Low Maintenance Decks
Low maintenance decking is often misunderstood as maintenance free. There is no product available that is completely maintenance free. All decking and railing products need to be cleaned on an annual basis to keep them looking great.
Low maintenance decking has made leaps and bounds towards correcting many of the original issues associated with the first generation products. These advances require constant attention in the deck building industry. Because of this it requires a specialized deck builder, like PHI Decks, to stay up to date on industry advances.
Within the low maintenance category there are several options that range in price, color, style and degree of maintenance. These options can be broken into three categories:
Wood/Plastic Composite is one of the original low-maintenance decking options. Trex pioneered the industry with the release of their first generation composite in 1999. The early generation “Accents” line was produced by from wood scrap, sawdust and plastics. Although billed as “maintenance free” this product was prone to scratching, staining, fading and mold.
Capped composite decking takes the early success of wood/plastic composites and improves on it by wrapping a composite core with a durable outer polymer shell. This outer shell helps to protect the decking from the elements as well as introducing a deeper graining pattern. There are many different options available in the capped composite category. The TimberTech Legacy collection was introduced in 2014 and goes one step further in bringing the indoors out with a hand scraped deck board that compliments popular hand scraped wood floors. This lineup includes 7 colors.
PVC decking products are the superior low maintenance decking option. Made of a PVC core wrapped with a slightly higher grade PVC “wear layer”, these products are the ultimate in low maintenance. The hard outer layer resists scratching as well as effectively eliminating all fading and staining. The outer layer also allows manufacturers to introduce variegated colors with darker and lighter streaks of other colors throughout the surface of the board. This leads to a much more realistic looking deck board. Azek Decking introduced their Vintage Collection in early 2015 which takes the variegated colors to a new level as well as a new brushed finish. There are currently 6 colors available in this line of decking as well as 5 colors in the Harvest collection and 6 colors in the Arbor collection.
Of the 100 decking manufactures a select few have remained leaders in the industry throughout the years. They do this by continuing to do market research, innovating new products, and relentless testing. PHI Decks has close relationships with TimberTech, Azek and Trex and feels 100% confident in installing their products.
PHI Decks would be more than happy to go into further detail about any, or all, of these categories during the consultation.