Trex vs Procell decking?

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  #1  
Old 04-24-06, 02:59 PM
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Trex vs Procell decking?

Anyone experienced using both of these? Which do you personally prefer? We live in a four season climate (PA) if that makes a difference...
 
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Old 04-24-06, 06:25 PM
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You're trying to compare apples and oranges.

Trex is a composite. Pro Cell is vinyl.

Trex (or any of the other 81 or 82 composites on the market) are about 50% wood fiber and 50% polyethylene. Having wood fiber means that it is going to be softer and more suseptible to scratching and staining than Pro Cell, which is 100% vinyl.

I've installed about 150 composite decks and about 50 Pro Cell decks. Pro Cell wins, hands down.
 
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Old 04-24-06, 08:05 PM
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Yes, they are apples and oranges, but at least they're both fruit right?

We just don't want the hassle of always staining, sealing, etc.. a treated lumber deck. Any alternative decking is a plus for the most part.

If you can be so kind, what is your favorite feature of Procell?

Do you not like Trex at all or just compared to Procell?

We got several estimates and the Trex decking, for the most part, came in a good $2-3k more than Procell. So we'd be all for Procell as far as the wallet's concerned. Heading out to a place on our day off (Thursday) to check out the Procell in person. Really liked the 'look' of the Trex Basilia, so this'll give us something to compare.

Thanks VERY much in advance for your personal insight. A lot of places around here only use one or the other, so won't get a true unbiased opinion from them...
 
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Old 04-25-06, 12:56 AM
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I haven't had an opportunity to do a Basilia deck yet, so I can't comment on that.

Pro Cell is harder to scratch and harder to stain than a composite. From what I've seen in revisiting several of the decks that I've built in the past few years, Pro Cell seems to be slower to start showing traffic patterns. Those are the reasons I prefer it over a composite.

Of the composites, Weather Best, Ever Grain, and Trex are probably my top three choices. The woodgrain pattern in Weather Best and Trex are done with a wheel, so you can see its repetition. Ever Grain's is done with a compression mold (the entire board is embossed at one time), and they have 15 molds, each with a different pattern. Finding the repetition in the pattern is difficult.

Weather Best is reversable -- wood grain on one side and a brushed finish on the other. That allows for more creativity in design, especially if you are using their railing system (brushed finish) with it as well.

Regardless of which one you finally choose, don't be afraid to mix and match colors a little. You see that in the Trex brochures -- there's no reason you can do it with your own deck.
 
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Old 05-10-06, 03:50 AM
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Lefty,
What about heat retention? Does either material get hot to walk on if it's a hot & sunny day?
 
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Old 05-10-06, 05:48 PM
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cammby,

I live in Redding, CA -- THAT makes me pretty knowledgeble on heat. (Most times Death Valley is hotter than we are, BUT NOT ALWAYS!!)

I shy away from dark color decks and suggest that my customers do the same. Medium and light colored composite or vinyl (Pro Cell) decks are no hotter than any of the redwood decks that exist around here. I have walked on them all barefoot at 4PM in the middle of August when the temp is 115 degrees or more. Not a problem. But I do know that Pro Cell will be a bit cooler at 8PM or 9PM, after the sun has gotten off of the deck and it begins to cool.
 
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Old 05-10-06, 05:50 PM
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Thanks Lefty!!!

You've made our decision final... Thank you so much for all your insight on this subject!!!
 
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Old 04-17-07, 06:10 AM
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Cammby, what did you decide and are you happy? We are in the exact same boat right now trying to decide between Procell and a composite alternative (or EON).

Thanks.
 
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Old 04-17-07, 06:16 PM
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We went with ProCell and are very happy with it to date.
 
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Old 06-10-08, 04:57 PM
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Procell and gasoline

I have a procell deck for 3 years and love it. Recently I spilled some gasoline on the deck and thought it would just evaporate. It left a stain.

Anyone know how to remove it? Of if not how to contact the manufacturer.

They no longer seem to have a website.
 
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Old 06-10-08, 06:00 PM
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epetre,

Welcome to the forums.

As far as the stain, try this. Spray it with Simple Green and scrub it with a nylon or plastic bristled brush, then rinse with clean water.

