Homeowners Select Vinyl Decks for Safety, Durability

ARLINGTON, Va., May 11, 2007  –  May is Deck Safety Month – and homeowners are increasingly turning to vinyl decks and railings for safety, as well as durability and ease of maintenance, according to the Vinyl Institute here. 
 
The North American Deck and Railing Association says that during May, owners of all kinds of decks should have them inspected for deterioration or other flaws that could result in accidents or injury during heavy summer use. 
 
“Fortunately, vinyl decking is not subject to many of the deterioration problems of more traditional decking,” noted the Institute’s Allen Blakey. 

“Vinyl decking and railing does not rot or decay,” he said.  “It is not susceptible to damage from insects, water or mold, it is resistant to UV rays and salt spray – and it is virtually maintenance-free.  This is important to today’s homeowners.”
 
Professional Deckbuilders Magazine estimates that 2.5 million new or replacement decks were built last year and notes that nearly every new home being built today has a porch or an elevated deck.
 
“In this large market, vinyl is gaining market share,” observed Patricia Pellock, marketing manager for deck and railing at CertainTeed Corp., Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
 
Vinyl and vinyl-based products “offer strength, rigidity over greater spans, durability, and superior stain, scratch, and fade resistance,” Pellock said.  She noted that sales are growing particularly in wood-plastic composites for decking and railing.  For example, CertainTeed’s Boardwalk and Panorama lines contain Ecotech ™, a blend of PVC and recycled wood flour.
 
Another composite decking, called Luxrae, combines PVC and rice hulls.  Junshen Wang, vice president of sales, explained that his company chose PVC over other plastics because it conducts heat far less readily, expands/contracts less in changing temperatures, has greater tensile strength, and has a long history (in vinyl siding and other products) of standing up to the elements.  

Photo:  Boardwalk® Signature HFTTM composite decking by CertainTeed Corporation.