Longer Days, Hotter Temps: Ensure Your Marine Deck Is Summer Ready With Proper Prep

An image of one person sitting on a dock while another person paddles towards them in a kayak.

With summer here, it’s time to get your deck ready for the hottest season’s unique challenges and ensure your waterfront space is well-maintained. Let’s explore the best summer dock maintenance practices for marine decking and what materials are easiest to manage and most reliable for your marine decking.

 

Maintenance Tips For Your Marine Dock

A person is kneeling next to a dock and is applying cleaning product with a rag to the dock. The person is wearing a hat with sunglasses on top, red shorts, and a gray long-sleeve shirt.

During the summer months, marine decking faces increased foot traffic, higher temperatures and prolonged exposure to UV rays, all of which can gradually impact its condition. To safeguard the longevity, safety and aesthetic appeal of the dock, regular dock maintenance becomes imperative. Consider the following essential summer maintenance practices:

Keep Your Marine Dock Clean

Initiate your dock maintenance routine by thoroughly cleaning the deck surface. Clear away debris, leaves and any accumulation of algae or mildew that may have occurred during the spring. Utilizing a pressure washer or a solution of mild soap and water can effectively restore the deck’s cleanliness.

As a general guideline, it is recommended to clean your marine deck at least once or twice a year, especially before and after the summer season. This regular cleaning helps prevent the buildup of dirt, debris and organic matter that can lead to stains, mold and mildew.

In addition to regular annual or biannual cleanings, you may need to perform more frequent spot cleanings or maintenance if you notice specific issues or heavy soiling. Factors such as nearby trees, vegetation or exposure to saltwater may necessitate more frequent cleaning to remove debris or prevent discoloration.

Inspecting and Repairing

Conduct a meticulous inspection of the decking to identify any signs of damage, such as loose boards, protruding nails or rotten sections. Wooden decking may be warped, cracked, splintered or chipped, which is also important to identify. Promptly replace or repair these areas to prevent further deterioration and maintain the structural integrity of the dock.

If your dock is in need of serious repairs, it is essential to take prompt and appropriate action to ensure its safety, structural integrity and functionality. Conduct a thorough assessment of the dock to determine the extent of the damage. Next, you’ll want to get in touch with a contractor or a dock repair specialist with expertise in marine structures. 

Sealing and Staining (For Wooden Decks)

Wooden decks typically require more maintenance when it comes to long-term care. For homeowners with traditional wood decks, applying a fresh coat of sealant and stain serves as an additional protective measure. This treatment helps shield the wood from the elements, including the sun’s UV rays and moisture, which can lead to fading and degradation over time.

Softwoods, such as pine or cedar, tend to fade more quickly compared to hardwoods like oak or teak. Additionally, lighter-colored woods may show signs of fading more visibly than darker-colored ones. The intensity of UV radiation also plays a significant role. Areas with high levels of sunlight or regions closer to the equator will typically experience more intense UV exposure, leading to faster fading of wood.

To stain and seal your deck, follow these steps:

  • Prepare the deck: Start by thoroughly cleaning the deck surface to remove any dirt, debris, or mildew. Rinse the deck thoroughly and allow it to dry completely before proceeding.
  • Sand the deck (if necessary): If the wood surface has rough or uneven areas, you may need to sand it down to create a smooth and even surface. Use a power sander or sandpaper to remove any splinters, rough spots or old coatings.
  • Choose the right sealant and stain: Select a high-quality sealant and stain specifically designed for exterior wood surfaces. Consider factors such as the desired color, level of UV protection and water repellency. 
  • Apply the sealant: Start by applying the sealant to the deck surface. Use a brush, roller or sprayer to evenly coat the wood. Pay extra attention to the end grain of the boards and any cracks or crevices.
  • Apply the stain: Once the sealant has dried, apply the wood stain to achieve the desired color and finish. Use a brush, roller or sprayer to apply the stain evenly, ensuring complete coverage of the wood surface.
  • Wipe off excess stain: After applying the stain, carefully inspect the deck for any excess or puddles of stain. Use a clean cloth or rag to wipe away the excess and prevent uneven drying or blotching.
  • Allow proper drying time: Give the sealant and stain adequate time to dry and cure. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for drying time, which typically range from a few hours to a couple of days. Avoid foot traffic or placing furniture on the deck until it is completely dry.

Protect Your Deck (And Your Feet) from the Sun’s Rays And Heat

When using traditional deck materials such as metal or composite decking, shielding the deck from direct sunlight is crucial to prevent excessive heat retention. Consider using canopies, umbrellas or awnings to provide shade and create a more comfortable surface for barefoot walking. This measure not only safeguards the deck but also ensures a more enjoyable experience for all your guests.

By implementing these summer maintenance practices, homeowners can effectively extend the lifespan of their marine decking, uphold its safety and preserve its visual appeal throughout the season and for years to come.

 

Choose Marine Deck Boards That Can Handle The Summer

A Ship Near Marine Deck

The type of decking material used in a marine dock can have a significant impact on how the dock handles the challenges posed by summer weather. Different materials have varying properties that can affect their durability, resistance to weather elements and maintenance requirements. Here’s how different decking materials can influence the performance of a marine dock during the summer:

  • Wooden Dock Boards: Traditional wood decking, such as pressure-treated lumber or tropical hardwoods, offers a natural and aesthetically pleasing option for marine docks. However, wood decking is more susceptible to weather-related issues. It typically requires regular maintenance, such as sealing, staining and periodic reapplication of protective coatings to protect it from moisture, UV rays and rotting. Wood decking can also be prone to warping, splintering and decay if not properly cared for.
  • Composite Dock Boards: Composite decking is made from a combination of wood fibers and recycled plastic materials. It offers a more durable and low-maintenance alternative to wood, as composite decking is resistant to fading, staining, rot, decay and insect damage. It can withstand exposure to moisture, UV rays and fluctuating temperatures, making it suitable for summer weather conditions. However, composite boards can retain heat from the sun, making it an uncomfortable option for bare feet. And while composite boards are generally resistant to staining, they are not stain-proof. Depending on the spills, it may be difficult to remove the stain. 
  • PVC Dock Boards: Known for its durability, low maintenance and resistance to mold and mildew, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) decking is a synthetic material that is highly resistant to moisture, UV rays and fading. Because it retains its color and shape over time, PVC boards do not require sealing, staining or painting, making it well-suited for withstanding the challenges of summer weather.
  • Aluminum Dock Boards: Aluminum decking is lightweight, durable and resistant to moisture, rot and UV rays. It does not require sealing or staining and is easy to clean. Aluminum decking is known for its heat dissipation properties, which can help keep the dock surface cooler under direct sunlight — this makes it a favorable option for summer weather, providing a comfortable surface for barefoot walking.
  • Polypropylene Dock Boards: Polypropylene decking is known for its excellent resistance to summer sun and weather conditions. Polypropylene decking is specifically engineered to be highly resistant to fading and discoloration caused by prolonged exposure to UV rays. Unlike some other decking materials, polypropylene does not easily fade or degrade when subjected to intense sunlight.

 

Polypropylene: The Best Choice For Low-Maintenance Marine Decking

A closeup image of a polypropylene dock.

If you’re looking for an easy, maintenance-free dock board material, polypropylene is what you need. Polypropylene does not absorb water, which helps prevent issues such as rot, mold and mildew. This moisture resistance also contributes to its overall durability and longevity. 

