UV exposure can cause a photochemical breakdown of the polymers used to manufacture composite decking. Over time, some decking surfaces erode enough that they can be easily gouged out with a fingernail. While decking manufacturers have made improvements to their products that provide longer-lasting color and better mechanical properties, there are thousands of older-generation vinyl- and WPC-based decks with significant fading and surface deterioration. The vast majority of them are still mechanically sound and simply need a surface restoration to bring back their color, appearance, and surface durability. As Shane O’Neill explained in a recent PDB article, composite decking can often be restored with a good paint job (see “Painting Composite Decking,” May/June 2012). But my company offers additional solutions for restoring faded, stained, and degraded deck surfaces that were not discussed in that article.
For decking manufactured of vinyl and vinyl blends, including profile and cellular decking, and decking with vinyl or other plastic capstocks, my company recommends a single-coat version of our Versacryl restoration coating system. This field-applied coating is available in five standard colors and a clear finish, but we can also match OEM colors for warranty work. For WPC decks (with or without capstocks), our single-coat version is suitable for decking that is faded and stained but hasn’t experienced significant mechanical surface deterioration. For deteriorated WPC decking, we offer a two-coat system that has a reinforcing primer to restore mechanical strength to the deck surface. Our opaque topcoat allows the homeowner to either match or change the original decking color.
Versacryl coating systems require prep work similar to that described by Mr. O’Neill, but are available only through a network of regional managers and certified application contractors. Contractors interested in joining the Versacryl team can contact us through the website at versacryl.us, where there is a contractor contact tab that will guide them through the process.
Bob Harris, Innovative Plastics Technologies