Most of the decks we do we consider low maintenance which means you will have to use a garden hose to clean off the dirt once and while. Some sales people use the term “no maintenance” incorrectly unless you are planning to cover the deck with something it is going to get dirty being outside. The intent from the various sales personnel is that you will have to never stain or paint the product. The popular name brands are Azek, Timbertech and Trex. There is other brands that the big stores carry which in most cases are made by one of the large companies but re-branded.

Vinyl Railing w glass 005PVC Deck Railing - Curved

If the product is solid, coated or wrapped pvc the technology has improved over the years that it now performs well in our seasonal weather changes. There a few brands that we prefer for many reasons, stock availability, pricing, colour choices, sales & technical support, successful company & product over time and matching colours for other deck products.

Some customers are confused about vinyl, pvc and composite products. Lumping them all together as one. There are many products that we will not install due to historical problems or concerns. Some customers have bought product and asked us to install it for them but it is not worth the risk of our reputation. Many products easily stain or discolour. You have to ensure you review your choices with a knowledgeable person on the various products.

When we meet clients for the first time and they have requested a low maintenance deck solution our primary goal is to guide the customer through the various products available. The investment you will be making in your deck is significant, and we need you to understand what we are installing for you and why we think it is the best choice for your lifestyle. All brands are not created equal nor are their product lines. We spend countless hours researching deck products and attending trade shows so that we are the most informed and knowledgeable person you will talk to. We will highlight each product’s benefits and you can make an informed decision.

The internet has a lot of misinformation about deck products. I guess you could say that about any product though. Sometimes you get information overload and it confuses the heck out of people. Some sales people have an invested reason to sell you their product. We don’t get paid by the manufacturers or distributors so if we have an issue with a product or a company we will not sell their product or services. Unless you’ve invested the time and resources we have educating yourself from hands on installation to performance studies you can make a bad decision. Take what you read on the internet with a grain or salt as there is as much bad as good information.

Let us guide you in the right in the right direction.

Below we have explained some of the common low maintenance decking terms used with a brief explanation.

  • Composite: A blend of various materials, usually wood flour, which is a by-product of the wood working industry purchased by deck manufacturers to use as a filler mixed with some type of polymer or plastic compound ranging from recycled bottles to virgin plastic. This composite blending technology was used in the first generation of synthetic deck boards and is still in use today in some product lines. Composite boards are generally among the highest maintenance synthetic products available and fade considerably. These boards are inexpensive compared to other choices, but all fall into the “you get what you pay for category.” The warranty generally doesn’t include fading or staining. Don’t put your barbecue on the deck or spill your red wine.
  • Extruded PVC: Produced in an extrusion process using PVC which generally has no organic matter in it that eliminates mould and mildew growth within the material or the structure of the board. The decking performs much like vinyl window frames which are the standard in the industry for windows now days. You may see light fading over time. Many warranties are life time or 25-50 years.
  • Capped PVC: Using a solid PVC core, a capped PVC board is co-extruded with an additional surface layer of extremely high quality, expensive PVC blends that are used to create wood graining and blending colour tonalities. These boards generally look closer to real wood than solid PVC boards. There are many colour choices that will match your taste and style. The warranty is from 20 years to life time.
  • Capstock Composite: This technology in synthetic decking that is a traditonal composite board that is encapsulated or coextruded (i.e. capped) with a wear layer that hides the composite core. The capstock wear surface you see and walk on is highly resistant to fading, staining and scratching. Capstock composite boards are dense and feel extremely solid under foot compared to other deck boards. The warranties are 20 years to life time.

So there you go!! Some more information for you to review. We hope it helps!!