Can You Burn Composite Decking

Composite decking has become increasingly popular over the years due to its durability and low maintenance requirements. However, one question that often arises is whether or not it is safe to burn composite decking.

This article will explore the answer to this question and provide information on why burning composite decking may not be a good idea.

Firstly, it is important to understand what composite decking is made of. It is typically a mixture of wood fibers, plastic, and binding agents that are molded into boards.

While these materials are designed to withstand outdoor elements such as rain and sun exposure, they are not meant to be exposed to high heat sources like fire pits or grills.

In fact, burning composite decking can release toxic fumes that can be harmful if inhaled. Additionally, the heat from a fire can cause the material to warp or melt, ruining the appearance and structural integrity of the deck boards.

What Is Composite Decking?

Composite decking is the ultimate solution for people who want to enjoy the beauty of natural wood without all the maintenance that comes with it. It is a blend of plastic and wood fibers that creates a product that looks and feels like real wood, but is much more durable and resistant to weathering, fading, stains, and scratches. In fact, it’s so resilient that some people claim you can’t even burn composite decking!

One of the best things about composite decking is that it doesn’t require any painting, staining, or sealing. That means you can spend more time enjoying your deck and less time maintaining it.

Plus, because it’s made from recycled materials, composite decking is an environmentally friendly choice.

Whether you’re looking to build a new deck or replace an old one, composite decking is definitely worth considering. With its low maintenance requirements, long lifespan, and attractive appearance, it’s no wonder why so many homeowners are making the switch.

So go ahead and give it a try – just don’t try to burn it!

Understanding The Risks Of Burning Composite Decking

Burning composite decking can be a risky endeavor. When exposed to high temperatures, composite decking materials can release toxic fumes that are harmful to both humans and the environment.

In addition to releasing harmful chemicals, burning composite decking can also damage the material, making it structurally unsound and unsafe for use. To avoid these risks, it is important to understand the composition of composite decking materials.

Many types of composite decking are made with a combination of plastic and wood fibers, which makes them resistant to rotting and insect damage. However, this same composition also makes them highly flammable and prone to melting when exposed to high temperatures.

If you are considering burning your old or unwanted composite decking, it is important to weigh the risks against the benefits. While burning may seem like an easy way to dispose of unwanted materials, there are several safer and more environmentally-friendly options available.

Here are three alternatives to burning composite decking:

  1. Recycling: Many cities offer recycling programs that accept composite decking materials. Contact your local waste management facility to find out if they accept this type of material.

  2. Landfill: If recycling is not an option in your area, consider taking your old or unwanted composite decking to a landfill instead of burning it.

  3. Donation: If your composite decking is still in good condition, consider donating it instead of throwing it away. Check with local charities or non-profit organizations to see if they have a need for this type of material.

By understanding the risks associated with burning composite decking and exploring alternative disposal options, you can make an informed decision that protects both yourself and the environment.

Toxic Fumes And Health Concerns

Burning composite decking can have serious health implications due to the toxic fumes that are released. These fumes can cause respiratory issues like coughing and shortness of breath. Additionally, they can irritate the eyes and throat, leading to discomfort and pain.

To understand the severity of these health concerns, it is important to look at the chemicals that make up composite decking. The primary ingredients include plastics and wood fibers, which when burned release harmful gases such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, and formaldehyde.

Overall, burning composite decking should be avoided at all costs due to the potential health risks associated with it. Alternative methods for disposal should be explored to ensure a safe environment for the community.

Pros Cons
Durable Toxic fumes
Low maintenance Non-biodegradable
Resistant to rot & insects Expensive
Variety of colors & styles Susceptible to mold/mildew
Made from recycled materials Can become slippery when wet

The table above summarizes some pros and cons of using composite decking in general. While there are benefits to its use, caution must be taken when considering how to dispose of it or if any burning may occur accidentally. It is crucial to prioritize safety over convenience in this matter.

Warping And Melting Of Deck Boards

Warping is a common problem with deck boards, whether they are made from wood or composite materials. The melting point of composite decking is typically much lower than wood, which can cause it to warp under high temperatures.

