Top 5 Facts to Extend Lifespan – With a Vinyl Deck
An on the National Post website caught the attention of the Tufdek team, as it discusses the downside of wood decks. We hoped it would promote a vinyl membrane as a viable alternative, but alas the article did not go into wood alternatives. However, the article did offer a unique opportunity to talk about some common misconceptions about wood decks versus vinyl decks. Tuff Industries will explore each “fact” and why vinyl decks can offer a better alternative to wood.
DECK FACT ONE: Most deck stains fail in a year [vinyl decks don’t need stain]
The article states, “… even with a good deck stain on your side, new lumber is almost certain to cause that stain to fail prematurely without proper prep. Old lumber is just as bad. The best way to prepare a surface for maximum finish life, is pressure washing followed by sanding with a 60-to 80-grit abrasive.”
While that may certainly be true, think about the work involved here – namely, removing all objects from your deck, pressure washing, sanding, and then staining your deck every year. Multiply that amount by 25 years and yikes!!
A single installation of a vinyl membrane on your deck solves the stain issue. No more sanding, no more staining. All you need to do is some light maintenance (i.e. hose it off) a few times per year to keep the surface clean. Problem solved. Imagine the time saved!
DECK FACT TWO: Pressure-treated wood is safe but tricky [vinyl membranes are safer]
“…the lumber industry [has] voluntarily stopped using arsenic-based preservative chemicals in the pressure-treated lumber they sold, and now the active ingredient is copper. This kind of wood is much more corrosive to screws, nails and metal fasteners than plain wood or the old arsenic-preserved lumber.”
The article continues to state that you need to ensure that your builder, in this case, uses fasteners made of stainless steel to ensure that they don’t corrode over time. Again, why bother? You’re still going to have the same issues with overall maintenance with a wood deck, whereas a vinyl deck membrane is quickly installed and requires very little maintenance, as well as protecting your home and the underlying structure.
DECK FACT THREE: Design affects deck life [agreed, but vinyl decking works better]
“It all boils down to how quickly a deck can dry out internally after it rains and after the spring melt. Unfortunately, most decks are built with large unventilated areas of wood in direct contact with each other. Build decks with ventilation spaces, and they’ll last much longer.”
If you have areas where water can access you need to allow that space to dry out to avoid issues like rot and mold – there’s no argument there. However, you can also choose to install a complete waterproof decking system, like Tufdek™, along with a correct slope, you’ll never have to worry about water collecting where it shouldn’t. As an added advantage, the vinyl deck will also prevent water from accessing the space underneath your deck so that it can be used for storage or as a second outdoor living space.
DECK FACT FOUR: Exotic deck lumber still turns grey [what a waste!]
“You can spend big money on fancy deck lumber, but it still turns grey and weathered without care…Just realize that it’s going to take work to keep that rich, brown surface looking like more than a barn.”
There are so many options other than wood that look great, without the expense of exotic wood, the environmental waste of stains and sealers, or the work to keep the deck looking good. Vinyl decking stands up to heat, cold, snow, as well as offering a durable surface to resist traffic – all without the need for hours and hours of annual maintenance while leaving less of an environmental footprint.
DECK FACT FIVE: Who needs wood?
Although the original National Post title read five facts, there were only four. So we’ll add a fifth fact – vinyl deck membranes are more durable and long-lasting than wood. With the professional installation of a Tufdek™ vinyl surface, you’ll end up with a deck surface that can last you for up to 25 years or more, at which time you can easily install new vinyl decking for much less than pulling out and replacing a wood deck.
Not sure whether a vinyl deck will look as good as wood? Check out our gallery of gorgeous vinyl decks, patios, and vinyl roof decks – then find a Tufdek™ professional to help you work out the details.