Category Archives: PVC decking

What you really need to know about man-made decking

large AZEK deck Shawnee KS by Archadeck lrA new deck will utilize a multitude of outdoor building materials including everything from pressure-treated wood for framing to a number of material options for railings and a dizzying array of other choices. One of the more important considerations for your new deck is the flooring boards. Choosing the correct flooring board for your new deck will affect how much maintenance you do, how your deck will look and also your price. While pressure-treated pine decking is a tried and true decking material, almost all of our clients now choose a low maintenance option. You owe it to yourself to learn a little about the alternatives to pressure-treated wood when choosing your decking material. Not only are there a dizzying array of products and companies in the marketplace but the technology is always evolving and improving.

The first thing you really need to know is that the man-made decking products available today are several generations advanced from the offerings of 15-20 years ago. The original composites were a blend of plastic and wood fiber designed to have improved resistance to rot and decay. They were very successful in those two areas, but they fell short in how they held up against staining, scratching, and spotting. The industry listened and manufacturers continued to improve and upgrade their offerings. Blended wood/plastic composite are still the least expensive way to manufacture man-made boards and they are still available today.

Man-made decking is also a great option for your porch

Man-made decking is also a great option for your porch

Today’s manufactured decking is leaps and bounds ahead of those first products. Companies like AZEK and TimberTech have made significant investments in research and technology to create multiple product lines that address all of the key concerns expressed by homeowners and builders. PVC decking boards have been consistently surpassing consumer’s expectations. PVC decking has been improved to maintain color and resist scratches and scrapes. PVC decking may have stain and fade guarantees.

The other major man-made decking product that you will see is called capped or wrapped composite. The inside of each board is a pulp/plastic blend and the outside is PVC. Capstock is less expensive to produce than 100% PVC. As with 100% PVC products, the color, texture, and looks of wrapped boards will vary from company to company, but they have improved dramatically over the past 10 years. From a few yards away, it may be challenging to tell the difference between capped and natural wood.

What does all this mean to you? Look beyond the color choices of the deck product lines you are considering. Do a little homework on the companies that manufacture them. How long have they been in the business? Are their consumer reviews good from customers who have lived with the product for several years? Take advice from an experienced builder. Ask for a few referrals so you can take a field trip to see the different types of products in the field.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

If you’re considering adding a new deck or porch to your Kansas City area home, give us a ring. Our consultation is free. We can discuss options, provide design ideas and of course give you a price quote to consider. Give us a call or send us an email. (913) 851 – 3325 or kansascity@archadeck.net.

What exactly is a low maintenance deck and how low maintenance is it?

Overland Park AZEK deck by Archadeck Kansas City

Overland Park AZEK deck by Archadeck Kansas City

You may have heard that there are low-maintenance decking materials available but what exactly does that mean? Well, first, you won’t have to paint it – ever. The low maintenance materials are available in various colors. The first benefit of this is that won’t have to paint or stain your deck on a regular basis. The next benefit is that you won’t ever have to paint or stain your low-maintenance decking boards.

Gone are the days of annual maintenance. When you think about annual maintenance, in addition to painting and staining, you think about having to get the dirt and grime off to prime the wood boards to accept a stain. Or you think about scraping painted boards to pick up all the loose cracks in the paint. No more packs of sandpaper to further prime your outdoor wood to accept paint or stain.

Kansas City TimberTech Deck with White Low-Maintenance Composite Railing

Kansas City TimberTech Deck with White Low-Maintenance Composite Railing

What about mold and mildew? Wood is very porous. Water will soak into the wood which may lead to the formation of mild and mildew. In addition, leaving either wet or dry debris on the deck for a period of time may cause mold and mildew to form on the top of your decking boards. What about warping, sagging, cracking and splitting? You don’t need to worry about these issues with low-maintenance decking boards. These boards come with a warranty that protects against all of these.

AZEK Morado Deck with AZEK railing

AZEK Morado Deck with AZEK railing

Do you have to check for termites and other wood rot? You’ve probably guessed by now. Low maintenance decking materials come with protection against all of these ailments that tend to afflict wood used in outdoor structures.

Is low maintenance the same as no maintenance?

These two are not the same. Although you won’t have to peel, scrape, sand or stain, you will need to get out the sponge and warm soapy water. The one thing low maintenance decking boards can’t protect you from are spills. If you spill foods on your deck or drag mud across your deck, they will not be repelled or somehow disappear. You will need to wipe them off the surface the same way you do with your indoor hard flooring. Are there spills that you should wipe up more quickly? A good rule of thumb is to treat spills the same way you might treat one of your indoor floors. You likely are more careful to wash off stains from dark red materials such as wine and ketchup, that’s also a good idea on your low maintenance deck.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

If you’re considering building an open porch, screened porch or outdoor room on your house, give us a call for a free consultation at 913-851-3325. We look forward to your call.