The main cause of warping is improper installation, so the best way to prevent it is to make sure the boards are properly secured and spaced apart. Another way to prevent warping is to use high-quality composite decking that has been treated to withstand higher temperatures.

Regular maintenance and cleaning can also help to minimize warping, as dirt and debris can trap heat and cause the boards to warp. Finally, it’s important to keep any sources of heat away from the deck as much as possible.

Causes Of Warping

If you’re planning to install composite decking, one of the things you should be aware of is warping. This is a common issue that affects many decks and can cause significant damage if not addressed properly.

There are several reasons why composite decking boards may warp over time, including exposure to heat and moisture.

The first cause of warping in composite decking is exposure to heat. When exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods, the material can expand and contract, leading to warping. Similarly, when installed in areas with high temperatures or high humidity levels, the boards may also warp due to thermal expansion. To prevent this from happening, it’s essential to select a board that’s designed for your climate and take steps to reduce heat buildup on your deck.

Another cause of warping in composite decking is moisture exposure. When water seeps into the boards or accumulates under them, it can cause swelling and deformation. This can result in uneven surfaces, gaps between boards, or even complete failure of the deck structure. To avoid this problem, it’s crucial to maintain proper drainage and ventilation on your deck and avoid installing it near sources of water like swimming pools.

In conclusion, warping is a common issue that affects composite decking boards due to various factors such as heat and moisture exposure. To avoid this problem, it’s essential to choose the right material for your climate and take steps to reduce heat buildup and improve ventilation on your deck. By doing so, you’ll ensure that your deck remains sturdy and attractive for years to come.

Melting Point Of Composite Decking

Now that we have discussed the causes of warping in composite decking boards, it’s important to also consider their melting point. This is another issue that can affect your deck’s longevity and safety.

Composite decking has a lower melting point compared to traditional wood decking. This means that it can melt or deform when exposed to high temperatures such as from fire pits or grills. It’s essential to keep in mind that composite decking will not ignite, but it can become deformed when exposed to extreme heat.

To prevent melting or deformation of composite decking, it’s crucial to take precautions like using protective mats under hot objects or installing a barrier between the grill and your deck. You should also avoid placing candles directly on your deck surface, as they can generate enough heat to cause damage.

In summary, while warping is a common issue with composite decking boards, you should also consider the material’s melting point when planning your deck installation. By taking simple steps like using protective mats and avoiding direct exposure to extreme heat sources, you will ensure that your deck remains safe and attractive for years to come.

Prevention Of Warping

Now that we have discussed the causes of warping and melting in composite decking boards, let’s focus on how to prevent these issues.

One of the most effective ways to prevent warping is by installing your deck boards correctly. This means leaving enough space between each board to allow for expansion and contraction. You can also use screws instead of nails, as they are less likely to loosen over time and create gaps between the boards.

Another way to prevent warping is by protecting your deck from moisture. Make sure that water does not accumulate on the surface or near the base of your deck. Keep gutters clean and direct downspouts away from the deck area. Regularly cleaning your deck also helps prevent mold and mildew growth, which can contribute to warping.

Finally, it’s essential to maintain a consistent temperature around your deck. Avoid placing heavy objects or furniture on one spot for an extended period, as this can cause uneven distribution of weight and lead to warping. During hot weather, you can use shade sails or umbrellas to shield your deck from direct sunlight.

By following these preventative measures, you can ensure that your composite decking remains durable and attractive for years to come without experiencing any melting or warping issues.

Alternatives To Burning Composite Decking

While burning composite decking may seem like a quick solution to getting rid of it, it is not recommended. Composite decking is made of a mixture of plastic and wood fibers, which means that it will release toxic fumes when burned. In addition, the high temperatures required to burn composite decking can damage the surrounding environment and potentially cause harm.

Fortunately, there are alternatives to burning composite decking. One option is to recycle it. Many companies offer recycling programs for composite decking, where they will take your old materials and turn them into new products. This is an eco-friendly way to dispose of your old decking while also reducing waste in landfills.

