Fortress Blog

Monday, September 28, 2020

Q&A: 5 Popular Questions About PVC Decking

As decking experts, we have an insider’s perspective when it comes to innovative building materials and new design trends. So, what’s captured our attention recently?  Wood-emulating PVC deck boards. And we aren’t alone—a recent survey among dealers found that 62 percent have seen a significant increase in lumber-alternative sales over the last three years.

The steady hike in sales isn’t surprising. Some of today’s PVC deck board offerings are nearly indistinguishable from tropical hardwoods and require minimal maintenance in comparison. And the zest for PVC decking isn’t going anywhere. According to market research conducted in early 2020, demand is projected to increase at a rate of 2 percent per year through 2023. Given the unexpected, meteoric rise in home DIY projects, we expect that demand will only continue to increase.

With interest in exterior home projects at an all-time high, we’re tackling the top five frequently asked questions about PVC decking below. Find out why this trending material is one to keep an eye on.

Does PVC decking look natural? Yes, strikingly so. To replicate the warmth and beauty of natural wood, we employ a patented tri-extrusion process in tandem with a dual-embossing technique. The result? Our Apex™ PVC decking captures the sought-after natural wood grain aesthetic and texture paired with the low-maintenance, enduring properties associated with PVC.

 How much maintenance does PVC decking require? Very little. Select PVC decking manufacturers shield deck boards from weathering with a “decking sunscreen” – boards are encapsulated in an acrylic polymer formulated with UV inhibitors and antioxidants. What does this mean for you? No weekends spent re-staining or sealing your deck. So go ahead, fire up that grill.

 Is PVC decking slippery when wet? Not compared to other materials. Slip resistance can be quantified by tests such as the Wet-barefoot Inclining Platform assessment—a ramp exercise that involves bare feet and soapy water. This third-party evaluation measures the risk of a barefoot person running around wet surfaces at an incline. The highest classification is set at greater or equal to a 24-degree incline. Impressively, Apex performed best-in-class, receiving a score of 34-degree incline.

While the awarded classification of a PVC deck board will vary by brand, most manufacturers utilize an acrylic resin cap with a slightly “grabby” surface for an enhanced level of friction. These resin caps also include antimicrobials, which deter growth of slippery algae and bacteria.

Is PVC decking expensive? Not in the long run. Although the upfront cost of wood-alternative decking materials can sometimes hover above lumber, PVC decking provides a greater return on investment. Because proven manufacturers safeguard their boards with UV and moisture-resistive properties, you can afford to clock more hours on deck with loved ones and less on pricey upkeep. In comparison, recommended maintenance associated with wood causes its true cost to double every 2-5 years.

Is PVC decking easy to install? Yes, and easier than you might think. Our ultra-lightweight Apex™ PVC decking is 45 percent lighter than composite decking, making it easier for DIYers or novice deck builders to handle and install. An added perk? No additional tools required – you can rely on your own two hands throughout the installation process. In fact, the build might feel like second nature—it’s very comparable to installing a traditional wood deck.

Have more questions about PVC decking? Visit fortressbp.com/decking/apex.

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