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Decking Snapshot – Past, Predicted and Performance
Homeowners love their outdoor living space and they are increasingly utilizing that space as functional additions to their homes. This has allowed the decking industry to experience some modest, yet significant growth. The preference for more outdoor living space, along with the resurgence in new construction, has specialists anticipating this trend of growth in the decking industry to continue.
The increased desire for functional outdoor living space is shown in the recently released Principia Residential Decking & Railing 2013 Marketing Report that predicts the decking industry will experience in excess of 4% growth to reach 4.1 billion by 2015. This follows a 4.8% growth from 2012 to 2013 with a decking and railing factory gate value of $3.75 billion in 2013.
According to the American Institute of Architects, 63% of architects cite outdoor living space as the most popular “special function room” in housing construction. But today’s homeowners aren’t satisfied with the traditional 10’ x 20’ rectangular, drip-through wood deck.
Before considering the accessories like lighting, furniture and fire features that customize the look of a deck, today’s homeowners want a deck that is high performing, low maintenance and environmentally friendly. This makes choosing deck building products one of the most important choices for developers and contractors who are juggling the cost vs. value with long-term customer satisfaction.
The popularity of composite decking products for their environmental benefits coupled with no maintenance requirements has been jaded by multiple product issues with several different suppliers. While claims of developmental improvements in the new ‘capped’ composite deck boards have promised to resolve the negative issues experienced with composite decking; only time will tell if these ‘improved’ products will perform as promised. Several recognized brands including Azek have been faced with legal proceedings stemming from product degradation. In the past several years, customers of Trex composite decking experienced such significant issues with their composite deck products that Trex settled their class action suit, followed most recently by a similar experience with Fiberon. So while composite deck products in theory meet some of the needs of ‘green’ building practices, in reality a lot of composite deck boards have ended up in the landfills.
Alternately, a product that does not immediately conjure perceptions of environmental benefits, PVC membrane waterproofing is actually a wise choice environmentally for its longevity of performance. As a waterproof roof or deck, compared to the alternatives, Duradek vinyl membranes are the greener choice and can be considered for LEED points in green construction projects.
Duradek, the pioneers of PVC membrane waterproofing are celebrating their 40th year in business this year. Having gone through multiple warranty cycles, Duradek knows that their product performs as intended.
Duradek was recently featured in the Canadian Business Journal and is very proud to have been the leader in their niche of deck waterproofing by developing a single-ply pedestrian coating that also acts as a roofing membrane. This ability to provide long lasting, roof grade waterproof protection is made even more appealing due to the fact that the product requires virtually no maintenance. With only an occasional cleaning (seasonal to annual) and an annual inspection at perimeters, seams and posts, a deck protected with a Duradek vinyl membrane will regularly exceed their warrantied lifetime and last for decades.
Wood You Prefer…?
Traditional wood decks require comparatively high maintenance with sanding, staining and sealing, and over time, can be a costly option. Decks built with pressure treated wood might last a little longer, but will eventually leach harmful chemicals into the environment while still requiring significant maintenance for longevity and waterproof integrity. When a wood deck is not maintained and its waterproof integrity is compromised, it is often the softened, water damaged wood that can be traced as a contributing factor to where supporting hardware has failed and led to dangerous deck collapse incidents.
Builders, Compare Your Options
Deck builders must carefully consider their options since they have a much broader choice of materials than they did 40 years ago. When choosing a building product, the best route is often choosing a product that has a proven performance backed up by a sound warranty and can meet the needs of the end user…in this case the homeowner who wants attractive, low maintenance, long-lasting outdoor living space.
If you’d like to discuss your decking needs with a waterproofing professional, contact a Duradek dealer in your area for a free, no obligation estimate.