7 Critical Questions to Ask When Investigating New Decking Material Products

In the November/December 2012 issue of Mid-Atlantic Builder Magazine, there was a great article entitled “Switching Building Products”  that addressed key questions to ask and answer before switching to a new building product. There are many considerations for a seemingly minor product switch in residential construction, and asking the right questions ahead of time can help you minimize the risk of using a new product.

We invite you to consider these key questions as they apply to deck materials and show how Duradek answers all of them for a risk-free waterproof, walkable flat roof deck and sundeck membrane surface.

1 – Is the Product Up To Code?

The first and most important question to ask is “Does the product meet local building code?” While it is highly recommended that you check with your local code official, you can investigate yourself by checking to see if there is an ICC-ES report on the product. You can access ICC-ES reports online to see what code requirements a product meets, along with its installation requirements and other key details. Code Inspectors rely on these evaluation reports and you can too.

The Duradek Answer – YES! Duradek is Up To Code

Duradek has been evaluated through ICC-ES for many years and the current report (ESR 2151) is valid until 2014. Duradek hopes that builders and homeowners alike take advantage of the information available in these reports and provides current and potential customers with a little ‘tutorial’ on how to read, understand and compare products using ICC-ES reports.
From all available evidence, Duradek is the MOST tested single-ply vinyl membrane on the market today. All current testing reports and evaluations are available on the Duradek website’s Approvals pages, as well as this convenient checklist to refer to when comparing products.

2 – Is The Product Field Tested?

If the product has not been widely used in the industry and demonstrated successful performance, then you might want to inquire about field evaluation reports which are cooperative efforts between builders, manufacturers and testing agencies.

The Duradek Answer – YES! – Duradek is Proven in the Industry

Duradek has been protecting decks since 1974 (almost 40 years!) and has thousands of installations over the decades. From coast-to-coast throughout all North American climates, Duradek has performed successful deck waterproofing on patios, balconies and roof decks. No matter what kind of residential deck project you are considering, chances are Duradek has done it. Check out some of Duradek’s Case Studies for examples.

3 – Will The Manufacturer Be There For Support?

It is very important to consider how much support the manufacturer is willing to provide. Issues such as warranties, technical support, and training, as well as support and guidance to the homeowner, are all things to consider before switching to a new product.

The Duradek Answer – Yes! Duradek Provides Excellent Support

In addition to an industry leading 10-year waterproofing warranty, Duradek provides all sorts of support to their customers. With Duradek, technical support begins with mandatory training on installation and waterproofing details. In fact, Duradek is not even available to contractors who have not completed Duradek’s training program and become authorized to install the product. The education does not stop after the initial training…Duradek keeps up on changes in the industry and supporting products to ensure product compatibility and installation techniques are always as current as possible. (Duradek also provides online education through Hanley Wood and AEC Daily).

4 – Does it Provide Marketing Benefits?

Are there any marketing advantages to making a product switch? Are any added costs balanced out by performance features? You want to be careful about the claims you make about the product, particularly with any Green claims. Be sure to comply with the Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guides.

The Duradek Answer – YES! – Duradek Has Marketing Benefits and YES – Duradek is Green

Besides the fact that Duradek is a strong, proven brand with excellent technical support, marketing support and a proven track record, Duradek is a Green product and qualifies for LEED points. In addition, it is worthwhile to note that having a deck protected with Duradek vinyl is often considered a value-added feature of a home, and a highlighted feature in Real Estate Listings.

Duradek listed as a selling feature in real estate listing

Duradek is a building product considered a valuable feature in residential real estate.

5 – Is it Compatible with Your Other Products?

While it is encouraged to look for ways to improve your product offerings, you certainly want to avoid making changes that will have a domino effect that negatively affects your other product offerings.

The Duradek Answer – Yes! You Can Incorporate Duradek With Your Other Offerings

Duradek can be applied to plywood or concrete surfaces and you don’t have to worry about any of the adhesives or accessories needed since Duradek is sold as a ‘complete system’ and will provide all supporting products for the installation of their vinyl membranes. In addition, Duradek offers Durarail powder-coated aluminum railing systems, Tiledek waterproof membrane for use in exterior tile applications, and Plazadek waterproof membrane for use under paver systems. Unless you have existing exclusivity contracts with other membrane and railing suppliers, Duradek is easy to incorporate into your product offerings.

6 – Will Your Crew Be Able to Handle the Learning Curve?

With any new product offering, there is likely to be a learning curve for your team to be familiar enough with the new product to be able to effectively sell and install it. Many times, the cost associated with the training involved in a new offering is a significant consideration. Additionally, defective installation can effectively negate a manufacturer’s warranty.

The Duradek Answer – Yes! Duradek Will Train Your Installers

In fact…that is the only way you are authorized to purchase Duradek vinyl. Duradek offers new dealers a thorough 2-day training program. Duradek operates from the belief that when it comes to waterproofing, it is all in the details; and no matter how good a vinyl membrane is manufactured, the true performance is measured by how the product is installed. Duradek is proud of their extensive network of trained and authorized installers and technical support for all installers is available indefinitely.

 

Duradek technical manager, Len Viegener conducting a Duradek training.

Duradek technical manager, Len Viegener conducting a Duradek training.

 

7 – How Will It Change How You Educate Home Owners on Maintenance?

Most professional builders and developers want to see their hard work demonstrate longevity, and part of that includes educating homeowners on proper care and maintenance.

The Duradek Answer – Yes! It is Easy to Educate the End User on Care and Maintenance of Duradek

If a walkable, waterproof vinyl membrane is new to your offerings you will be pleased to know that the care and maintenance of the Duradek vinyl is a great selling feature. Duradek vinyl is a low maintenance decking material that requires only seasonal cleaning and annual inspections to keep looking great. Care and Cleaning instructions are provided to the homeowner right along with their warranty.

Are You Considering Adding Duradek to Your Product Offerings?

If you can see the advantages that Duradek can bring to your product offerings with its time-proven, thoroughly tested, walkable, waterproof membrane, Duradek invites you to explore the potential business opportunity a little further. We are confident that when you discover the Duradek difference, it will be your vinyl membrane of choice.

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