Another huge advantage of polypropylene dock boards in the summertime is their ability to dissipate heat effectively. Polypropylene does not retain heat like some other materials, such as metal or certain types of composite decking. This means that it is bare feet friendly, even for kids. 

Finally, polypropylene decking requires minimal maintenance to no maintenance at all, especially when compared to traditional wood decking. It does not require sealing, staining or painting, saving homeowners time and effort during the summer months. Routine cleaning with mild soap and water is typically sufficient to keep polypropylene decking in good condition.

Polypropylene decking is the most reliable choice for withstanding the summer sun and weather conditions. Titan Deck goes a step further — their polypropylene deck boards are specifically engineered to be easy to install and uninstall, so if you decide to swap out your current dock boards for Titan Deck polypropylene boards, the process is hassle-free. 

For more information on various polypropylene plastic marine decking solutions, check out Titan Deck or contact a Titan Deck Expert for more information

Environmentally-Friendly Living Designs for the Outdoors

There is a person sitting on a dock bench looking at their phone. There is a house behind the person at the base of the dock and water surrounds the dock.

Homeowners today have doubled down on designing homes with better outdoor living spaces. The backyard, front porch and outdoor kitchen are all great places to implement more eco-friendly designs, and there are so many strategies that homeowners and builders can use that are better for the environment. Here are a few of our favorite ideas, along with a few tips and products to help you design your own eco-friendly outdoor space. 

Design With Environmentally-Thoughtful Outdoor Furniture

The view of a corner of an outdoor, rustic dining table. There is a succulent centerpiece in a wood box and two chairs.
Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/rectangular-wooden-plant-box-on-table-2962120/

Having outdoor furniture made of sustainable and eco-friendly materials will add personality, texture and intention to your home’s design. Look into how furniture materials are sourced and how long the furniture will last — this type of research can guide your design choices and help you implement recyclable, environmentally friendly choices into your home or project.

“Some manufacturers also look for ways to reduce the carbon footprint of their production, such as paying for carbon offsets or reducing waste, which makes it even more environmentally conscious,” says Lisa Milbrand for Real Simple.

Bring in More Plants  

A bee collects pollen from a white flower on a branch of a tree.
source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-petaled-flower-162623/

Pollinators and homeowners alike can benefit from plants in your outdoor design. By planting flower patches or a vegetable garden, the outdoor space is made not only more beautiful and unique but also sustainable and environmentally friendly (a better alternative to grass lawns). “Shrink your lawn. One square foot of grass requires nearly a gallon of water each week. Swapping out even a small area can make a big difference,” according to HGTV

An up-close image of a person’s hands digging into a garden bed. The person’s hands are covered in soil and plant buds are starting to grow.
Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/q13Zq1Jufks

If you set up a garden, remember to plant native vegetables and herbs — this is both better for the environment and the consumer’s health! “When thinking about what to plant, consider native plants or cultivars derived from native plants (sometimes referred to as “nativars”). Native landscaping plants are naturally adapted to your regional environment,” according to Better Homes and Gardens.

Create Comfortable Spaces

A blue striped hammock hanging between a tree and an outdoor stair railing. There is an outdoor pool behind the hammock.
Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/colourful-hammock-on-tree-in-summer-3771808/

Don’t forget to make your outdoor living space comfortable. A welcoming and well-used space is a more sustainable space, after all. 

Adding hammocks around your property, along with ample roofing (or shade trees) offers an outdoor space that can entertain guests without creating a negative impact on the surrounding environment. 

Build Deck Designs That Are Eco-Friendly

A section of a walkway on a boat deck made from Titan Deck materials is pictured.

Waterfront property owners can achieve more environmentally conscious outdoor designs with better decking. By building a deck that uses recyclable materials, homeowners can achieve a more sustainable outdoor living design, especially when it is code-compliant and durable. 

For decades, marine decking has been built with wood — a material that eventually warps and splinters over time without regular maintenance. However, polypropylene decking boards are tested to withstand harsh UV rays, storm surges and weathering over time. 

At Titan Deck, our 100% polypropylene boards are not only built to higher code standards but are also engineered so that sunlight can reach the existing ecosystem below the dock, which can help aquatic life thrive.

Final Tips for Environmentally Friendly Outdoor Design

An image of an outdoor, dark green food waste bin. The bin is set on concrete and next to a yard.
Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/eV2x6CmfIns

There are so many ways that homeowners can achieve a more sustainable and enjoyable outdoor living space, and many don’t require a ton of money or effort.  

  • Consider composting! It’s a cheaper alternative to store-bought soil, and it brings nutrients to your plants while diverting food waste and other scraps from landfills. 
  • Try using more manual tools to cut back on pollution or switch to machines that run on electricity instead of fuel. Also, consider mowing the lawn less often to conserve power. 
  • Think about how much water you use on your lawn during the hotter months. “Grass is naturally programmed to go into dormancy. Water infrequently, if at all. When you do water, be sure it’s a deep soaking; shallow watering promotes shallow root growth that is more susceptible to drought and insect problems,” writes Erin Zammett Ruddy for HGTV.
  • Design a rainwater collection system to help water your garden and landscaping and conserve water. 

“Even if you lack the ability or the budget to make big changes to your house or rental apartment, the good news is that it’s possible to make any space a little greener by making thoughtful, more conscious choices,” writes Kristen Hohenedel for The Spruce.

 

Eco-Friendly Lifestyle and Outdoor Living Solutions

A person in a light green shirt and black shorts is waving to another person paddling a kayak on the lake.

There are a multitude of products and strategies available to homeowners and builders who want to create better, more eco-friendly outdoor spaces, regardless of budget. And you don’t have to implement everything we’ve suggested here, but incorporating just one or two more eco-friendly design strategies in your outdoor living design can go a long way toward sustainability. 

When you build a marine deck with Titan Deck, you get a highly durable polypropylene plastic marine decking solution that you won’t have to worry about repairing or replacing in a matter of years — Titan Deck is specifically engineered to last generations. Plus, Titan Deck products are covered by a limited lifetime warranty, so you know you’re getting a decking option that will stand the test of time. 

Learn more about how Titan Deck creates more eco-friendly spaces for customers, or contact us to get more information about how you can get Titan Deck marine decking on your next project.

A Guide to Remodeling Your Commercial Marine Deck

Various boats are docked at a marina. The dock is made out of polypropylene deck boards.
Source: https://www.facebook.com/titandeck/photos/3012472448816241

If you own a business that relies on a waterfront deck, you know how important it is to maintain its structural integrity and appearance. A well-maintained deck not only looks good but also ensures the safety of your employees and customers. 

However, over time, even the most well-built marine decks can deteriorate due to exposure to the elements and heavy use. As industry experts, we understand the steps you need to take to effectively remodel dock decking, as well as tips on maintenance to extend the lifespan of your dock.

 

Step 1: Assess the Deck’s Condition

The first step in remodeling a marine deck is to assess its current condition. Look for signs of wear and tear, such as cracked, splintered or rotting deck boards, loose fasteners or rusted hardware. Make a list of all the repairs that need to be made and understand the amount of work that needs to be done on your dock

Deck repair costs can vary depending on the extent of the damage, the materials used and the labor required. If the deck requires extensive repairs, it may be more cost-effective to replace deck boards or even the entire deck. Keep in mind that the cost of deck repairs is often less than the cost of a deck replacement, so it’s worth exploring all your options before making a decision.

