Find answers to common questions about composite decking, railing, and fencing.

Is your decking maintenance-free?

COOWIN decking requires far lower maintenance than wood decking, but does require some maintenance to keep it looking good throughout the years, much like washing your car. So a periodic cleaning with a jack wash and soap water is recommended, which is necessary to maintain the beauty of your deck.

Is your product stain-resistant?

All COOWIN composite products are stain-resistant with warranty (see COOWIN warranty for details). Most stains commonly encountered such as mustard and ketchup will wash away easily within 7 days. More stubborn stains can be washed off with the mild cleaner.

Dose your decking need regular maintenance?

COOWIN composite decking is designed for a low-maintenance experience. But to keep your deck to look great, you are advised to clean your deck at least twice a year by jack wash with mild soap and water.

How do I clean my deck?

For general cleaning, sweeping with broom, or jack washing with mild soap water works. For pollen, organic debris, dirt or stains, mild household detergent dilluted with water is recommended. Always keep your deck from chemicals.

Can I use salt to melt ice on my decking?

Most products with calcium chloride or rock salt can be used to melt ice and snow on COOWIN composite decking. These products may leave a white residue which can be cleaned by brushing with mild soapy water. Care should be taken when removing snow or ice from your deck to avoid damaging the deck surface. We recommend to use plastic shovels, instead of metal or shar edged tools. Do not use ice melt with an added colorant, for the dyes can stain your composite decking. Never use sand on COOWIN composite decking, because sand abrasion can grind into the decking and permanently damage the surface.

Do I need to place something on furniture legs to protect my decking from scratches?

Yes. We recommend to use protective plastic, rubber, or felt leg pads on furniture and other items to help protect the surface of your deck. COOWIN composite decking is scratch-resistant, but these easy extra steps can provide additional protection.

What if my decking gets scratched?

In the same way that wood decking materials can get scratched, the surface of composite decking can also be scratched. COOWIN composite products are of superior scratch resistance, but not scratch proof. If scratches do occur, we recommend allowing normal wear marks to disappear gradually.

How can I prevent mold from growing on my deck?

To minimize mold on the decking, clean the deck periodically with at least twice a year . In some situations, you may need to repeat the cleaning process multiple times until you are no longer able to see any “shadows” of the spots on your deck while it is wet. You would also want to apply a mold inhibitor to retard future growth.

Can I build my deck directly over an existing deck?

COOWIN composite decking is ideal for replacing your old deck on an existing sub-structure, but not to be installed directly on top of existing deck boards.

Can COOWIN composite decking be installed over an existing substructure, e.g., framing or joists?

Yes, as long as the existing substructure is free of damage or decay, and the joists are spaced in accordance with COOWIN Decking Installation Instructions, to ensure good ventilation and drainage.

Can I build a fire pit on your composite deck?

Fire pits should not be placed directly on COOWIN composite decking, it can cause damage to the surface of COOWIN composite decking via direct exposure to the flame, excessive radiated heat, or embers. But fire pits may be installed with a thermal insulating structure made of stone or other fire-resistant materials between the fire pits and COOWIN composite decking. 

Can I paint or stain your decking boards?

You can paint or stain on our uncapped decking boards only, but not on our capped decking boards. However, paint or stain is not necessary as COOWIN composite decking is designed with rich color options, you’ll find everything you want on the color palette. Furthermore, it’s free of rotting, splitting, splintering, or insect damage.

Can I use your WPC products for structural purposes?

No, COOWIN composite decking does provide superior surface integrity and strength, suitable for various project applications, but it cannot be classified as a “load-bearing” product or used for structural purposes.

Does your decking require pre-drilling to install?

Yes, predrilling and countersinking prior to driving screws are recommended as they help to achieve neat fastening and finish, and avoid board splitting and screw shearing. For more information, refer to COOWIN Composite Decking Installation Instructions.

What type of tools are required to install your composite product?

COOWIN composite decking is ideal for home improvement DIY as it can be easily installed with standard woodworking tools including rubber hammers, power saws and drills, level, and tape measures, etc.

I have a wood deck and want to replace some boards. Can I replace them with composite boards?

Yes, you can replace wood boards with COOWIN composite though there are a few factors to take into consideration. First, you need to make sure your substructure is code-compliant, confirm that the COOWIN board you selected has the same thickness as the wooden board it is going to replace to ensure your deck remains smooth and flat. Although replacing old wood deck boards with COOWIN boards can be done, it can result in an undesirable patchwork appearance. A better option, if your substructure is code-compliant, would be to replace your entire deck with all COOWIN deck boards.

