shaded Area

If you haven’t decided where to build your deck, consider whether the deck will be shaded by trees or buildings during the day. If not, plant a nice new tree!

We realize that most of the time there may only be a few places to build a deck. But you should keep an open mind and consider all your options.

Conclusion

On a hot summer day, composite decking can get hot. But wood decking or any other deck material can also get hot. In other words, no matter what decking material, if it’s exposed to the hot summer sun all day, it’s likely to get too hot to walk on with your feet.

While some paving stones and light-stained wood decks may be a little cooler than composite decking, the temperature difference between them is not that great. The bottom line is that the color you choose for your deck is what really makes it hot. Since composite wood decking is superior in many ways, we’ll take that small heat difference any day.

Outdoor-Deck-Around-a-Tree-2

Other Common Problems

Can Composite Decking Become Too Hot to Walk on?

The first generation of composite decking that was first produced got hot very quickly and most people had a hard time walking on it. However, composite decking has come a long way in the last decade or so and is now much less sensitive to heat.

However, sometimes even modern composite decking boards can become too hot to walk on without socks or shoes. The same can happen with any wood board or even any other decking material.

The real question is how fast this happens. By talking to a lot of people, it usually depends on the person and the weather. However, it is usually assumed that wearing shoes or socks will not be a problem. Many people reach their limit when they go barefoot between 110°F and 115°F. However, if you have delicate feet or small children, you should be extra careful.

How Does Heat Travel?

Interestingly, heat travels faster between your feet and the composite decking material than it does between your feet and the wood.

This means that your first steps on composite wood decking will feel hotter. However, if you don’t step away, your feet will absorb the heat and the composite decking will begin to cool down.

The opposite is true for wood decking. When it’s hot, if you stand on a wooden deck longer, the hotter your feet get.

Front-Porch-4

Is Composite Decking Safe for Pets?

You should consider more than just your feet. You should also consider your pets. In general, surfaces with temperatures over 120 degrees Fahrenheit can be very uncomfortable, and surfaces with temperatures over 130 degrees Fahrenheit can cause burns, damage, and scarring.

To be safe, check the temperature of the deck before letting your dog walk on it. Place the back of your hand against the deck surface for at least seven seconds. If your hand feels too hot, so will your dog’s paws.

If the surface temperature of the composite decking is warmer and your pet wants to stay outside. Then you can put a blanket on the deck.

Related Post

Popular Posts
Read More >>
How to Install a Floating Deck How to Install a Floating Deck
Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Floating decks are one of the types of decks that are built on the ground and it is not attached to any housing structure.
16 Creative Ideas for Patio Privacy Fences 16 Creative Ideas for Patio Privacy Fences
Monday, May 27, 2024
With a privacy fence, you can have fun with your friends on your patio without worrying about what your neighbors, or other people passing by, might see.
How to Frame Your Deck? How to Frame Your Deck?
Wednesday, May 22, 2024
A very important part of installing an outdoor deck is building the frame. It sets the stage for building a strong and long-lasting place to live outside.
Discover the 7 Best Woods for Fences Discover the 7 Best Woods for Fences
Monday, May 20, 2024
A proper fence will not only protect your privacy but will also better decorate your home. Choosing the right material is the first thing you need to do when starting a new fencing project.