PVC Decking – An Alternative to Wood
When looking for an alternative to traditional wood decking, there can be an overwhelming choice of products. PVC decking is one option that lasts much longer than traditional wood and still gives the beautiful look of hardwoods. PVC stands for polyvinylchloride and is a long lasting, lower maintenance solution to an outdoor living space.
PVC decking is a low maintenance option for traditional hardwood decking. There are several benefits to choosing PVC decking to complete an outdoor living space such as no splinters, low maintenance, and a lower lifetime cost than hardwood decking. And installers love it because it is a lighter weight product and equally as durable as composite decking.
PVC decking products are made with durability and versatility in mind. Homeowners looking for a wood alternative should consider composites and PVC to create an outdoor space that never needs staining or painting, eliminates splinters and won’t twist or warp; it is resistant to mold and insects as well as provides choices on color and exotic looks. PVC decking products are solid plank boards and are strong enough to withstand even tough climates and usage.
Neither PVC decking nor composite decking products are designed and made to support a deck structurally, so the boards are installed over traditional wood posts and joists. Only the surface of the deck is made with PVC or composite boards. The deck can, however, be fastened with hidden fasteners so that it will have a nail-free appearance. A consideration when building a PVC deck is that the boards will expand and contract with temperature changes. Therefore, it is important to leave tolerances or spaces between the boards so that normal expansion and contraction allows for adequate drainage and air flow. By nature, PVC decking is waterproof so it is also a great choice for a very rainy or wet climates, lakes or coastal areas.
Most PVC decking earns a Class A flame spread rating, required in fire prone areas. They are low maintenance and can be cleaned with a spray of the garden hose in most cases. For tougher stains, a household cleaning product may be required for complete stain removal. Neither PVC nor composites requires staining or sealing like a traditional hardwood deck and both are designed to look like real wood. With several options for decking on the market today, including composite decking, traditional wood decking, and PVC decking, you can create a unique and inviting outdoor space that is easy to maintain and is a beautiful extension of your home.