Composite Decking Screws Problems: Causes And What To Do?

Fastening composite decks with screws is easy and fast. But the easiest way is not always the best one. Sometimes these screws become the reason for damage to your composite decks.

As a result, they become damaged pretty fast.

If you have doubts about using screws for fastening composite decks, this write-up will help you understand the fundamental issues with screws. I will list why you shouldn’t use screws, the probable causes of the issues, and provide you with alternative solutions.

So, let’s get right in.

Issues With Composite Deck Screws

Composite deck screws might feel convenient in many ways, but they have many disadvantages. Here are some disadvantages of using screws for composite floors:

  • Prone To Crack
Composite Decking Screws

Composite decking is made of wood fibers and plastic—the plastic of the deck expands more than wood.

Besides, composite decking behaves differently than wood when the temperature changes.

If you use screws to fasten composite decks, it will create expansion and contraction.

As a result, there will be a good amount of pressure around the screw holes, eventually making them crack or warp.

  • Void Of Warranty

Using screws for fastening composite decks might look lucrative at first. But it isn’t the case. Although it might be convenient for many people to nail down the deck simply, it has many harmful consequences.

There’s a big chance that your deck will be damaged because of using screws for fastening your composite deck. When it does, you won’t be able to get the warranty from the manufacturer anymore. They will not honor the warranty in case of cracks or warp caused by screws.

  • Irreversible Damage

You’ve already learned that using screws for fastening composite decks will eventually damage the deck. Since composite decks are different than wood, they behave differently. They are prone to contraction and expansion because of the screws.

As a result, they will crack over time because of the pressure around the screw holes. And once the decks start having cracks and wraps, there’s no way you can fix them.

They are irreversible damages that you can’t make right. So, the only option you will have is to replace that with a new one.

  • You’ll Need Professionals

Screwing down composite decks seems easy. Just nail down the screws, right?

Not very much. Screwing composite decks is not everyone’s cup of tea. It requires professional hands to complete the task without messing around.

You will need experienced landscapers to fasten your composite deck using screws. To take on such a task, you need to be an accomplished DIYer with a lot of experience, particularly in this area.

Otherwise, you will have to hire a landscaper, which will cost additional money. So, the whole project will become much more expensive.

Is Composite Decking Screws Worth It?

Composite Deck Screw

Apart from the many disadvantages we have discussed, there are still some benefits of using these screws. But you must ensure you do it properly and check the deck closely before finishing the project.

Here’re some key reasons why you should use screws for fastening composite decks:

  • Fast & Easy

One of the reasons you should use screws to fasten composite decks is that they are easy to use. A professional landscaper can quite easily finish the job.

You can also do it if you are a DIY enthusiast and have similar experiences. You can complete the project pretty fast as well.

  • Budget-Friendly

Most of all, using screws for fastening composite decks is budget-friendly. Since screws are cheaper, you won’t have to spend much money on them. It will save you some money.

  • Widely Available     

Stainless steel crews are widely available. You will need 3 inches decking screws for such projects, which are available everywhere.

You’ll find these screws in any hardware store near your home or home-improvement store.

How To Fasten Composite Decks Using Screws?

You have to follow a step-by-step process to install composite decks using screws. Here are the steps:

  • Firstly, measure the deck and create a deck foundation and frame.
  • Then, make sure you keep enough space while designing the layout.
  • Next, you have to fasten the deck boards with composite decking screws. Make sure you use one screw per joist.
  • Now you have to install a hidden fastener into the edge of the composite deck plank.
  • Finally, you have to drive one screw through each hidden fastener and the joist.

Keep doing it until you complete laying all the planks. This video should help.

Essential Things To Follow

You must follow the things below while screwing down your composite decking.

  • Check The Deck Boards

You have to check your composite deck boards before laying them on your deck. See if there are any cracks, warps, or any other issues.

  • Take Proper Care

You have to take proper care of your deck and crews after installation. Clean your deck with appropriate cleaner and tools so that nothing gets damaged.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

Should you pre-drill composite deck screws?

Pre-drill was necessary for installing decking with screws in the past. But with the advanced fastening technologies, you are no longer required to pre-drill the composite decks.

Do you need special screws for composite decking?

There are particular types of screws for fastening composite decks. You will have to use three inches decking screw for composite decks, which are thicker and offer superior fastening.

Should composite deck screws be flush?

You should not flush composite deck screws. However, you can countersink them. By doing it, you will get a clean surface on your deck for walking and won’t see the screws.

Why do composite deck screws have reverse threads?

The reverse thread of composite deck screws cuts off the mushroom head that is created while screwing into the composite lumber. It also pushes down the screw for a natural look.

Final Thoughts

Composite decking screws problems can become huge if you do not nip them in the bud. Although there are some threats and disadvantages, people still use composite decking screws because they are convenient in many ways.

So, you can look at the bright side and use these screws. But remember, installing composite decking is pretty expensive. So, follow all the rules and do it properly. Hire a professional if you have to.

All the best.

Ralph Wade

Hey...Ralph is here! So, did you find this article useful? If so, please leave a comment and let me know. If not, please tell me how I can improve this article. Your feedback is always appreciated. Take love :)

3 thoughts on “Composite Decking Screws Problems: Causes And What To Do?

  1. I hired a contractor to redeck our deck with composite decking. They used screws for composite decking but we have mushrooming everywhere. Screws seem to be sunk pretty deep. The manufacturer has voided the warranty. Why all the mushrooms?

    1. The screws are supposed to be installed flush with the surface and they have a list of authorized screws. if you did not use those that might be the reason for avoided warranty, Although getting trex to honor the warranty is like trying to hit the moon with a rock. That’s why they’ve had so many class action lawsuits. With any deck you should really power wash it at least once a year to stop the accumulation of moss, debris and in your case mushrooms..

  2. Did you guys even bother reading the manufacturers installation PDF before writing this? You can absolutely use screws and using screws along with hidden fasteners is recommended by the manufacturer in climates that experience extreme temperature shifts over a 24 hour. using screws will absolutely not void your Warranty. although the Warranty has more loopholes than a block of Swiss cheese.

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