Is it okay to install your composite decking around a pool?

Yes, COOWIN composite decking is ideal decking for the pool and spa environment. Also, as there is no likelihood of splinters occurring, it protects your feet. It’s required that you follow the Installation Instructions to make sure the ventilation requirements are met.

Can I install your WPC products near saltwater?

Yes. Saltwater won’t affect the performance of our WPC material.

Can your WPC products be installed at any temperature?

Yes, our WPC products can be installed at any temperature, but the installation requirements may vary according to the temperature. To ensure a satisfactory installation, please follow those specific requirements on contraction gapping in our Decking Installation Instructions, or consult your builders.

Can your composite decking be placed directly on a solid surface?

No, COOWIN composite decking can only be installed over a solid surface with a code-compliant substructure that allows for adequate ventilation, drainage, contraction, and expansion. A proper slope for drainage, e.g., 2-5 degrees, is compulsory to keep a dry condition under the deck.

Can I install your composite boards without spacing?

No. Our composite boards must be installed with proper spacing to allow for water drainage, ventilation, and normal expansion and contraction. Installation without spacing may cause damage to the edge of deck boards. For more details, please refer to COOWIN Deck Installation Instructions.

Can I install your products myself or do I need to hire a builder?

Yes, you can install COOWIN composite products by yourself as they can be easily installed with standard woodworking tools, including rubber hammers, power saws and drills, level, and tape measures, etc. COOWIN composite decking is ideal for home improvement DIY.

How do you cover the ends and grooved edge of boards?

COOWIN L-corner or bullnose board is optional for covering the ends or grooved edge.

Can I install your WPC product with another manufacturer’s accessories, like hidden fasteners?

No. COOWIN fasteners are recommended for use when installing COOWIN decking or wall cladding. Using another manufacturer’s accessories may result in an unsatisfactory installation, and void your warranty.

Can I use glue or caulk with my decking?

No. Do not use glue or caulk to fasten COOWIN composite boards or to seal between any of our boards. This will impede the drainage of the board and inhibit the natural expansion and contraction of the boards.

What would you recommend using for the understructure of a deck?

COOWIN composite decking works well with substructures made of a variety of materials, like natural lumber or pressure-treated lumber. COOWIN composite or metal joists are recommended are preferred as they are designed specifically for COOWIN decking.

Can you rip a composite decking board?

Yes. Our composite boards can’t be ripped to reduce thickness but can be ripped to reduce width.

What are fascia and riser boards?

Fascia and riser boards are thinner and wider versions of deck boards that serve as a non-structural covering for rim joists, stair risers, and stringers. They are sometimes referred to as “skirts” or “trim” boards.

Can I overhang your composite decking over the edge of my deck?

Yes. COOWIN composite decking may overhang over the edge of your deck, but overhang is not recommended to exceed 2 inches (or 50mm).

How do I install your WPC product?

Installation Instructions and videos are available on our website, you can also follow us on YouTube or consult our sales staff for more information. Before installation, you are advised to check with local building code officials for any special requirements or restrictions.

How do I finish a cut edge to match the color of my decking?

We provide L-corner or bullnose boards in the same color tone to match the color of your decking. In other applications, a solid color-matched stain or paint may also be used to coat the cut ends of the deck boards.

Can I install multiple colors of the same product together?

Yes. COOWIN composite products with multiple colors are physically identical, they can be mix-installed together, to create a unique and interesting look for your outdoor space.

What kind of blade can be used to cut your composite boards?

Any standard woodworking blades will work well with our composite boards.

Can I use a nail gun to install your composite decking?

No. We do not recommend using nails or nailers, but using screws when installing composite decking. The material is very dense and getting nails to penetrate to a proper depth without bending can be a challenge. We recommend that all holes be predrilled to help reduce mushrooming, and avoid splitting. When using nails or nailers, the concern is that the ends would not be predrilled and possibly lead to cracking and splitting.

How much gap should I leave for expansion or contraction when installing?

As temperatures fluctuate, composite deck boards will naturally experience thermal expansion and contraction. There should always be a gap between the butt ends of the boards to allow for expansion and contraction and a gap between the edges of the boards for water runoff. For more information, refer to COOWIN Deck Installation Instructions.

Is ventilation required under a deck?

Yes. It is very important that there be adequate and unobstructed air flow under the deck to prevent excessive water absorption. Improve drainage or grade flat areas where standing water may gather. For decks with limited ventilation, 1 inch of clear ventilation is required.

How do varying weather conditions affect your decking during installation?