 

Contact A Professional

When replacing a commercial deck, contacting a professional can be extremely useful in a variety of ways. A professional marine contractor can provide expert guidance on permitting, material selection, design and installation techniques. They can also help you avoid common mistakes and pitfalls that could lead to costly deck repairs down the line, like failure to adhere to local building codes and regulations.

A professional deck contractor can help you save time by taking care of all aspects of the deck replacement project, including obtaining necessary permits and materials, coordinating with suppliers and managing the construction timeline.

While hiring a professional marine contractor may seem like an added expense, it can actually save you money in the long run. A professional can help you avoid costly mistakes that could require additional deck repairs or replacements in the future and can also help you find cost-effective solutions to fit your budget. When it comes to replacing a commercial marine deck, time really is money. No one can use your deck while you’re replacing it, so the faster and more efficient you can make that process, the better.

 

Step 2: Decide Which Deck Material You Want To Invest In

Here’s a brief overview of the pros and cons of these common deck materials:

Composite Deck Boards

Composite decking is made from a combination of wood fibers, plastics and other materials. It is resistant to rot, decay and insect damage and does not require regular staining or sealing. Composite decking comes in a variety of colors and styles and can mimic the look of natural wood.

However, composite decking is often more expensive than other decking materials. In addition, composite decking can get extremely hot in direct sunlight, and on a commercial deck in the summer, there’s a good chance the people who use your deck will wind up accidentally contacting the deck with their bare skin.

Wood Deck Boards

One benefit of wooden deck boards is that wood is often less expensive than other decking materials. Wood is easy to cut and shape, making it a versatile material for quick deck construction. On the other hand, wood requires regular staining and sealing to prevent rot, decay and insect damage. These added maintenance costs may result in you spending more money in the long run.

Vinyl Deck Boards

Similar to composite deck boards, vinyl decking is resistant to rot, decay and insect damage and does not require regular staining or sealing. Vinyl decking is long-lasting and can withstand exposure to harsh weather conditions and heavy foot traffic and comes in a variety of colors and styles and can mimic the look of natural wood. Vinyl decking does fall on the more expensive side of marine decking, and just like composite boards, vinyl decking can get hot in direct sunlight.

 

Polypropylene Plastic Deck Boards

Polypropylene plastic material

Polypropylene plastic is a highly durable material that can withstand exposure to harsh marine environments, including saltwater, UV rays and heavy foot traffic. This makes it ideal for use in commercial marine decking applications where durability and longevity are key considerations. 

Polypropylene plastic decking is resistant to rot, decay and insect damage and does not require regular staining or sealing. Polypropylene’s exceptional UV resistance means it stays cooler than nearly any other deck material, even under direct summer sunlight.

Polypropylene plastic decking can initially be more expensive than wood decking. However, under normal circumstances, a polypropylene deck won’t need to be replaced for potentially decades, saving on replacement and repair costs down the road.  

 

Step 3: Start Remodeling

Once the assessment is complete, the next step is to design the new deck. This may involve working with a professional designer or architect to create a plan that meets your business’s needs and complies with any relevant regulations. If you’re trying to expand the capacity of your commercial dock, consider new designs that allow for larger crafts to moor or wider-spaced docks that allow more boats to navigate your dock than before.

For the actual nitty-gritty of dismantling old marine decking, follow these steps:

  • Disconnect any utilities: If the old decking is attached to the building or has utilities running through it, such as electrical or plumbing lines, these will need to be disconnected or rerouted before dismantling the deck.
  • Remove the decking: The process of removing the decking will depend on the type of deck and the materials used. For example, if the deck is made of wood, it may be possible to pry up the deck boards with a crowbar or other tool. If the deck is made of composite or PVC materials, it may need to be cut into sections and removed piece by piece.
  • Dispose of the debris: Once the old decking has been removed, it will need to be disposed of properly. This may involve renting a dumpster or other large container or hiring a waste removal service to haul away the debris.

Now you’re ready to begin installing your new deck. With the old deck removed, the next step is to begin construction on the new deck. This may involve pouring new footings, installing support posts and beams and laying the deck boards. Some deck types are easier to install than others. For wooden decks, you have to go board by board, but with certain deck materials like polypropylene, you can screw on large panels at once, dramatically speeding up the remodeling process.

Once the new deck is constructed, it will need to be finished to protect it from the elements and extend its lifespan. This may involve staining or sealing the deck boards and installing any necessary railings or lighting fixtures.

 

Step 4: Maintain Your New Marine Decking

This public dock has various boats and jet skis docked.
Source: https://www.facebook.com/titandeck/photos/4651683361561800

Once the remodeling of your commercial marine deck is complete, it’s important to take steps to ensure that the deck remains in solid condition and continues to provide a safe and functional space for your business. Here are some steps you can take to maintain your new marine deck:

  • Know the maintenance requirements: Different decking materials have different maintenance requirements, so it’s important to understand what is required to keep your deck looking glorious. Some materials, such as composite or PVC decking, require very little maintenance beyond periodic cleaning, while others, such as wood decking, may require regular staining or sealing to protect against moisture and UV damage.
  • Conduct regular inspections: It’s important to regularly inspect your marine deck for signs of damage or wear, particularly after storms or extreme temperatures. Look for cracked or splintered boards, loose fasteners or other signs of damage that may compromise the safety or functionality of the deck.
  • Keep the deck clean: Regular cleaning is an important part of maintaining your marine deck, as it helps prevent the buildup of dirt, debris and other contaminants that can contribute to decay or damage over time. Depending on the type of decking material you have chosen, cleaning may involve simple soap and water, a specialized deck cleaner or other cleaning products.

 

The Best Commercial Marine Decking Material

This marina has numerous boats docked. The dock is made from Titan Deck’s polypropylene decking.
Source: https://www.facebook.com/titandeck/photos/4107060136024128

 

Polypropylene is an excellent choice for commercial marine decking because it is a strong and durable material that can withstand harsh marine environments. It is also cost-effective, requiring little upkeep and saving time and money during installation. Additionally, polypropylene is resistant to rot, mildew and insects, making it ideal for use in wet environments. Overall, its combination of strength, cost-effectiveness, low maintenance and quick installation makes it the best commercial marine decking material you can get.

Here at Titan Deck, we produce high-quality, 100% polypropylene decking that is specifically designed for use in harsh marine environments. The decking is molded using state-of-the-art equipment, which ensures consistent thickness and a uniform finish.

Titan Deck’s manufacturing process also includes the use of UV inhibitors and other additives that help to prevent fading, staining and degradation caused by exposure to the sun, saltwater and other environmental factors. Additionally, the decking is designed with a unique non-slip surface that provides exceptional traction, even when wet. 

For more information on our various polypropylene plastic marine decking solutions, check out our high-quality products and contact our deck professionals for more information.  

Steps for Dock Maintenance to Ensure Your Deck Board Combats Winter Weather

Winter is a difficult time for any outdoor installation, and deck boards are no exception. Ice can form in between the cracks of traditional wood boards and wedge them apart, weigh them down and even crack them. Winter storms push deck boards to their structural limits and weaken certain materials with each passing season. Fortunately, there are several ways you can protect your deck boards from the effects of the harshest winters.

 

How Winter Weather Can Damage Your Deck Boards

 

Water

Even if it doesn’t snow in your area during the winter, heavy winter rains can be just as troublesome for your deck boards. One of the primary ways that rain can damage marine traditional dock boards is by causing them to become waterlogged. Over time, exposure to rain can cause the boards to absorb water, which can make them heavier and weaker. This can lead to cracking, warping and other forms of damage that can compromise the structural integrity of the dock.

