How do I clean my deck?
This is the number one question we get. We recommend using low pressure water and a mild soap. Car wash soap works great as a detergent and using a push broom to scrub usually gets the job done.
For tough stains like rust and grease you can try to something a bit stronger but be careful and rinse well with water later. We may have a concentrated cleaner that usually does the job but you should call first.
Try and stay away from pressure washers because they will cause the deck to fade and wear much sooner. Also, bleach and ammonia will void your warranty.
Are estimates free?
In almost all cases the answer is yes. There are, however, the rare circumstances where I would need to charge for an estimate. This would be agreed on before an estimate is given. In most cases, budget numbers are given over the phone or email first and if the client agrees that the details and price are reasonable, someone would come out and do a final measure and determine the scope of work required.
How much would it cost to have my deck covered in vinyl? How do you estimate this?
Though every job is different we typically go on a square foot base of material ordered or cut. Remember that we usually add size so we can go up walls and down our flashing edge. If we take existing railings on and off, remove and reinstall siding, replace deteriorated wood, etc... this is also reflected in the price.
What type of plywood do you recommend be installed before our vinyl goes on?
Most decks have 5/8 tongue and groove (T&G) plywood. The T&G keeps the plywood together where they span over the joists. If there is no T&G then blocking is necessary. 3/4" plywood is great if you want a more solid feel but anything over that is unnecessary. Construction glue with spiral nails is most common for fastening but some like to use glue and screws for that little bit of extra assurance.
Do you recommend a regular grade vinyl or a roof grade vinyl?
The answer to this question has changed over the past few years. The BC Building Code went through a major change in 2006. The Homeowner Protection Office summarizes the 2006 code change by saying:
Roofing – Balconies, Decks and Exterior Walkways (9.26)
The 2006 BCBC now recognizes that elements like balconies, decks and exterior walkways with impervious surfaces can act as roofs and must be treated as such in all regions of the province… Deck membranes such as vinyl must now meet the appropriate roofing product standard.
To summarize, the code now said that all decks that are part of the building envelope are considered to be roofs and now require an approved roofing membrane. The demand on decking that met those requirements increased dramatically leading most local suppliers to focusing their product lines in this direction. The thinner materials have become almost obsolete with most BC decking companies like ours. The warranties are much better with most suppliers as well. The current supplier we use has a limited warranty on their product for 15 years.
How long does it take to install the decking and when can I use the deck?
Most installs take a day or less depending on the size. When we are done, the deck can be used immediately. The only thing to watch for is if any areas were caulked... this could take up to 2 days to dry.
What type of warranty do I get with my decking?
This will depend on the product you choose. As mentioned in the previous section, our current supplier, DekSmart, has a 15 year limited warranty. Our workmanship will cover you for 5 years. This would cover things like seams coming apart, adhesion, etc.
How wide do rolls of vinyl come in?
Most vinyl sundeck flooring comes in 6 foot wide rolls. This may vary depending on the manufacturer.
How do you seal the joints?
All of our joints or seams are overlapped about 5/8 of an inch. We apply heat to the bottom side joining the vinyl together and then we pass over the seam again giving it a cap weld (vulcanizing).
You've just finished installing the flooring and now I see bubbles.
During install we apply 2 solvent based materials, wood filler and glue. If these products go down in cooler conditions they may gas up when it gets warmer. Typically all gassing happens in the first day but may still linger for a few weeks.
If you notice bubbles after 3 weeks call us and we'll heat the area, reactivating the glue, and press it down. Please note that this only works for contact glue and not latex glue applications.
If there is a hole or rip in the vinyl can it be repaired and can I do it myself?
Whatever you do, DO NOT CAULK. This contaminates the vinyl making an otherwise easy fix, into a larger patch. If the rip or puncture is small we can usually fix this so that it becomes unnoticeable. If it is something large a patch can be installed. Patches are not covered under warranty.