COOWIN composite decking performs well in varying weather conditions, having the lowest thermal movement among all wood-alternative decking. During installation, COOWIN decking will contract only slightly in cold weather. In hot weather, it expands. We recommend that the material is on the job site 48 hours prior to installation to acclimate. Follow the installation instructions on spacing guidelines to ensure proper room for expansion and contraction.

What is the maximum joist spacing for your decking?

Joist spacing requirements vary according to the product type you’ve chosen. You are advised to follow our Installation Instructions and local building codes.

Can your product be used in bushfire-prone areas?

COOWIN composite material is made of wood flour and plastic. As an alternative to natural wood, it can be used wherever the natural wood is suitable. But neither wood plastic composite nor natural wood is bushfire proof.

Can I put your decking over a concrete floor?

Yes, you can put COOWIN decking over a concrete floor with COOWIN composite or metal joists. But do not install decking directly to an existing or solid surface. The deck design must allow adequate and unobstructed air flow under the deck, and water must be able to flow away from under the deck.

Is your product less harmful to human health than a comparable conventional product?

Yes. COOWIN composite contains no added arsenic or other preservatives that are likely to be toxic under normal exposure conditions. Conventional wood treating processes impregnate the wood substrate with toxic chemicals to prevent rot and decay.COOWIN composite is naturally resistant to rot and decay without toxic additives.

Is your WPC material waterproof?

COOWIN WPC has excellent moisture resistance, however, it should be noted that COOWIN WPC is not designed to “live in moisture”, this will eventually cause swelling and affect physical properties.

Why are your products better than wood?

While wood may be cheaper when you purchase, it could end up costing you far more. COOWIN composite means quality, beauty, and minimal maintenance, saving you time and money. Plus, COOWIN composite combines the look of wood with the durability of plastic and offers superior performance that you can’t get from wood. COOWIN composite resists termites, won’t rot, warp, crack, or splinter. Unlike wood which requires regular maintenance, there is no need to apply weather protectants or water seal products, and stain or paint WPC products.

If your product is made from recycled materials, why is it more expensive than wood?

While most of the raw materials used in making COOWIN composite are recycled, it is more expensive to manufacture as these materials need to be carefully processed, so as to perform better than wood through lesser maintenance. Over time, however, the maintenance, repair, and/or replacement costs associated with wood will end up outweighing your initial payment for COOWIN composite products.

Does your product get hot or burnt under the sun?

COOWIN composite has a similar surface temperature to timber of similar colors and finishes. On a hot day with a blazing sun, nearly any surface will get uncomfortably hot or burnt to the touch, such as concrete, pressure-treated wood, or beach sand. On such days individuals are encouraged to cool surfaces with water or wear appropriate footwear.

Can your WPC decking be used indoors?

Yes. The durability and versatility of COOWIN WPC decking make it one of the few outdoor materials that can be used indoors. However, a solid base is still needed for it to sit on, which is often harder to achieve indoors than it is outdoors.

Does your WPC product fade or change color?

COOWIN composite decks provide enhanced fade, stain, and mold resistance thanks to the added anti-UV additives. However, any exterior material will fade naturally to some degree over time while exposed to sunshine or lights, a weathered consistent color shall be achieved after 12-16 weeks since its installation.

How heavy is your decking?

COOWIN WPC decking is engineered to be denser with a specific gravity of about 1.3 to give superior durability and resistance to moisture and termites, and it is 50-70% heavier than comparable lumber.

Is your product fire resistant?

COOWIN composite product has a better fire resistance than traditional timber. However, they are not fireproof. Our decking retains a Class B fire rating.

Will your composite product warp?

No. COOWIN composite product will not warp provided it is used and fixed in accordance with our installation instructions.

Is your decking scratch-resistant?

COOWIN composite decking is engineered to be scratch-resistant when properly used and maintained. However, it is not scratch-proof. It may be scratched by dragging furniture or other items across the deck surface or by dropping items with sharp edges (like tools, etc.) onto the deck. We recommend using furniture protectors under the legs of furniture placed on the decking. Nylon furniture pads or glides are recommended for tables, chairs, or other items that may be moved or re-positioned frequently on your deck.

Are your WPC products environmentally friendly?

Yes, we’re committed to offering sustainable products and doing the right thing for the environment. COOWIN WPC products are made from reclaimed wood flours and recycled plastics, what’s more, they do not require frequent application of environmentally harmful paint, sealers, or stains.

Will your decking get mold on it?