Another common problem caused by rain exposure is rot. Marine dock boards are often made from wood or other materials — we break down how different materials combat weather conditions later in the article — that are susceptible to rot when they are constantly exposed to moisture. Rainwater can also cause metal components of marine dock boards to corrode over time. The water can seep into small cracks and crevices in the metal, causing it to rust and deteriorate. This can weaken the structure of the dock and make it unsafe for use.

Snow and ice pose a far more dramatic threat to the integrity of your dock and deck boards. Snow and ice can lead to moisture damage if they are allowed to accumulate on the deck for an extended period of time. As the snow melts, the water can seep into the boards, causing them to expand and contract as the temperature fluctuates. This can cause warping or cracking, which can lead to more significant structural damage over time.

Also, be cautious when shoveling or scraping your deck to remove snow and ice, as it can cause surface damage to the deck boards. Scratches and gouges can make the decking boards more vulnerable to moisture damage and weaken the overall structure of the deck. You can use a plastic shovel or a snowblower to get rid of the snow with less risk of damaging your decking. 

Wind

Winter storms often mean winter winds. One of the most common problems associated with high winds is uplift. This occurs when wind gets under the deck boards and lifts them up, causing damage to the fasteners or even lifting the boards off the deck entirely. This can be particularly problematic for structures that are not properly secured to the underlying joists.

High winds can cause debris, such as branches or even entire trees, to fall onto your dock, damaging the boards, railings and other structural components of the deck. Over time, constant exposure to strong winds can cause the boards to become dry and brittle, making it more vulnerable to cracking and other forms of damage.

To prevent wind damage to your deck, it’s essential to ensure that your structure is properly designed and constructed to withstand local wind conditions. This may involve installing additional supports, using heavier decking materials or securing the deck to the underlying structure with powerful fasteners. Additionally, it’s important to inspect your deck regularly for signs of damage and make any necessary repairs as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration.

 

What You Can Do To Protect Your Dock Boards During the Winter

An image of a dock over a frozen lake.
Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/HJZgLOuvHtQ

To efficiently protect your deck boards during the winter, you’ll want to make sure the deck is clean as often as possible. Winter weather can cause debris and other materials to build up on your dock, which can lead to damage or contribute to moisture retention. Keep your dock clean by sweeping it off regularly and removing any debris that may have accumulated. Additionally, removing snow from your dock as soon as possible can help prevent it from melting and causing damage.

During winter storms, high winds and heavy snowfall can cause damage to items left on your dock. To prevent this, it’s a good idea to secure any loose items and cover furniture. If you’re expecting a big storm or just want to be extra cautious, you can remove the items and store them in a safe location. 

Make an inspection in spring and see if anything needs to be fixed. This can include checking for signs of corrosion, loose or damaged fasteners and other forms of wear and tear. Any necessary repairs should be made promptly to prevent further damage and ensure that your dock is ready for the next winter season.

Select a decking material that is more resilient to the elements, and more durable. Choosing a decking material that is designed to withstand the elements can help prevent damage to your dock during the winter season. Choosing a material that is durable and long-lasting can help reduce the need for frequent repairs or replacements over time.

 

How Different Deck Materials Resist the Weather

The view down the middle of a dock, with smaller docks connected on either side. The docks are covered in a light coating of snow.
Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/dlDIhKARusY

Wooden Deck Boards

Wooden decking can be vulnerable to damage during the winter months due to exposure to harsh weather conditions, such as freezing temperatures, snow, and ice. Here are some ways that wooden decking can be affected by winter weather. Wood is especially susceptible to damage from moisture saturating the wood, freezing and splitting the wood apart.

To protect wooden dock boards from winter weather damage, it’s important to properly maintain and seal the deck before winter arrives. This can include sealing the deck with a waterproof sealant, removing debris and snow from the deck regularly and using ice melt products that are safe for use on wood. Additionally, it’s important to inspect the deck regularly for signs of damage, such as cracking or warping and make any necessary repairs as soon as possible.

 

Composite Deck Boards

Composite decking is generally more resistant to damage from winter weather than wooden decking. Composite deck boards are typically made of a mixture of wood fibers and plastic materials, which makes them more resistant to moisture damage from snow and ice. Unlike wood, composite decking does not absorb water, which means it will not warp, crack or split due to moisture.

Composite decking is designed to be more resistant to temperature fluctuations and extreme temperatures. This means that it is less likely to become brittle and prone to cracking during the winter months. Composite deck boards require less dock maintenance than wood decking, which can make it easier to care for during the winter months. Because it is less likely to warp or crack, it also may not require sealing or staining as frequently as wood decking.

However, it’s important to note that composite decking is not completely impervious to winter weather damage. Over time, exposure to cold temperatures, snow and ice can cause some composite decking materials to fade or discolor. Additionally, heavy snow or ice buildup on the deck may still cause some damage, particularly if the deck is not properly installed or maintained.

To protect your composite decking from winter weather damage, it’s important to remove snow and ice from the deck regularly, use a plastic shovel or snow blower instead of a metal one, and avoid using salt or other ice-melt products that can damage the surface of the decking. 

 

Metal Decking

Metal decking, especially aluminum and galvanized steel, is typically more resistant to damage from winter weather compared to wood or composite decking. However, there are still some ways that metal decking can be affected by winter weather.

Metal decking can be prone to corrosion, especially if it is exposed to salt and other de-icing chemicals. This can lead to rust and other forms of damage that can weaken the structure of the deck over time. Metal decking can become very slippery when covered with snow and ice, which can increase the risk of slips and falls. However, some metal decking options come with anti-slip coatings or textures to help prevent these accidents.

To protect metal decking from winter weather damage, it’s important to properly maintain the deck and avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials to remove snow and ice. Additionally, it’s important to inspect the deck regularly for signs of corrosion or other forms of damage. Make any necessary repairs as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration.

 

Polypropylene Deck Boards

Open X Penals Close View

 

Polypropylene decking is especially resistant to damage from winter weather compared to wood decking. Polypropylene decking is highly resistant to moisture, which makes it less vulnerable to damage from snow and ice. Polypropylene decking is also thermally stable, which means that it is less likely to expand and contract as temperatures fluctuate. This can prevent stress on the fasteners and other structural components of the deck, which can lead to damage over time. 

Polypropylene decking is typically low maintenance, which can be particularly beneficial during the winter months when outdoor maintenance may be more challenging. It doesn’t require staining or sealing like wood decking and can be easily cleaned with soap and water.

Companies like Titan Deck produce some of the top-quality polypropylene deck boards on the market. Unlike wood or composite decking counterparts, their 100% polypropylene boards are guaranteed to exceed expectations for years to come with the advantages of no warping, bending, cracking, splinters or tiresome upkeep. Plus, compared to its wood and composite counterparts, Titan Deck’s board design allows for wind to pass through effortlessly, allowing the dock to stand up against winter storms. 

While Titan Deck boards may not be less expensive than other materials initially, the long-term cost savings are significant. With Titan Deck, you’ll experience a longer dock lifespan compared to traditional wooden docks and greater resistance to storm damage and cold weather. 

Ultimately, choosing Titan Deck can save you money in the long run by reducing the frequency of dock replacements and repairs. For more information on various polypropylene plastic marine decking solutions, check out our offerings and speak to one of our Titan Deck Experts for more information.

