PVC decking is steadily becoming a preferred alternative for decking material. Without wood used in the combination of materials, there is absolutely zero chance that your deck will rot away! No organic materials also means that mold growth will also not be an issue.
While the leaders in the industry have come up with great coatings to look and feel like real wood, you will still notice that this material is a replica of the real stuff. PVC decking can come coated and sealed on all four sides, or merely on the top three. There are advantages to both, and the different options are easy to find at any local or online retailer.
Options For Trex Decking
- AZEK – This brand of decking is known for its stain resistance and durability. Azek also claims to be scratch resistant, with pets and outdoor furniture being no match for the strength of PVC. This brand is for the everyday deck user. Meant for family, this durable decking can withstand spills, rough play, and any weather you throw its way.
- TimberTech -This brand of decking specializes in environmentally-sustainable products, avoiding wasteful use wherever possible. Their custom decking options are even backed by a 25-year fade and stain warranty! Bring on the deck chairs, grill and family pets! TimberTech is known in the community as a product leader in the alternative decking industry.
Why PVC Decking?
There are several reasons why choosing PVC decking as your deck building material is a smart choice.
Here are some of the main reasons why:
- Weight – PVC Decking is much lighter than wood or wood composite decking solutions. This makes installation much easier, and far less work.
- Design – With the bendable option of PVC, your custom deck can be shaped into whatever your design choice is. Without needing to adhere to specific design options for your deck, creative minds can feel comfortable with this flexible and versatile decking option.
- Spill Resistant – Many companies now cover their PVC Decking with stain and grease resistant coatings. This means grilling outdoors without the hassle! Don’t worry about mats to cover your custom deck; relax and simply enjoy cooking.
- Mold Resistant – Because this style of decking contains no organic materials, you won’t need to worry about mold seeping inside scratches. Keep up with your cleaning, however, because like any other outdoor product, sitting water can breed mildew on top of your deck.
Negative Aspects Of PVC Decking:
Deck alternatives come with hosts of pros and cons and while PVC decking is a great decking material, it is no different in this regard.
Listed below are the disadvantages to choosing PVC over other current decking alternatives:
- Cost – PVC Decking is the most expensive option for alternative decking, making the up-front investment a bit steep. This decking will not have any of the issues that wood or composite decking do, and the removal of these issues contributes to its worth.
- Damage – Since repair is not an option for PVC decking, any scratched or damaged sections will need to be replaced, adding to the cost of this decking. However, this does add to the “low-maintenance” claim, ensuring that you won’t have to do any work! Keep in mind some companies offer scratch resistant coatings!
- Heat – Just as with other decking options, deck builders will have to contend with heat absorption as an issue in the summer. While splinters won’t be an issue, bare feet will still need to be careful when that outdoor temperature spikes.
How Will your PVC Decking Look?
Many companies paint and coat planks with a wood grain design, yet because of the materials used to make this decking, a shiny finished look will still prevail. PVC will never have the exact look and feel of wood, so the imitated appearance will be fairly visible.
Keep in mind, that even though PVC decking will not serve as an exact visual replacement for wood, the design possibilities allow for a unique look to each custom deck. PVC will allow you to create shapes, curving and any design your deck builder may come up with.
How Do You Care For PVC Decking?
As with any wood deck alternative, sweeping and general cleaning is necessary. Due to there being no organic materials used in the production of PVC decking, mold is not an issue. Also, the swelling and shifting of these planks will not occur as in composite decking or wood. These factors contribute to a low-maintenance reality. A quick rinse now and then and you are on your way to a beautiful looking patio design for years to come.
Many dVC Decking companies offer a unique line of cleaning products, created especially to maintain that look without fading or stripping the deck. Using these products is the best way to ensure your decking is cared for.
Tips For Maintaining A Low-Maintenance Look:
- Sharp Objects – When removing snow or ice, avoid using sharp objects or shovels, as they will scratch the surfaces of your decking. While there are no organic compounds to fear the outdoor elements, your PVC decking will look weathered by scratches or dents from these objects.
- Rinse – Rinsing your deck is very helpful in maintaining that quality look you purchased. Like home furnishings need dusting, so does your deck. This will help avoid scratches due to rocks or accumulated dust being scraped along the planks.
Soaps – Don’t use rough cleansers on your decking, as this can strip and fade the surfaces, leaving you with that weathered look you were hoping to avoid in the first place by choosing this material. PVC decking is meant to last and using the company’s cleaning product lines are meant to give you the best results. Keeping your deck clean is the easiest way to maintain that custom deck look.
PVC decking is certainly the option with the least amount of problems and maintenance associated with it. However, it is also the most expensive in the industry. You will have to ask yourself the question; Do you want the look and feel of a great custom deck without all the extra work? Are you willing to spend more now in order to save time and money later? If the answers to these questions are all “yes,” then PVC decking is your clear choice for alternative decking.
With companies committed to finding the closest wood-type material that’s considered maintenance-free, life will be easier with PVC decking. Family-friendly, eco-friendly, and outdoor furniture-friendly, this decking is your choice for the deck that will be used frequently.