COOWIN decking is engineered to be highly resistant to mold and other damage from moisture. In rare cases and depending on environmental conditions (temperature, moisture in the air, etc.), mold and mildew could appear on any outdoor surface. If mold occurs on the surface, it can be easily removed with a 1-to-4 mixture of bleach and water.

Are your WPC decking slippery when wet?

COOWIN decking products have undergone the Pendulum Slip Resistance Test by the standard of BS 7976-2. COOWIN 3D Wood Grain decking has better slip resistance by virtue of the embossed pattern. The decking with the grooved pattern, likewise, is also highly resistant to slip, thanks to its grooves on the surface. Any surface can be slippery when wet. There is currently no building code requirement for minimum slip resistance.

Slip-resistance tests that are correctly performed under different consensus standards may produce different results. Variables that affect slip resistance include shoe tread, stride, speed of stride, debris on the surface, amount of moisture present, and weight. COOWIN’s polyethylene coating can be slippery when wet, just like wood, so caution is advised.

What are the advantages of using HDPE to make decking?

High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) provides superior physical and mechanical performance as compared to mixed or low-density resins(LDPE or LLDPE). HDPE resins are typically found in more rigid products like drinking cups and food packaging. The use of HDPE results in a decking board that is stiffer, more durable, and much harder than other decks made with inferior grades of plastic.

Do your composites perform well in a harsh heat/cold environment?

Yes! COOWIN composite decking and cladding are engineered to hold up under various weather conditions almost anywhere on Earth. In fact, we have COOWIN deck boards and wall cladding installed around the world from warm or hot climates including East Asia, the American southeast and southwest, Latin America, the Middle East, and Hawaii as well as cold climates from North America (including the northern US, Alaska, and Canada), northern Asia, and throughout Europe, including Scandinavia.

Does your composite decking expand?

As temperatures fluctuate, composite deck boards will naturally experience thermal expansion and contraction. That’s why the board ends should never be installed tight against one another. There should always be a slight gap. How much of a gap? That will depend upon air temperature at the time of installation (Read this to learn more). For areas that are subject to significant temperature swings, we recommend installing your deck boards using surface fasteners. First, ensure that the deck boards are aligned properly. Then, install a fastener in the middle of each board length to prevent shifting during thermal expansion and contraction.

Can your WPC products be used in salty environments, for example near the ocean?

Yes, Salt does not damage COOWIN composite decking under normal circumstances. In fact, we suggest our customers use rock salt to melt ice on the decking. The salt has little drying effect on the decking. This makes composite decking especially convenient if you live near saltwater. While composite decking is susceptible to abrasive substances, salt, which can often serve as a scouring powder, is not coarse enough to damage composite decking. Regardless, don’t rub or press salt into composite decking.

Is your composite decking in any way harmful for children?

No. COOWIN composite products are non-toxic and don’t contain any harmful substances. Besides, they are child-friendly thanks to their features of non-splintering, stain resistance, slip-resistance, and weather-resistance. Nothing is more important than your children’s safety. You want to do all that you can to protect them, even if they are more accident-prone at their young ages.

COOWIN composite decking won’t rot, or collect mildew or mold which may affect the durability of the deck and put both you and your children in danger. COOWIN composite decking will not splinter, 100% safe when you walk on the surface.

With COOWIN composite decking, your puddles will not lead to slips, falls, and subsequent injuries, especially if your young ones like to chase after one another. COOWIN composite material comes with grooves or simulated wood grain to reduce the chances of losing your footing. While kids should still follow the no-running rule, they won’t be so much at risk with any deck.

Can your composite decking be exposed to the elements?

COOWIN products are designed for outdoor use so they are able to withstand the elements.COOWIN composite products won’t rot, or collect mildew or mold which may affect the durability of the deck and put both you and your children in danger. COOWIN composite decking will not splinter, 100% safe when you walk on the surface.

What is Wood Plastic Composite?

Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) is a type of eco-friendly material made of reclaimed wood fiber and polymers. COOWIN WPC Decking and Cladding, manufactured with our patented formula and by an innovative dual-screw extrusion process, combine superior performance with naturalistic looks and textures of real wood. COOWIN is the first that has adopted Color Streaking and 3D Wood Grain Technology for uncapped WPC products in the industry. Compared with LDPE, HDPE-based composites are stronger and stiffer.

What does the term “Art Color” mean?

Art Color is a term used to describe the varied streaking on COOWIN composite decking and cladding. By adding different colors at precise moments during the manufacturing process, we are able to create a more nuanced color palette, or maybe variegated color, on a monotonous board, to create the rich, natural color variation found in real wood such as cedar, redwood, and ipe.