Composite deck anyone? - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 7th, 09, 7:08 PM Thread Starter
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Composite deck anyone?

I'm in the middle of rebuilding (expanding) my deck. I got the framing squared away and I was still undecided on what i was going to use for railings and decking. I was semi-decided on Choice Deck (Lowes) But also looking at Trex and some others. Well I start looking around the net and see that Choice Deck just settled a major class action lawsuit based on mold problems. Seems Trex has its problems with mold too. It seems all composites have this problem with reoccurring mold and staining. Just google trex and mold. Seems the mold comes from within. Lots of major recalls,lawsuits and pissed off people out there. so does anyone have composite decking and do you have any issues?
Now i don't know what to do.I'm not going back to pressure treated pine. I have been looking at IPE and some other hardwood alternatives but they all require yearly sealing ect.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 7th, 09, 7:24 PM
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Re: Composite deck anyone?

In the end, everything outdoors will require maintenance at one time or another. Have Trex on mine. Powerwash once a year in the spring - basically just to get the dirt off. That's it. No sealers, etc. Been down about 5 years now.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 7th, 09, 7:46 PM
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Re: Composite deck anyone?

I have built quite a few with Trex, and as long as they are cleaned regularly, I have never seen issues with mold on them. I can say though, if this is a deck that will see lots of sun time, composite decks get very hot in the sun, and can burn bare feet.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 7th, 09, 7:46 PM
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Re: Composite deck anyone?

What a timely topic...I'm into this too! Wife wants to replace current covered porch with "something" composite. We have looked at Trex, CorrectDeck and TimberTech. Haven't made up our minds...want to look at some installed. Also want to "wrap" the treated support posts and do something about a railing and steps. I'm thinking that a mold issue might not be quite as bad with a covered porch as it would be on an exposed deck. Still, I don't want to get into any real hassles with any mold or staining. I'm not against some sort maintenance program...just don't want to get involved in the long and drawn-out cleaning and staining..yuck! Takes time away from the cars!
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 7th, 09, 7:58 PM
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Re: Composite deck anyone?

CorrectDeck seems to be the better product (I'm a millwork guy) It's a solid material with a pretty slick install process. Doesn't require extra framing like Trex and others. Look into HB&G for railings. Even have pvc sleeve for posts.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 7th, 09, 8:24 PM
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Re: Composite deck anyone?

I have a Trex deck (solid, not hollow), and mold is certainly not an issue in Colorado. We used to have a redwood deck, and the sun just destroyed any finish we ever tied to use. Every year we were sanding and restaining/sealing the deck. With Trex, just rinse it off once or twice a year and that's it. Someone mentiond special framing for Trex, but our's is standard framed 16" o.c. joists. Our decking is screwed down through the boards, and if I had it to do over, I would spend the extra money to use a hidden fastener system like the "Tiger Claw" system.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 7th, 09, 8:39 PM
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Re: Composite deck anyone?

I used a product called Epoch Evergrain.... I think they have been purchased by someone else, tho. It has a grain pattern in the molding of the product, not a print but an actual touch & feel grain. I chose it over Trex only because I didn't like the finish on the Trex. No problem with the product - been down for about 5 years and I also just powerwash it once a year.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 9th, 09, 9:43 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Composite deck anyone?

I've looked at lots of the stuff out there and most have some type of issues. Not sure they have the mold issues sorted out. I think I'm gonna stick with a quality hard wood and just seal it every year.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 9th, 09, 10:04 AM
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Re: Composite deck anyone?

You don't want Choice Deck. I did my deck about 9 years ago with CD and it does have a problem with mold. Needs to be PW'd each year, which doesn't sound unreasonable at first, but the mold is so deep in the boards that it takes me a full day with a 2750 PSI PW to clean a 350 SF deck.

I also beefed up the framing when I striped off the old 2X6 decking. Was 24" OC and I went to 12" OC but still have a bit of sagging between the joists.

Looked GREAT when it first went down, and doesn't look to bad after it's been cleaned. Just takes too darn long to clean it.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 9th, 09, 10:10 AM
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Re: Composite deck anyone?

I am in western Pa. My rails are Trex and the floor is Trex. I was told by a " Old " carpenter and the Trex people. ANY place that water can lay. Use Trex. Standing water on wood will kill it.
All my Vertical stuff is Treated wood, Everything that lays flat ( Top rails & Floor ) are Trex.
Every 2 years wash it down. 3-4 years a Coat of paint. NO problems. I would make no changes if I built a new deck.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 9th, 09, 10:31 AM
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Re: Composite deck anyone?

I have trex and have a problem with mold. Power wash it and its back in a month.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 9th, 09, 10:57 AM
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Re: Composite deck anyone?

I have a 22x18 (new design-grained))Trex deck in my rear yard. After 5 years I may get some slight mold only in the places shaded from the sun by furniture or BBQ. It appears that the leaves and other deposits from the trees left wet in a shaded area causes this. A very light scrub with car wash soap or dish soap once a year is all thats needed. I use a car-wash brush on a pole and give it a light scrub and its good for the whole season. HOWEVER the deck faces south and get full sun almost the entire day.

My front porch is done with 'early-design' trex (no grain) and is facing north (also not spaced properly), under a large portico. It never gets sun and tends to get more mold than the rear deck. STILL a once a year wash is all it gets. Again its apparent that tree deposits and lack of sun cause this.

Also note that I've used Trex and Evergrain with good results. SPACING IS IMPORTANT. Follow the manufacturers recommendations. Ive seen many composite decks mold up because they were not spaced properly and the water could not drain. If you buy trex the supplier should give you several spacer tools that give you the proper side and end spacing along with screw marks so all your screws are evenly spaced (so it looks nice). IIRC TREX is 1/4 side gap and 1/8 end gap. Seems big but looks nice when its done.

I'm putting an extension on my deck up to the pool level and will be using Trex, so you can call me a repeat customer.

As for railings, I went with Fairway. Its a vinyl pvc type. Very sturdy with extruded aluminum h-channel cores, no maintenance, but Very expensive. With railings you get what you pay for. My deck is 4 feet off the ground, and the way the kids lean and hang on everything, I wanted the peace of mind they wouldn't go off the side or snap a weak railing.

Also be sure to use the special dual pitch composite deck screws, gives a much nicer finished product and is worth the extra money.

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