Best 2023 Inspirations for Dock Design

Looking to upgrade your dock this season? Dock design trends are always evolving, and 2023 is no different. From deck boards and batter boards to features and accessories sure to impress, you can customize your dock to meet your style, lifestyle and budget. 

Docks used to be a functional tool only, and decking materials used to be limited. But with growing innovations in the industry, you can build the dock of dreams that looks as good as it performs. Below are some of the latest trends in decking boards and dock design. 

Long Walks on the Dock

Simple and clean docks will never go out of style. A long, solid pathway is perfect for homeowners looking to keep their style minimalistic. 

Depending on a homeowner’s available space, keeping it sleek is great for maintaining the efficiency of space. A long pathway that stays straight is great for families looking more for entrance to the water and whole-family entertainment versus boat storage.

The length of the dock can also depend on the water levels, especially if boating is on the docket. The length will vary by location, but the minimum depth homeowners typically need to dock a boat is between 2 and 3 feet, with 4 to 5 feet being the optimal water height. 

If swimming is intended, the length of the dock should be long enough for swimmers to enter safely at the end. But no matter what, make sure you follow your local regulations and safety requirements on dock length.

Wide Docks for Happy Gatherings

For homeowners planning to invite parents, grandparents, kids, friends and acquaintances over, docks are a great addition to take the conversation outside of the living room. However, a small dock that can only fit one or two people just won’t do for big gatherings — the deck should be wide and sturdy enough to host everyone safely and comfortably. 

It makes for effortless hangouts, optimizes space and you can even add features like built-in benches and fishing rod holders to keep the fun flowing. Standard dock sections, which are segments of the decking that are connected together to form an entire dock with uninterrupted movement, are 3- or 4-foot sections. For extra space, consider 6- or even 8-foot sections.

A couple shares a bottle of wine on a dock with Marine Titan decking overlooking a sunset.

A section with an open area is great for catching every minute of dazzling sunsets. You can pop a bottle of wine and cheers as the sun goes down over the water. You can cannonball off on warm days, dangle your feet over the fish or enjoy some music while eating your favorite meal — the opportunities are endless.

Ramps for Easy Access

A woman walks her dog on her marine deck with Titan Decking marine deck material. On her right is a ramp leading down to the water with accessibility rails.

Deck ladders and dock ramps make it easy and safe to get in and out of the water. Whether it’s for family members who have accommodation requirements to enjoy the water or it’s for easier access to swimming or watersports, a ramp is a design trend that is beneficial for all involved.

Smooth Decking for Easy Hauling

A woman is rolling a cooler on a dock over water that has Titan Decking marine decking material on it.

Different deck board materials have different features. Natural wood deck panels are affordable and offer a classic dock look,  but they require routine upkeep to maintain their quality and charm. Pressure-treated wood panels are more durable than natural wood, but they are still susceptible to rotting and warping over time. Aluminum is long-lasting but gets extremely hot on summer days. So what’s the best option? 

Compared to wood decking, polypropylene is a better deck board option for a smooth surface and grip protection. You want a material that you can walk barefoot on safely without worrying about splinters and cracks. 

Not to mention, unlike its wood or composite decking counterparts, certain high-quality polypropylene decking guarantees no warping, bending, cracking, splinters or tiresome upkeep to ensure that your dock decking can endure boat-day hauls for years to come.

Boat Lifts Galore

A black and white boat and a yellow jet ski are docked and on lifts to raise them from the water.

For families big on boating, efficiency is key for an enjoyable day out on the water. One of the biggest hassles for boat owners is having to launch boats off of a trailer just to load them back on after the day is over. Not only is it time-consuming, but it can be challenging if the ramps aren’t well-built or maintained. This is where boat lifts come into play. Great for boats or jet skis, lifts eliminate the need for launching and make it a breeze to load and unload all the boat day essentials like coolers, chairs and bags.  

Keep in mind that boat lifts don’t just have short-term benefits. If you prioritize the maintenance of your boat, lifts are a great investment to ensure its longevity — lifts help protect its quality and improve safety by preventing scum, slim build-up, water stains and damage during rainstorms, high winds and beyond. 

When investing in a boat lift, choose one that’s designed for your intended watercraft. Be especially careful of the weight capacity. You might think your 4,000-pound boat may fit on a 4,000-pound lift, but that capacity doesn’t account for everything and everyone you bring on board.

Kayak Launch Spots

Titan Deck decking is located on a lake. There are three steps leading to a ladder for easy access to the water.

Unlike boats and jet skis, launching smaller paddleboards and kayaks is an easier process that only takes a few short minutes before the enjoyment begins. A launch platform is a great design addition for avid paddle boarders or kayak enthusiasts who incorporate these outdoor activities into their daily routines. Open and close to the water, launch areas make it easier and safer for users to climb into a kayak or push off on a stand-up paddleboard, ensuring that their day out on the water is off to a great start. 

Crib Dock Timbers for Safety

 The start of a dock with Titan Decking marine decking material on top of rocks leading to two lifted boats at the end.

Crib docks are a permanent dock design element that requires minimal to no maintenance once installed. A professional can set up thick timber crates, otherwise known as “cribs,” in the water. These are filled with heavy stones, and the dock structure is built on top. Crib docks are great for areas that experience large wakes, stormy weather and strong currents, as they are built with increased durability in mind. 

This is a design feature popular for anglers and boaters who want to hitch their watercraft to a permanent and secure spot. A professional should install thick, pressure-treated beams for the underwater portion and timbers should be at least 6×6 inches. Make sure you double-check your local regulations on the use of pressure-treated lumber in the local water.

Prime Fishing Spots

A man swings his legs off a lower portion of a dock using Titan Decking marine decking with a fishing pole.

Multi-level docks are in! These are as much for entertainment as they are for access to the water. Adding a lower section is great as a launch platform for water sports and smaller ones getting into the water but also great for the avid fisher in your family. Add a fishing rod holder and fish-cleaning table if you want to get really fancy.

Rope Sides for Stability

A woman is standing on a dock with Titan Decking marine decking and is resting her hand on a white rope connecting the dock beams.

Add ropes on the side of your dock beams for added stability and for a nautical look. The best rope material for dock lines is nylon. It has three key characteristics: it’s super strong, stretchy and good at resisting the harmful effects of sunlight.

Contemporary Comfortability

A woman lounges on a wooden bench installed on her dock made with Titan Decking marine deck material.

For those who love being comfortable and cozy, create a custom, built-in bench for your dock. Just about anyone who spends time on the water will get a lot of use out of dock furniture. You can enjoy sitting on the dock long into the night if you add a fire table or string lights. You can read over the water during the day with a book and added-in cup holders to enjoy a refreshing beverage.

Pick a Barefoot-Friendly Material Sure to Last

A close-up of a dock with Titan Decking marine decking.

Traditional wood docks are fine, but they require a lot of maintenance and can rack up quite the installation bill. Treated wood is less maintenance, but will still require upkeep and replacement over time, and some areas don’t authorize the use of treated lumber over water. Aluminum docks are strong, but they corrode over time and get hot underfoot.

Polypropylene is a special type of plastic that is chemically resistant, flexible and cool underfoot. Chum is no issue, maintenance is virtually non-existent, its flexible strength keeps it strong during storm surges or high winds and it’s safe for barefoot water-goers — what more could you ask for?

Here at Titan Deck, our products are some of the best, 100% polypropylene dock boards on the marine market. While Titan Deck products won’t necessarily be cheaper than alternatives upfront, the lifetime costs associated with its upkeep and maintenance will save you exponentially.

