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Deck Building Products’ Testing Credentials – 3 Key Considerations for Vinyl Deck Membranes
Duradek is proud to offer a building product for your decks that has proven to be reliable in both laboratory testing and actual decking applications in our 40 year history. During those 40 years in use, Duradek has met every single test we must meet to assure you that the products we are offering you meet the building code industry standards.
Since Duradek is both a pedestrian traffic surface as well as a roofing membrane, it goes through more than double the testing requirements than either a traffic coating or roofing membrane must undergo independently. These rigorous testing requirements are in place to give you the peace-of-mind that a product as important as one that protects the building envelope of your home is one that you can rely on.
There are few very important factors for you to consider when evaluating a deck building product’s testing credentials:
1 – Is there a 3rd party quality control program in place?
We live in a changing world and what was true a few years ago is not necessarily true today. In some instances, a product has been tested and evaluated as having met building code requirements; but over time manufacturing procedures can change. Duradek is proud to retain the services of Quality Auditing Institute to maintain a 3rd party quality control program. With this quality control program in place, Duradek can confidently assure you that we continually meet the same high standards as we did when our product was tested to show we meet current building code requirements.
2 – Is the product merely listed with an evaluation service or actually tested by the evaluation service?
Some third-party evaluation services offer the option for a product Listing which is different from a product Evaluation. While these are presented in a very similar manner, they are quite different.
The major difference between an evaluation report and a listing is that a listing will cover an individual trait that requires compliance with a specific, individual standard; where an evaluation will show a review of the product and the multiple traits needed to meet or be an equivalent to what is required in the code; particularly in instances where no specific code exists.”
According to the National Research Council of Canada which governs the CCMC, “An evaluation report is CCMC’s technical opinion on the compliance of a product or system to a code, primarily the National Building Code of Canada (NBC). It applies mainly to innovative products for which there are no specific standards that have been referenced in the code. The product is evaluated as an “alternative” solution. An evaluation listing is a technical statement indicating that a product complies with a specific standard. This service is specific only to products that have standards.”
What is important for you to note in this case when evaluating vinyl deck membranes, is that there is no existing specific standard for ‘walkable roofing membranes’. The National Building Codes only acknowledge roofing membranes…there is no sub-group for ‘walkable’ roofing membranes – yet. So this is where the evaluation services come in to create criteria that addresses both
1 – a walkable deck membrane; and
2 – a roofing membrane.
Any vinyl deck membrane that offers a CCMC Listing has submitted testing criteria to show it meets requirements of only a roofing membrane which means it was not evaluated as a walkable roof deck membrane. Additionally, a product that is listed does not have to keep a 3rd party quality control program in place.
Duradek Ultra vinyl deck membrane holds a current CCMC Report (CCMC 13134-R) showing that we meet the requirements of BOTH a pedestrian traffic coating and a roofing membrane and is under a third-party Quality Control program.
3 – Is the product evaluation you are reviewing the results for the actual product you are purchasing?
One more thing to be aware of is a basic bait-and-switch tactic where you might be initially presented with product test evaluations for a brand’s premium product, but then you are quoted on a value brand that has not been held to the same high standards. Be sure to verify that the product you are actually getting is the one that has the product testing and evaluations to prove it meets building code requirements.
The Takeaway on Deck Building Products Testing Credentials
While testing and evaluation reports may not be a favorite source of reading material, be sure to carefully review the tests & evaluations when choosing a new building product. Know what the product is tested to meet and know that the test results you review apply to the product you are purchasing.
Most importantly, choose a product that incorporates a 3rd party quality control program to ensure that products tested, and their manufacturing process, maintain consistency for the measure of quality it was evaluated to comply with.