Can Decking Be Used As Fencing?

When building a fence, many homeowners assume that they can only use fencing materials. However, this is not the case. There are numerous other options available, including decking materials, to add privacy and protection to your property.

So, to answer your question about whether decking can be used as fencing, the answer is yes! Composite decking actually makes a great material for fences due to its low-maintenance characteristics and durability. In addition, it comes in an assortment of colours and styles to match the aesthetic of your home.

Keep reading to learn more about using decking as fencing.

What’s the Difference Between Composite Decking and Fencing Materials?

Fencing materials have come a long way since the use of white picket fences and chain-link fences. Today, fencing materials are available in an assortment of materials, styles, and colours, allowing homeowners to match the architecture and aesthetics of their properties.

One of the most popular fencing materials over the last few years is composite decking. Created from a mix of recycled plastic and wood fibres, decking is a durable and eco-friendly option for fence materials.

The main differences between composite decking and traditional fencing materials are the eco-friendliness, durability, longevity, flexibility, colour/style availability, ease of installation, and low- maintenance characteristics of composite decking.

What Are the Benefits of Using Decking for Fencing?

There are numerous benefits that homeowners can reap when they choose to build a fence out of composite decking. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Weather-Resistant

Composite decking is resistant to the elements, which makes it an excellent choice for fence building. Over time, traditional fencing materials like metal and wood can rust or rot as a result of moisture exposure. A composite fence, however, will not be impacted by the elements or suffer damage as a result of heat or cold, moisture, etc.

Insect-Resistant

There are numerous insects that love to eat through wood. Unfortunately, when it comes to a wooden fence, these insects can shorten its lifespan and literally destroy it. Composite decking boards, however, are resistant to these insects.

While it is true that composite decking boards are often made with a combination of recycled plastics and reclaimed wood fibres, the process that the composite boards go through creates an insect-resistant material that is more durable and stronger than its wood counterpart.

Long-Lasting

Composite decking materials are also long-lasting, and they will last longer than traditional fencing options. Composite materials are far more durable and will not warp, crack, or splinter the way wood will.

The average lifespan of a wood fence is roughly five to 10 years—so long as you are conducting proper maintenance. You can expect a composite fence to last much longer, possibly 30 years or longer!

Low-Maintenance

For homeowners who are searching for fencing material that will be easy to maintain with little to no maintenance, composite decking boards make an excellent choice. When a fence is built with composite boards, you won’t need to sand it down each year so you can apply paint or stain and sealer.

Wood fences require a considerable amount of maintenance in order to maintain their beauty as a result of extended exposure to the elements. Composite fences usually just need a good cleaning regularly with a soft bristle brush and hot soapy water.

What Can Cause Damage to Composite Decking?

While there are indeed many benefits to using composite decking as a fencing material, it doesn’t come with its downsides. Composite decking won’t suffer damage in the same way or by the same things as wood fencing, but there are things that can cause damage to composite materials.

  • Sunlight – Composite decking materials can begin to fade as a result of prolonged sunlight exposure. Therefore, if you live in an area that gets a lot of sunlight, especially for long periods each day, you can still use composite material to build your fence, but you will want to add a UV-resistant coating to it.
  • Water – While composite decking boards are designed to be water-resistant, pooling water can result in issues. For this reason, it is important to ensure standing water is sufficiently drained away from the fence as soon as possible.
  • Ice – During the colder months of the year, ice may form on the composite fence, resulting in cracks or breaks. If you notice ice build-up on your composite fence, remove it immediately to avoid damage.
  • Pets – Unlike other fencing materials, composite decking boards are resistant to damage from pets and animals, but they may still bite through the surface or scratch it. Ideally, this type of fencing material would be best for homeowners without pets.
  • Fire – Composite materials are resistant to fire, but it is still possible for these materials to catch on fire. Usually, this will occur with hot ashes from a nearby fire drop on the fence, potentially starting a small fire. With that being said, never leave a fire unattended and remove hot ashes from your composite fence as soon as possible.

Is Wood Fencing or Composite Decking Cheaper?

Many homeowners question the cost of a fence. Is it cheaper to build a fence with traditional wood or composite decking?

Ultimately, a wood fence will be cheaper upfront. The initial cost is low and wood fences are simple to install. However, a composite fence can have a higher initial cost. Despite the larger upfront cost, a composite fence will need less maintenance over the years and could end up being cheaper because of this in the long run.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, decking can be used as fencing with no problem. However, the important thing is to just keep in mind the differences between the two types of materials and whether the benefits of composite decking outweigh the drawbacks.

Overall, when choosing a fencing material, composite decking boards make an excellent option. Composite materials are stronger, more durable, and longer-lasting than wood, not to mention the fact that they are weather-resistant, insect-resistant, visually appealing, and easier to maintain overall. In the end, decking will require less maintenance and last longer than wood.

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