We incorporate a grid-like structure with holes and slats in the deck, allowing water and sunlight to pass through. This helps meet local regulations for sunlight penetration and helps your dock weather storm surges. You get a limited lifetime warranty, UV protection to minimize fading and boards built to be the last marine decking you’ll ever need. 

For more information on various polypropylene plastic marine decking solutions, check out our deck board selection and contact us for more information.

Look Beyond Composite: What Material is Best for Marine Decks?

An image of a family sitting at the end of a dock over the water.

Choosing the right material for your marine deck will determine the entire future of your deck. Questions of longevity, durability, safety and even style all come into play. Your marine deck should be able to withstand the elements, be slip resistant and exceed the standards of your local codes. 

We get a lot of inquiries about composite vs polypropylene decking and wanted to address our most frequently asked questions to help you choose the best marine deck material for your project. 

Composite Decking

First off, what is composite decking exactly? Composite decking is a type of decking material that is made from a blend of recycled wood fibers and plastic. The wood fibers are usually sourced from sawdust, wood chips or other wood waste, while the plastic is typically made from recycled polyethylene. These raw materials are heated, formed into board-shaped lengths and then cooled.

The Pros of Composite Decking

  1. Low maintenance: Composite decking requires very little maintenance compared to wood, as it is resistant to fading, staining and rotting. Unlike wood decking, it does not need to be stained or sealed, which can save you time and money on upkeep.
  2. Durability: Composite decking is made from a mixture of wood fibers and plastic, making it highly durable and more resistant to cracking, warping and insect damage. It can also withstand harsh weather conditions, such as extreme heat and cold, without deteriorating.
  3. Eco-friendly: Many composite decking products are made from recycled materials, such as sawdust and plastic, which makes them an eco-friendly option. They are also recyclable, which means they can be reused at the end of their life cycle.
  4. Aesthetics: Composite decking is available in a wide variety of colors and textures, making it easy to match the style of your home or outdoor space. It can also be designed to mimic the look and feel of natural wood, without the maintenance and durability issues associated with wood decking.
  5. Safety: Composite decking is slip-resistant, which makes it a safer option for outdoor spaces, especially around pools and other areas that are likely to be wet.

The Cons of Composite Decking

  1. Cost: Composite decking is generally more expensive than traditional wood decking, although the long-term cost benefits of lower maintenance may offset the initial cost.
  2. Heat Retention: Some composite decking can retain heat, making it uncomfortable to walk on during hot summer days. It’s essential to choose lighter colors to minimize this issue.
  3. Flexibility: Composite decking may have more flexibility than wood decking, which can affect its stability and resistance to bending, especially over long spans.
  4. Staining: While composite decking is generally resistant to staining, it is not completely immune. Spills and stains can still occur, and it may be challenging to remove certain types of stains.
  5. Shorter Lifespan: Composite decking pales in comparison to the longevity of polypropylene decking. Whereas composite decking might make it through 25 years of service, polypropylene is built to last forever.
  6. Appearance: While composite decking can mimic the look of natural wood, some people may prefer the real thing, as it has a more authentic and rustic appearance.

What About Polypropylene Decking?

Limited Lifetime Warranty of Deck

Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer that is widely used in a variety of applications due to its beneficial combination of properties. Polypropylene is known for its durability, resistance to moisture, resistance to fading and thermal stability. 

Additionally, it is a lightweight material, which can help reduce shipping costs and make the installation process much easier.

The Pros of Polypropylene Decking

  1. Durable: Polypropylene itself is tough, and a deck made out of polypropylene is one of the toughest decks around. Not only can polypropylene decks hold up against the force of the sea, they’re chemically resistant too, which means stains are easy to clean off the surface. Finally, polypropylene decking is highly durable and resistant to rot, decay and insect damage.
  2. Slip-resistant:  Polypropylene decking is designed to be slip-resistant, which makes it a safer option for outdoor spaces.
  3. High UV protection: Due to its chemical structure, polypropylene is naturally resistant to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Polypropylene decks resist color fading against harsh sunlight much more effectively than other materials.
  4. Barefoot Friendly: An additional advantage of polypropylene’s UV resistance is that polypropylene decks don’t get nearly as hot under the sun as composite, metal or wooden varieties. You can comfortably kick off your shoes to catch bait fish, work on your boat or just enjoy the waterside on even the sunniest days.
  5. Straightforward installation: Polypropylene decks are easy to install. Most of them simply screw right onto your existing deck frame. This ease of installation means that polypropylene decks can also be removed from time to time, making under-deck maintenance of pylons or other support structures much easier.
  6. Available with Open Design: Polypropylene decks also permit an open area deck design which is good for local codes, storm surges, and allows light to get to the plants and animals below the water surface. That can’t be done with wood or composite decks.

The Cons of Polypropylene Decking

  1. Limited color options: While polypropylene decking is available in a range of colors and textures, the color options are still somewhat limited compared to other materials like composite decking or natural wood. You’ll want to stay within the lighter range of colors to help even more with heat absorption and UV resistance.
  2. Limited availability: Polypropylene decking may not be as widely available locally as other decking materials, which can make it more difficult to find.

Longevity Wins Out

When you’re trying to choose the best material for your marine deck, don’t just think about when you’ll use it this summer, think about when you’ll use it every summer. Rain or shine, polypropylene decks will do the job longer and better than any other material. 

While polypropylene decks such as Titan Deck products are generally the same price or cheaper than composite decks, the cost savings extend past just the initial payment — they save money in the long run as well. Polypropylene simply lasts longer than composite materials and is practically indestructible in comparison to traditional wood decking. The unparalleled durability of Titan Deck products means no warping, bending, cracking, splinters or tiresome upkeep. Our commitment to being “worry-free” even extends to the sun – our boards are UV protected to minimize fading and don’t retain heat, allowing you to walk barefoot without discomfort.

 

Most of the money you’ll spend on your marine deck over the course of its service life can be filed under ‘maintenance.’ Here at Titan Deck, we keep those costs at the bare minimum while providing the top advantages offered by polypropylene. For more information on various polypropylene plastic marine decking solutions, check out our offerings at Titan Deck and contact our professionals for more information. 

Maintenance Tips for Marine Decking

If you’ve made the choice to invest in marine decking, you need an expert’s advice on how to keep it properly maintained in winter weather. Fortunately, Titan Deck has got you covered. After studying marine deck boards for over 20 years, our team wants to make sure you’re doing everything you can so your decking can hold up against constant exposure to the elements and stand tall against harsh weather conditions.

With dirt, algae and bare feet constantly on the boards, you’ll want to ensure you’re matching the right maintenance tasks with the right type of boards. In this blog, we’ve provided a guide on how to maintain marine decking whether you choose composite decking, wood decking or plastic decking. Proper maintenance of your deck boards is critical to increasing the longevity of your marine deck.

The Importance of Proper Maintenance of Marine Decking

Choosing to purchase a home dock or pier is no easy, carefree decision. It’s an upfront investment that should potentially last decades for you and your family to enjoy. However, your deck’s longevity isn’t guaranteed — proper upkeep is a vital step in maintaining its quality and charm. While some materials require more care than others, marine decking maintenance is a critical component for a long-lasting dock or pier. 

If improperly maintained, marine decking can leave you with a hefty bill for severe repair or complete replacement. The price tag can reach tens of thousands of dollars, so taking the time to lay out the maintenance requirements and what you can or cannot handle is crucial if you want to be able to enjoy your marine deck for decades. 