Pro Cell was taken over by Azek. Search Azek.com. Same stuff, same colors (other than Azek added white).

FYI, I would NEVER do a white deck, but as a perimeter accent, that white board, especially as a 1X4, works great!!
 
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Old 06-13-08, 02:22 PM
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Procell gasoline stain and simple green

Thanks
It worked. Simple green and a little elbow grease solve that problem and several other small "stains". Procell seems unstainable and indestructable. Looks great I love the stuff. If u like the look of painted wood you cannot go wrong.

E
 
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Old 06-16-08, 07:14 AM
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Procell Strength

This question is probably for Lefty since he seems to be the expert on Procell but I'd like to hear from anyone who is knowledgable on the subject.

I am building a deck soon and strongly considering Procell because it does seem to be the best composite (vinyl) on the market. Although, I was recently at a lumber yard that had a Procell deck constructed outside. When walking on the deck I noticed the Procell boards flexed and did not feel very solid. The boards were at a 90 degree angle and the joist spacing was 16" oc. The lumber salesman confirmed that since Procell did not have any wood fibers it lacked the strength (and weight) of the "true" composites. I realize this "flexing" could be fixed with 12" oc joists but I want to put the decking on at a 45 degree angle which will effectively mean a longer span between joists. Do I tighten the joist spacing further?

I do like the other benefits of Procell.....doesn't seem to stain or fade at all. I placed a Procell color sample on a Procell deck that had been up for 2 years and there seemed to be no fading at all. This was especially impressive when I noticed a Tuscan walnut Weatherbest deck that most of the grain faded off the deck boards. It was built about the same time as the Procell.

Another unrelated question is how do I construct the railing when there are many 30 and 45 degree angles. The problem I forsee is having the angle cut on the composite handrail that is wider than the 4x4 post where the handrail buts to the post at an angle. I don't like to look of the railing system that matches the Procell decking, so I plan on selecting another railing system even if I choose Procell decking. I think I'll use a composite 2x4 for the top and bottom rail because I want to use Deckorator flat metal balusters that need a solid surface to screw into. I've seen contractors use a decking board in place of a handrail but it would then seem that you can't extend the 4x4 posts higher than the handrail and use decorative post caps....which I want to do.

Thanks
 
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Old 06-16-08, 03:37 PM
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Trimdeck2008,

Welcome to the forums.

Yes, I have heard a couple of people comment on the 'flex' or 'spring' in Azek (Pro Cell) decking. I've never really noticed it, but all of those who have made the comment are at least 35 to 40 lbs. heavier than I am.

As a result of those comments, I have decreased my joist spacing on Azek decks to 13" to 14" when the boards are running square to the joists. If they will be running on a diagonal, reduce it further, about 9" to 10".

To get the angles in the railing to work with the posts, set the posts at 1/2 of the agle of the corner. If the corner is a 45, set the posts at 22-1/2 degrees, so the angle cut on the end of each rail coming into it will be 22-1/2 degrees. That should allow you to attach the rail so that it's not hanging off of the edge of the post.

Having the posts extend up past the top of the top rail so a cap can be installed means the top rail will end into the side of the posts, not lay on top of them. You may have to fabricate blocks (say, out of a piece of deck board that matches the top rail) to support each edge of the top rail where it attaches to the post. Doesn't have be anything large. Usually a piece that's about 1" X 1", about 4" or 5" long on each side of the Deckorator baluster is all that's needed.

Sounds like it's going to be a really nice deck. Post pictures of it!!
 
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Old 06-18-08, 07:51 PM
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pro cell stain question

Hello -
I have a quick question. We have a pro cell deck (love it) and a friend of mind sprayed sunscreen on her kids on the deck. I now have darker stains where the sunscreen hit the deck. Does anyone know how I can get the stains off?
Thanx
 
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Old 06-19-08, 11:04 AM
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wadelman,

Start with Simple Green. My customer's have had success with it on a variety of stains on Pro Cell (or Azek), from citranella candle wax to Redding's red clay dirt that can stain almost anything.
 
