All products designed for exterior use will eventually be affected by Mother Nature. PVC, man's best attempt at prolonging the life cycle of various building products, performs an admirable job in delaying the inevitable, but it will, however show some signs of degradation.
Warnings against the effects of UV (ultra violet) rays on the skin are common. After a period of years, these same rays may affect outdoor products; and therefore, manufacturers add UV screens and stabilizers to prolong the life of PVC (vinyl) materials. These screens are designed to resist the cracking, embrittlement and discoloration of the vinyl. The thicker the vinyl, the greater the resistance to degradation.
Appearance versus Waterproofing
The prime function of the sheet vinyl product you purchased is to waterproof the space beneath, to protect the structure from rot, eliminate maintenance and to provide a durable, long-lasting, skid-resistant surface. Its initial appearance will eventually deteriorate, but this does not affect its ability to provide waterproofing.
The strength of our system is that in the method we use to weld the vinyl sheets together. The vinyl sheets are overlapped and heat fused. The seam is visible. Other systems previously used that offered invisible seams resulted in waterproofing failures.
Like any other floor surface, vinyl may scuff if abused. Try to avoid dragging heavy objects over unprotected PVC. Skidding a bicycle tire, a roller blade or the edge of a running shoe across the vinyl creates friction, and the extreme heat and abrasion may possibly remove the print. Our membranes are manufactured with a solid 'base' color, which is complementary, rather than obtrusive if the print finish is removed. Normal traffic will not damage the vinyl at all. Solid color membranes are available for high-traffic areas.
What Happens When the Material Ages?
If an appearance change is desired, our sheet vinyls can be painted with a specially formulated coating. The emboss texture will be preserved, but any print will obviously be replaced by a solid color.
As a rule, the lighter the color you choose, the cooler the surface will stay and the less deterioration will occur. Darker colors will fade faster and be warmer on the feet. All vinyl tends to 'yellow' slightly. Grays show it the most, while the 'yellowing' is hidden within earth-toned products.
Products with higher contrast in the print may show signs of fading sooner than low-contrast colors. Solid colors will resist the visible effects of the UV the longest. However, high contrast in the print helps to hide blemishes in the floor surface beneath, as well as the other from everyday use. The lower the contrast in colors, the more these blemishes and the dirt will show. Solid color products are the most unforgiving. Blemishes such as plywood seams, nail-head depressions or even plywood grain patterns can show up in late evening or early morning sunshine, which casts a long, revealing shadow.
With our 25 plus years of experience, Duradek membranes are designed with proven blends of color, print and texture, which offer the longest-lasting performance the industry can offer.
The better the surface, the better-finished floor we can give you. Sanded plywood or cement board will give the best-finished surface possible. As a rule, ¼" x 3/8" plywood will warp due to absorption of moisture from the atmosphere. We recommend 'over laying' with minimum ½" and preferably 5/8" plywood or 5/16" cement board for the flattest possible subsurface.
For the best product performance and customer enjoyment of their deck surface, the structure should be sloped (ideally 2%) to eliminate ponding water. Should puddling occur, the area will require more regular cleaning due to the build-up of dirt and pollutants. Ponding water will not affect the waterproofing of the vinyl but may eventually cause premature discoloration.
All penetrations (posts, pillars) must be sealed to prevent water entering under the vinyl. All wood posts or pillars will crack and give access for water to get into the subsurface and under the vinyl. Regular inspection and caulking is required. To completely waterproof a post, either fasten it to the fascia of the building or completely cover it with waterproof membrane and clad. When fastening metal rails or posts to the deck surface, all pilot holes should be filled with a sealant before a screw is inserted.
When using the vinyl indoors where the temperature change is slight, the vinyl can be butt-seamed with a chemical sealer (like a kitchen floor seam). No perimeter fastening is required to control shrinkage.
Vinyl will resist most staining materials. Some do cause problems, though. Exterior oil-based stains, some oil stains, any tar- or bitumen-based product, fresh cedar, and some new wolmanized lumber may permanently stain the vinyl. Biodegradable matter such as leaves, when left on the vinyl for a prolonged period, may also be very difficult to clean. If any of the above should occur, try to clean off as soon as possible so the stain doesn't have a chance to set. Refer to the Care and Cleaning Instructions on the back of the warranty card or on the website.
Do not attempt to clean stains, paint or any blemish using any bleach, acetone, turpentine, lacquer thinner, ketone, acid or multipurpose stain or print remover, or you may cause removal of the print. The directions must be followed explicitly to avoid damaging the print. The cleaning solution must be dabbed, NOT rubbed, cleaned well with cleanser and water, and then flushed with lots of clean water. Always test on an out-of-the-way place to ensure there will be no problems.