Different materials, from composite decks to wooden decks to plastic decks, will have different maintenance requirements.

Marine Decking Maintenance Tips

Regardless of your material choice, routine cleaning is necessary. If possible, weekly clearing of debris and soft cleaning will help prevent any lasting damage. Soft brushes should be used with a mild detergent, against the grain if it’s wood fibers. If any mildew or mold is noticed, a small amount of bleach can be used if necessary.

As you do your routine cleaning, check to see if any repairs are necessary. You’ll always want to take care of repairs as soon as you notice them, or they’ll continue to deteriorate and cause more damage or lead to potential full replacement.

It is important to note that different materials may require different maintenance. Choosing the right material for your marine deck will impact the lifetime cost of cleaning, the longevity of the deck before it needs replacing and how well it withstands the elements associated with a waterfront environment.

For wood decks, marine-grade plywood is often used. Wood boards, even ones that are pressure- or chemical-treated, will eventually rot when placed in high-humidity areas or built directly over the water. Even with protection from sealant and high-quality stains, wood boards have an expected lifespan of only 10 to 20 years.

Yearly staining and sealing also need to happen. This adds up over time with high upkeep costs. Within those years, wood boards can rot and will need to be replaced immediately, adding to these costs.

Composite decking is less maintenance than wood — it’s lightweight, won’t warp and is a breeze to clean. Compared to wood, composite decking lifespans average 25 to 30 years. But, if you have a pressure washer for fast cleaning, take extra caution for this type of material as it can peel composite boards. Composite material is highly prone to mildew and mold as well, so you’ll also need to keep extra bleaching in mind.

If you like to be barefoot on your deck, composite deck boards make that hard. On a hot summer day, it can reach up to 150°F, which can easily cause burns on anyone unlucky enough to forget their shoes.

The required maintenance and replacement costs from wooden and composite decking boards can be avoided by opting for more maintenance-friendly, waterproof boards like polypropylene plastic lumber. 

Plastic will never rot, swell, warp or splinter after constant exposure to water. Plastic lumber doesn’t require any ongoing treatments, like staining or sealing, to remain waterproof. On top of lower maintenance, polypropylene offers long-term benefits that these other materials don’t.

Polypropylene boards survive a long life without replacement because they remain stronger for longer and there’s no cupping, rotting, peeling, fading, blistering or breaking under normal use and weathering. You can also walk comfortably on the deck barefoot even on the hottest day of the year — no shoes necessary.

Importance of Investing in Maintenance-Free Marine Decking

Maintenance-free decking, like polypropylene plastic boards, last longer with basic cleaning and repairs. Zero additional time is required for staining, painting or sealing. They also have UV protection, which saves extra time and effort from sun damage, and ultimately requires less upkeep because they are resistant to warping, bending, cracking and splinters.

The benefits are endless and the choice is clear. If you want to limit your maintenance and use the extra time on your hands actually enjoying your marine deck doing the things you love, invest in 100% polypropylene marine deck boards from Titan Deck.

The Titan Deck Maintenance Promise

Polypropylene plastic is the market’s most low-maintenance and cost-effective marine decking type. Titan Deck is a polypropylene injection molded and slotted deck board that allows water, debris and sunlight to pass through easily, keeping your walking surface clean and safe.

Titan Deck boards are molded with a knurled surface to prevent slipping, even when the surface gets wet. They are UV-protected to keep from fading, hold up to extreme temperatures and weather conditions, are easily cleaned with soap and water and were designed with bare feet in mind.

While Titan Deck boards have a similar or slightly lower price point than composite decking, the real cost savings are in the lifetime and low upkeep of the dock. By following maintenance tips of regular cleaning and inspection, you can keep your Titan Deck marine decking in pristine condition. You may never have to buy decking again as Titan Deck is made to last a lifetime and is covered by a limited lifetime warranty.

Want to learn more about various polypropylene plastic marine decking? Check out Titan Deck’s offering and contact us for more information.

From Composite Wood to Polypropylene: What is Quality Marine Decking in 2023?

Quality dock decking has to meet two fundamental requirements: it must survive the combined forces of wind and water, and it must look good while doing it. Every type of material used in marine decking has its strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately, it’s up to the eye of the water aficionado to decide which is the best marine decking to use. To help you make that decision, our experts at Titan Deck compiled this guide to quality dock decking in 2023.

Wood Decking

Usually, when you ask someone to picture a seaside dock, they’re going to think of an old wooden pier with gulls perched on top of the log posts and potentially barnacles clinging to the logs just at the waterline. Wooden decking has a timeless appeal as well as a low price tag. While there are long term maintenance costs, you won’t find a cheaper material—-in terms of initial costs—-for marine decking than wood.

Unfortunately, the benefit of wood’s low initial cost is counteracted by current material shortages of wood and its high labor costs.

In addition, the larger problem with wood is that it degrades quickly depending on the local climate and whether you’re in salt or freshwater. Wooden decking in areas like South Carolina or Florida might only last a few years before it needs to be replaced. The warm saltwater rots the wood if a hurricane doesn’t tear it apart. Even wooden decking on a cold freshwater lake in Minnesota will have to contend with the grinding forces of ice. So if you don’t mind continual upkeep, consider using wood for your marine decking.

The view down a wooden pier over the water at sunset.

Composite Decking

There is a way to still use wood for marine decking without necessarily having to worry about it degrading at an unacceptably fast rate. Composite wood is really a mixture of wood and another material, usually plastic. Composite wood decking is a popular and highly trusted alternative to wood. Not only is composite wood decking much more water resistant than plain old wood, but it also requires less maintenance to beautify and won’t fade as quickly under the sun’s UV radiation.

One drawback of composite decking is that the costs are higher. More processing goes into making composite wood than simply sawing up actual lumber, hence higher prices. Additionally, composite wood necessarily lacks the aesthetic appeal of real wood, although the time you’ll save from sanding the deck and picking splinters out of the soles of your feet might just make up for the artificial look of composite decking.

Capped Composite Decking

If you really want to go the extra mile with composite decking, consider using capped composite wood. Capped composite wood is the same as composite wood, except for the ‘capped’ part. That capping is actually an extremely durable polymer (plastic) outer shell. This dramatically reduces the chance that the actual organic wood in the composite decking can become rotten.

Metal Decking

A metal decking is a strong, modern, no-nonsense approach to building a marine dock. One of the most common metals used for marine decking for docks is aluminum. Easy to source, relatively cheap and lightweight, aluminum is a natural choice for anyone looking to use metal decking for their dock. Aluminum can withstand greater physical stresses than wood and will certainly hold up longer against the weather than wood.

As a general rule of thumb, all metals subject to water, saltwater especially, will corrode. However, aluminum corrodes quite differently than iron or steel. Whereas iron and steel will eventually rust away, aluminum will corrode to form an outer layer called aluminum oxide, which actually protects the uncorroded aluminum from further damage. Now, you still have to maintain aluminum and check for signs of structural damage, but generally, well-maintained aluminum decking can last decades or more.

A wooden bridge leading to a metal lighthouse overlooking the water.

PVC Decking

PVC is like composite wood only without the wood. With a 100% plastic content, you don’t have to worry about any rotting or insect damage, or damage caused by cleaning. You can pressure wash PVC decking without worrying about splintering or cracking.

Like aluminum, PVC is lightweight and easy to find. Installing PVC decking will go much faster than most other types of marine dock decking and once the PVC decking has reached the end of its service life the PVC can even be recycled!

