How To Prevent Scratches On Composite Decking


Composite decking is more durable than many other kinds of decking, including standard wooden decking. However, that doesn’t mean it’s totally invulnerable to scratching. 

In fact, it’s quite easy to scratch composite decking accidentally in ways you might not expect. Because of this, it’s important to know how to prevent scratches on composite decking, ideally, before you install it. 

Composite decknig scratched by furniture

Here’s everything you need to know about composite decking and scratches, from why composite decking gets scratched in the first place to what you can do to prevent this kind of damage.

How Does Composite Decking Get Scratched?

Composite decking, especially capped composite decking, is designed to be durable. 

However, because your deck is such a high-traffic area of your home, and because most people have outdoor furniture on their decks, it’s very easy for this type of decking to end up getting scratched. 

Some of the most common causes of scratches on composite decking are simply foot traffic, especially in the wrong kinds of shoes, as well as traffic from pets coming and going.

You might not think that pets would cause much damage to composite decking since most cats and dogs aren’t that heavy, but their claws can cause real damage over time. 

Additionally, heavy furniture being dragged across the decking can cause deep and noticeable scratches. 

Unfortunately, preventing foot traffic on your decking isn’t really an option, and if you have pets, it might be difficult to stop them from going on the decking altogether. So, what can you do to stop your composite decking from getting scratched? 

How To Prevent Scratches On Composite Decking 

Get Capped Decking/Apply A Finish 

The best way to ensure that your composite decking doesn’t get scratched (or at least, not as badly) is to opt for capped composite decking.

Capped composite decking has a bonded cover that helps to keep out moisture and UV rays, but it also protects against general wear and tear, including scratches. 

Capped composite decking is an especially good idea if you have pets coming and going from your home.

You can make adjustments to reduce the damage your own foot traffic does to your decking (see below), but there’s not much you can do about pet claw scratches other than making sure your deck is protected from the outset.

If you’ve already bought and installed uncapped composite decking, though, all is not lost! You can buy a finish that protects against moisture and UV damage and apply it to uncapped composite decking. 

While this won’t protect against scratches in the same way as capped composite decking, it’s better than nothing. 

Choose Lightweight Furniture 

Choosing the wrong kind of outdoor furniture can be detrimental to your composite decking. 

While it might be tempting to choose heavier furniture, especially if you want to leave it outside indefinitely, this is not a good idea because heavy furniture is more likely to scratch your decking. 

If you’re going to put furniture on your deck, try to opt for more lightweight furniture items, even if this means you’ll need to bring the furniture indoors when it’s very windy. 

Additionally, even if you have lightweight furniture, you should be careful when moving it around. Regardless of the weight of your deck furniture, always lift it rather than dragging it since dragging furniture is a main cause of scratch damage to composite decking. 

Use An Outdoor Rug/Furniture Pads 

If you want to be extra safe when it comes to furniture and feet moving across your deck, you could get an outdoor rug to put on top of your decking. 

When choosing an outdoor rug for your composite decking, you should avoid any rugs with metal components since these can scratch your decking just as much as any furniture.

Composite Decking damaged by a nail

Also, avoid backing materials that will stick to the deck or could cause marks such as latex or rubber. Vinyl backing is fine, though. 

If you don’t want to go to the expense of buying a whole rug for your decking, you could simply invest in some furniture pads to stop the legs of your furniture from digging into the composite material. 

Even if you don’t drag your furniture across the deck, the pressure from the weight of someone sitting on furniture without pads can cause dents and scratches in the material. Furniture pads are a cheap and easy way to protect your decking. 

Avoid Wearing Heels On Your Decking 

While you might be cautious about wearing high heels around your home due to the risk of floor damage, you may not think twice about wearing your heels out on your composite decking. 

However, high heels scraping or digging into your decking is one of the most common causes of scratches on composite decking. 

Therefore, if you want to keep your composite decking looking good for as long as possible, swap your heels for a pair of flat shoes or even slippers before you head out to relax on your deck. 

Bear in mind that even if your heels have rubber tips, these can get worn down over time, exposing the more abrasive materials underneath. That’s why it’s best to avoid wearing high heels on your composite decking altogether. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can You Get Scratches Out Of Composite Decking? 

It’s better to stop scratches from happening in the first place rather than trying to repair existing scratches on composite decking, but it can be done. 

Some may be as simple as a heat gun and heating up the decking along the scratch allowing the material to move back into place. The trick is to hold the gun close enough to warm the decking but far enough away as not to burn it. And be patient as you work your way along the decking. Rushing the process will only complicate the repair and possibly further damage your decking.

Another option is to buy a composite deck repair kit which will provide you with all the tools you need to fill in or cover up scratches (depending on the depth) in a way that looks professional. 

However, even with the repair kit, fixing existing scratches on composite decking is a multi-step process that can take time, so try to follow the preventative steps in this article. 

Does Composite Decking Get Scratched By Dogs?

Even though composite decking is fairly scratch-proof, your dog can still cause a lot of scratch damage, especially if they are high-energy and if their claws aren’t kept trimmed to an appropriate length. 

We have a few recommendations in this article for preventing pet-related scratch damage to your composite decking, from capped decking to rugs, but it’s best not to let your pets run around on your composite decking too often.

Which Composite Decking Is Most Scratch Resistant?

Generally speaking, capped composite decking will be more resistant to scratch damage than uncapped decking. However, there are many brands to choose from when it comes to capped composite decking. 

Brands such as Fortress Apex, Trex Transcend and Zuri PVC offer composite decking with an impressive level of scratch resistance, so check these brands out first. 

You can also check out Best Composite Decking for DogsOpens in a new tab., where we go more in-depth about what to look for in decking shared with a pet. The cap real is the key. A stronger more scratch-resistant cap and it is less likely to get scratched.

Final Thoughts 

If you were worried about your composite decking getting scratched, we hope this article has shown you that there are plenty of ways to prevent your composite deck from scratch damage. 

Choose lightweight furniture and use an outdoor rug or furniture pads for extra protection, remembering to lift your furniture instead of dragging it. Also, avoid high-heeled shoes on your decking. 

It’s best to get capped composite decking if you’re concerned about scratches because this provides an extra layer of protection. If you have uncapped decking, consider applying a scratch-resistant finish.

Ryan Nickel

A Red Seal carpenter, passionate about building decks to be enjoyed.

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