When Choosing a Building Product, ‘New’ Does Not Always Mean Better

Would you risk investing in a building product that may or may not perform successfully? In our fast-paced North American culture, we are often seduced by the magic words ‘new and improved’ and will line up in droves for the latest consumer gadgets. But when it comes to building products, we have to be careful not to let this attraction to ‘new’ and exciting seduce us away from trusted materials that have proven to be reliable.  (Read our post “7 Critical Questions to Ask When Investigating New Decking Material Products“)

New products continue to fail at a disturbing rate and one source estimates that more than 90 percent of all new products fail within two years, and another study suggested that the failure rate for new industrial products may be as high as 30%.


New Product Failure Rates


Decking Product Innovation vs. Performance

There have been plenty of advances in manufacturing technology and even more impressive and innovative ideas, but until the resulting new products have been around for a while, how is a home builder or homeowner to know if the product will really live up to its performance claims?

Here are a couple of examples of decking products that have been introduced to the marketplace a little prematurely, essentially turning their initial customers into a low-cost alternative to long-term product testing.

Composite Decking – But it was so Good in the Beginning

Still the ‘new’ kid on the decking block, composite decking hit the marketplace with enthusiasm and charm. The appeal of a low maintenance decking product that looks good and is manufactured in part with recycled materials is enough to instill warm and fuzzy feelings to a product selection decision.


But one look at the YouTube video from this homeowner shows that the initial thrill of his new deck was replaced with frustration and disappointment, an all-too-familiar story with many composite deck homeowners’ experiences.

PVC Decking – Not All Vinyl is Created Equal

PVC membranes have been a reliable deck waterproofing solution for decades. Duradek, the industry’s leader in PVC waterproofing pioneered the use of this single-ply, walkable waterproof membrane nearly 40 years ago and it is the most tested vinyl membrane on the market today.

While other vinyl manufacturers who have entered the supply chain are eager to differentiate themselves with ‘new’ and improved features, these innovations have yet to be proven to be successful over time.

The image below shows the results of a side-by-side accelerated weathering test conducted by Atlas Material Testing in Phoenix, Arizona over a 9 month period. The test procedure emulates a time span of UV exposure using natural concentrated sunlight.

The sample on the left is from a vinyl manufacturer who has been emphasizing their tough, scuff-resistant top coat; the sample on the right is Duradek Ultra.

Accelerated Weathering Testing for vinyl membranes

When choosing a vinyl membrane, these results are critically important because if you were to experience the eventual darkening of the vinyl surface on your deck, there is little recourse for you to take to be compensated for replacement. Often, the warranty for appearance on a pedestrian surface is much less than that of the waterproofing warranty, and homeowners could be potentially stuck with a very unattractive, although still waterproofed deck.

Side Note – this particular company does not even offer an Appearance Warranty on their product at all.

Don’t take chances with your deck. Duradek is the Time, Tested and Approved decking membrane that you can rely on.

Contact a Duradek Dealer in your area for a free estimate and do some comparisons for yourself!

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