The only drawback with PVC decking is the look. Though PVC can be made to mimic virtually any surface aesthetic, even the untrained eye can tell fake wood from real wood. If you’re just looking for a dock decking that works and you won’t have to worry about long term, PVC will meet most of your needs.

Polypropylene Decking

Polypropylene is a special type of plastic designed to be chemically resistant, flexible and cool underfoot. Polypropylene’s chemical resistance means it does not stain easily, so any dockside spills of gasoline or chum shouldn’t be an issue. Polypropylene’s flexible strength will be a pro during storm surges or high winds that might push other decking materials to their breaking point. Finally, polypropylene is known for staying cool under the sun, making polypropylene decking comfortable for barefoot mariners.

Polypropylene decking is modern decking through and through. It’s strong, easy to assemble and can weather the worst that wind and water can throw at it. With its exceptional resistance to UV radiation, polypropylene will go years longer than other decking materials without fading and its special molecular structure ensures that, though it will bend to the forces of nature, it will not break.

A staircase with metal railing leading down to  dock over the water. 

Polypropylene Decking with Titan Deck

Titan Deck products are some of the best polypropylene dock decking on the market. Titan Deck’s decking incorporates a grid-like structure with holes and slats in the deck which allow water and sunlight to pass through the decking. Not only does this ensure that your deck will meet most local regulations as to sunlight penetration, but it will also help your deck weather storm surges because the force of the weather will push through the deck and not against it.

Here at Titan Deck, our products come with a limited lifetime warranty, have UV protection to minimize fading and are designed to be the last marine decking you’ll ever need. Everything about Titan Deck is guided by the goal of longevity. For more information on various polypropylene plastic marine decking solutions, check out our offerings and contact our team for more information.

A view down a tan dock on top of the water. A sailboat is seen docked in the background. 

Put Your Money Where Your Boat Is: Why Marine Decking Is Worth the Investment

Marine decking isn’t like an ordinary deck. It needs to hold up against constant exposure to water and harsh weather conditions. It needs to be durable, yet cool to the touch for a family’s bare feet on scorching hot days. Marine decking gets dirty with use so you’ll want to consider a low-maintenance and easy-to-clean board option.

Investing in marine decking is worth the research and deck price tag associated with it. In this blog, we’ll walk you through why it’s worth investing in, how much marine decking costs over time and the different material options available in the market.

A family relaxes on a marine deck with Titan Deck propylene plastic material. There’s an American flag waving and a lush green lawn in the back.

The Worthwhile Investment of Marine Decking

Investing in durable marine decking is a long-term and strategic way to save money and ensure everyone is safe when taking the boat out and enjoying the summer sun.

Choosing the right material for your marine deck will impact the lifetime cost of cleaning, the longevity of the deck before it needs replacing, and how well it withstands the elements that are associated with a waterfront environment, such as water, salt, sand and sun.

A young boy is fishing in a lake with his brown dog next to him sitting on a Titan Deck marine deck.

The Different Types of Marine Decking

There are many different types of materials to choose from when it comes to marine decking, all ranging in upfront costs and their lifetime costs such as maintenance and need for replacement.

The most common types of materials are wood, metal, composite, PVC and polypropylene plastic.

Wood

The most common material, given its historical legacy, is wood or traditional lumber. Wood is highly affordable and provides structural reliability. Marine-grade plywood is often used and this is allowable through a chemical or pressure treatment that makes the wood more moisture-resistant.

Wood boards, even ones that are pressure-treated, will eventually rot and weaken when exposed to high humidity or placed directly on water. For safety reasons, this severely limits the amount of time wood deck boards can be used. Wood deck boards need to be continually painted and stained to increase their longevity, which adds up over time with yearly costs of upkeep and the cost of replacing rotting boards. Wood has the shortest average lifespan for deck board materials, averaging less than 10 years.

Many boat owners think wood is an environmentally friendly choice, but pressure-treated wood is manufactured by infusing chemicals deep into the fibers of the wood. These chemicals can then leech into the soil and water, which can be harmful to humans and the local ecosystem around the deck.

Metal

Metal is great for creating durable and sustainable decks. It has a lower cost, is highly available, and has better long-term durability compared to wood without its proper maintenance. Metal options include stainless steel, aluminum and copper, but they come with their own issues.

Metals rust when exposed to moisture over long periods of time. Metal also corrodes, which leads to structural damage and can equal costly repairs. Metal deck boards can also harbor bacteria growth.

Aluminum is the most common metal material. It’s lightweight, easy to install, strong, easy to clean and maintain, lighter than wood and stain-resistant. But, it usually has to be custom-made which is costly.

Composite

Composite decking is lightweight, maintenance-free, easy to work with, won’t warp and is easy to clean. It’s a great way to get the look of wood without the hassle of real wood.

But, composite boards can peel if they are pressure-washed or sanded. It also needs more support from underneath, adding to the initial costs of its higher price tag of $6-$10 per foot. It is highly prone to mildew and mold, and it’s known for reaching extremely hot temperatures. On a hot summer day, it can reach up to 150°F, which can easily cause burns on anyone unlucky enough to forget their water shoes.

PVC

PVC decking boards exclude any organic ingredients that absorb moisture, which means they resist mildew, mold, rot and insect infestation. PVC decking boards require little maintenance, withstand harsh weather conditions and can add longevity to your marine decking project.

But, PVC does come with drawbacks. PVC decking boards can become extremely hot in the direct, prolonged sun. They can also lack the strength necessary for structural and load-bearing applications, meaning extra support will need to be added into the price tag. If you live in an area with rapidly changing temperatures, your PVC decking boards can experience high rates of thermal expansion and contraction.

Polypropylene Plastic

The required maintenance and replacement costs from the materials above can be eliminated by boards that are entirely waterproof, like polypropylene plastic lumber. Polypropylene plastic will never rot, swell, warp, or splinter when exposed to water. Plastic lumber doesn’t require any ongoing treatments to remain waterproof.

Polypropylene offers long-term benefits that other materials don’t – they are maintenance-free, survive a long life without replacement because they remain stronger for longer, and there’s no cupping, rotting, peeling, fading, blistering or breaking under normal use and weathering. You can walk comfortably on the deck barefoot when it’s the hottest day of the year and enjoy your long-term savings.

Polypropylene has a higher upfront cost than other materials, but it’s worth the investment and mental relief that comes with worry-free maintenance concerns.

Two people walk barefoot along a Titan Deck marine deck with boats in the background.

Why Polypropylene Plastic Marine Decking is a Smart Investment

Polypropylene plastic is the most long-term cost-beneficial marine decking type on the market. Titan Deck is a polypropylene injection molded and slotted deck board that allows water, debris and sunlight to easily pass through, keeping your walking surface clean.

Titan Deck boards are molded with a knurled surface to prevent slipping, even when the surface gets wet. They are UV-protected to keep from fading, hold up to extreme temperatures and weather conditions, are easily cleaned with soap and water, and were designed with bare feet in mind.

The cost savings are in the lifetime of the dock. You may never have to buy decking again as Titan Deck is made to last a lifetime and is covered by a limited lifetime warranty.

All of our dock boards are available in standard sizes that fit most boat dock applications. They also come in three popular styles, so you can choose the decking option that best matches your boat dock or boat pier surroundings.

Want to learn more about various polypropylene plastic marine decking? Check out Titan Deck’s offering and contact us for more information.