Tag Archives: PVC Decking

What is Capstock Decking? New Composite Decking Review

Composite PVC Decking - capstock

Is the new composite decking option right for you?

You might have heard about the latest type of composite decking. There are multiple decking brands using what’s known in the plastic industry as “capstock.”

What is Capstock decking? Basically, Capstock is a new kind of composite decking material that combines composites (plastic and wood fiber core) with a “durable” exterior layer of vinyl (PVC). Think of it as a composite and PVC deck hybrid.

Like with most new products in the decking market, the companies that sell this kind of synthetic decking are doing their best by spending millions of dollars  to convince you that, FINALLY, this is a composite wood product you can trust. These brands are also trying their best to convince you and deck builders across the country that it is “as good as, or better” than natural hardwood decking in terms of durability and looks.

They even offer a 25-year warranty on their product. However, if you’ve done research, you will learn that, for many, composite decking warranties aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. Many people complain and have sued these artificial decking companies for not complying with the terms of their warranties.

Ironically, even a reputable publication like Professional Deck Builder says about the latest trend in capstock composite decking, “The lengthy warranties – most up to 25 years – indicate that manufacturers stand behind these products (though perhaps you’ve heard that before).” That’s a direct quote, folks. Even the home-building press is skeptical about these products and for good reason.

Another interesting fact that arose out of our research is the resistance of all composite decking companies to disclose the chemical makeup of their new decking materials. In fact, when FineHomebuilding Magazine was conducting their own research into these products for their article entitled “In Pursuit of the Perfect Plank” the author noted, “None of the manufacturers I spoke with would reveal what was in their proprietary polymer.” Why is that? Continue reading

A Vinyl Deck that Uses PVC Can Be Hazardous

According to the Healthy Building Network’s report on PVC in Buildings, “PVC is the worst plastic from an environmental health perspective, posing major hazards in its manufacture, product life, and disposal.”

That’s not some sales guy talking here. The HBN is making this statement because of a chemical used in PVC and vinyl decking called Dioxin. The HBN goes on to say that “Dioxin (the most potent carcinogen known), ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride are unavoidably created in the production of PVC and can cause severe health problems including:

  • Cancer
  • Endocrine disruption
  • Endometriosis
  • Neurological damage
  • Birth defects & impaired child development
  • Reproductive and immune system damage”

Wow…

Why PVC decking isn’t illegal is beyond me. Once you read the report, I’m sure you’ll agree with me. The fact that there are companies out there that are actually selling vinyl decking leaves me scratching my head. After reading that report and all the science backing it up, why would anyone use that stuff?

As an alternative to building a vinyl deck, one recommendation that the HBN report made was to use FSC certified materials and sustainable wood.

Advantage sells FSC Certified Wood

Advantage sells FSC Certified Wood

At Advantage, we carry and sell FSC wood lines that include:

  • FSC Ipe
  • FSC Tigerwood
  • FSC Garapa
  • FSC Cumaru

Many more species can be obtained by contacting us. We also offer wholesale pricing for those who order a truckload or shipping container’s worth of any of our sustainable wood lines.

Read the Healthy Building Network report on PVC in Buildings.