Decking info


I am currently planning reworking a backyard deck and then screening it in.
I have no experience in the synthetic decking materials but have heard of Trex. If you guys have worked with any of the composites I would appreciate your feedback on your experience and preferences.
I have pretty much decided to screw it down instead of nailing it and then I'd like to roof it over and screen it in.
Thanks guys.
RonT
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Since you are re-working you may also have to add some supports. The joist spacing for composites is different than for wood. IIRC, the Trex web site has the info you need.
For screws for composites, as well as every other type of deck hardware, check out www.mcfeelys.com They have much good information in their catalog.
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I have a deck (about 700 sqft) of Trex, and I can tell you I am not happy with it at all. I spend more time cleaning it than I would any other wood product. I have a constant problem with mold growing on the stuff. It takes some serious time with a pressure washer, three times a year to get it clean. 3 hours each time to get it clean.
I have an addition going on and the architect mentioned that it was a common problem with Trex. You can sort of confirm this at Trex web page. They seem to have some pretty detailed instructions for cleaning the fake wood.
Part of my deck is coming off for the addition. As recommended by the architect, I will be replacing it with mahogany. Not much more expensive for the imported stuff.
Chris
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it
Are you using a deck cleaner first?

common
seem
I live in the Seattle area and have not had that problem - is your deck in the shade?

In our area IPE is only a bit more than Trex - mahogany is not as maintainence free as IPE is. . .
BillyB
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BillyB.
Thanks for the tips. To be honest we have tried just about everything. Even so far as using bleach. Even after scrubbing with bleach and soap it still takes a lot of work with the pressure washer to get it off. No real shad to speak of and no roof over it. It is elevated an average of 4' over a gravel base. Drains pretty good. Not sure if it is a bad batch (who knows what is in there), or something local that is attacking it. It is by far from trouble free and I would much rather have PT than the Trex.
I am sure that I am not the norm, but I have heard plenty of others here in the NE that have had similar problems.
I have thought of using IPE. When the time comes I will definitely check the price and avalibility.
Chris
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The state of Florida is starting to use IPE on their wetlands boardwalks as an experiment to see if "pay me now or pay me later" is true. I saw some that was a year old and 4 hurricanes later. It looked very good. I am thinking I may be an IPE fan. The cheapest I have seen it is on the far side of $4 B/F so the "pay me now" part is painful. I haven't really shopped it though. My wife's company buys abouit a half million worth of building materials a year from a local supplier so I may have an "in".
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wrote:

The only downside I have heard about IPE is the fact it is so hard that you have to drill every screw hole and it is hard on blades etc. - would have used it but had Trex on the front porch so decided to keep it all uniform.
BillyB
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Howdy!

[snip]
Hmmm... The information I've seen with Trex specifically says *not* to use a power washer, as that can damage the surface.
I put in a 350 sqft deck about ten years ago. I'm in Maryland, near DC, and I've had zero problems with mold, and have spent zero dollars on maintenance. I spent about 50% more on the Trex than I would have on 5/4 PT pine.
I'd recommend it in a heartbeat, and I'd use it again.

I wouldn't go that far. They do offer instructions for removing or mitigating a wide variety of "dirt". Basic cleaning is soap, hot water, and a stiff bristle brush. Again, they specifically warn against using a power washer, and provide pressure/distance parameters if you must use one.
Mold could be a problem under certain conditions of moisture and shade, but that is pretty obvious (I'd think). My deck gets lots of sun, so that probably works against any mold problems.
http://trex.com/Universal/product_info/workingwithtrex/careandcleaning.asp is the specific page in question.
yours, Michael
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Michael and MJ Houghton | Herveus d'Ormonde and Megan O'Donnelly
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