Another alternative is to repurpose your old composite decking. You can use it for other outdoor projects such as building planters, benches or even a new deck. Repurposing your old materials not only saves money but also reduces waste and gives you a chance to get creative with your DIY skills.

In summary, burning composite decking is not recommended because it releases toxic fumes and can damage the environment. Instead, consider recycling or repurposing your old materials as an eco-friendly solution. By doing so, you’ll be reducing waste in landfills and giving your old materials a new life.

Proper Maintenance And Care For Composite Decking

Cleaning, sealing, waterproofing and repairs are all important parts of proper maintenance and care for composite decking.

Mold prevention, UV protection, sanding and pressure washing can help with staining and moisture control.

Gaps and cracks, expansion and contraction, sun exposure, weed control, and deck railings should all be considered when caring for composite decking.

Taking the time to properly maintain and care for your composite decking will ensure it looks great and lasts for years.


Maintaining the cleanliness of a composite deck is crucial in ensuring its longevity and appearance. It’s important to note that while composite decking is highly durable and resistant to stains, it still requires regular cleaning to keep it looking its best. To prevent any damage or discoloration, it’s vital to use the right cleaning methods and products.

Firstly, remove any debris, such as leaves or dirt, from the surface of the deck using a broom or leaf blower.

Next, clean the deck with warm soapy water and a soft-bristled brush to remove any dirt or grime that has accumulated over time.

If there are any stubborn stains that won’t come out with soap and water, try using a specialized composite decking cleaner.

Lastly, rinse thoroughly with a garden hose or pressure washer on low setting to remove all soap residue. It’s important not to use high-pressure settings as this can cause damage to your deck’s surface.

By following these simple steps regularly, you can maintain your composite decking’s beauty and durability for years to come.


Now that we have discussed the importance of regular cleaning for composite decking, let’s move on to another crucial aspect of its maintenance: sealing.

Sealing your composite deck is highly recommended as it provides an extra layer of protection against moisture, UV rays, and general wear and tear. It also helps to prevent fading, staining, and mold growth.

Before sealing your deck, ensure that it is clean and dry. Apply a high-quality composite decking sealant using a brush or roller in even strokes, making sure to cover all surfaces thoroughly. Allow the sealant to dry completely before walking or placing any furniture on the deck.

It’s essential to note that while sealing your composite deck can significantly extend its lifespan, it’s not necessary for all types of composite decking. Some brands come pre-sealed, so check with the manufacturer before applying any additional sealant.

Overall, regular cleaning and appropriate sealing are integral to maintaining the beauty and durability of your composite decking for years to come.

Final Thoughts On Burning Composite Decking

Burning composite decking is not recommended. While it may seem like a quick solution to get rid of unwanted materials, it can have serious consequences.

Composite decking is made up of various materials, including wood fibers and plastic. When burned, it can release toxic fumes that can harm both people and the environment.

Furthermore, burning composite decking can also damage your property. The high temperatures produced by burning can cause discoloration, warping, and even complete destruction of your deck. This means you will have to spend more money on repairs or replacement in the long run.

In summary, burning composite decking should be avoided at all costs. Not only does it pose health risks and harm the environment, but it can also damage your property.

Instead, consider alternative methods for getting rid of unwanted materials such as recycling or disposing of them properly through waste management facilities.


In conclusion, burning composite decking is not recommended due to the numerous risks associated with it. The toxic fumes released during combustion can pose serious health concerns, while the deck boards themselves may warp and melt, rendering them unusable.

It’s essential to understand that composite decking materials are made from a mix of plastic and wood fibers, which makes them highly flammable. Instead of burning your composite decking, consider exploring other alternatives such as recycling or reusing the materials.

Proper maintenance and care can also help extend the lifespan of your deck without resorting to burning it. Remember, prevention is always better than cure. So, if you want to avoid any potential hazards associated with burning composite decking, it’s best to steer clear altogether!