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Old 06-19-08, 05:13 PM
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tried simple green

Hi Lefty -
Thank you for your reply. I did try simple green and lots of scrubbing and no luck. I called azek and also sent pictures. The person I talked to told me to try future floor finish - have you heard of this? I'm scared to do this because I don't want to have to do this every year.
I am really bummed because the deck is less than a year old! Have any other ideas to try? I've tried scrubbing bubbles, comet, windex, soap and water . . .
thanx
 
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Old 07-08-08, 05:36 PM
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Scuffs on Pro Cell

Had great results with Simple green and gasoline. Powerwashed my procell deck and looks like new.

However I have what I can best describe as linear scuff marks. Perhaps do to dragging furniture but I do not really know what caused them.

Any suggestions for removing these scuffs?
 
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Old 07-10-08, 11:20 AM
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lefty (or anyone else who can help):

I have the same sunscreen spray spots on my ProCell deck (2 1/2 year old deck). The builder said to use softscrub, which didn't work. I will try Simple Green. Do you know of anything else like this to avoid on the deck? I have two toddlers and things come up.

Also, we have a sandbox on the deck, so I put a doormat by the door to catch some of it. I moved the doormat to clean when the sunscreen thing happened and there are light colored splotches under it. Apparently, builders friends of mine have used said not to use doormats. I have removed mine, but is there any way to undo the damage?
 
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Old 07-18-08, 12:41 PM
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Smile Lefty

Originally Posted by lefty View Post
You're trying to compare apples and oranges.

Trex is a composite. Pro Cell is vinyl.

Trex (or any of the other 81 or 82 composites on the market) are about 50% wood fiber and 50% polyethylene. Having wood fiber means that it is going to be softer and more suseptible to scratching and staining than Pro Cell, which is 100% vinyl.

I've installed about 150 composite decks and about 50 Pro Cell decks. Pro Cell wins, hands down.
I know that this thread is pretty old but has anyone clarified that TREX has a PVC product called Escapes™? The difference between TREX Escapes and AZEK Deck is that TREX ESCAPES has a Class A fire rating (E84 Flame Spread & Smoke) where as AZEK Deck only has a class B which can put off 2x's as much smoke. Also, TREX Escapes is a lot more resistant to mold. (AWPA E24-06)TREX Escapes mold resistance is 0.3 versus AZEK Decks 5.3 rating. The rating system is as follows: 0 = No Growth; 2 = Hardly Noticed
3-4 = Slightly Noticed; 5-7 = Definitely Noticed
8-9 = Severely Stained; 10 = Completely covered
 
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Old 09-15-08, 06:21 PM
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trex vs azek decking

I'm about to choose material to replace my existing wood deck. I've got it down to Trex or Azek. Here in Harrisburg the cost of Azek is running about 50% more than Trex so I'm leaning toward Trex. Anyone have any thoughts?
 
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Old 09-30-08, 06:40 PM
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Just had Azek deck installed and first weekend in use sprayed bug spray on kids and myself while on deck. Next morning the deck had white spray stains all over it, outlining feet and spray marks all over. Contacted Azek and they gave me a bunch of stain removers to try, nothing worked and currently in law suit to replace deck boards. Azek is not cooperating. Beware................................
 
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Old 09-30-08, 07:52 PM
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Hi Rjcrosby,

That's not good. I am using Azek soon after a long research.
Do you have any pictures? What kind of bug spray you have been using, so I can avoid it? My contractor is using procell which is same as Azek. And he said that they have been very good for a while.

Keep me post it with your lawsuit. I might need it one day.

Thanks,
Luan
 
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Old 09-30-08, 08:24 PM
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Hi, I've read good things about Procell and have read a lot of bad things about trex. I decided to go with an alternative all Vinyl product. I posted some pictures and pros/cons of the product here. http://decksummer08.shutterfly.com/

Check it out and if you have any comments feel free to PM me.

D in MN
 
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Old 10-06-08, 12:41 PM
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Pro Cell now Azek

First, I have been reading much of the conversations in this forum and having been in the building industry for forty years I have to say you should trust what Lefty has to say. I have no doubt that he has done his homework, speaks from experience and is a pro.

Couple of things. I have dealt with Azek for years. They have always strived to be on the cutting edge. When they researched the Pro Cell product they bought the company. Now it's Azek decking with "Procell Technology". Next they wanted the best railing system to go with what they fealt was the best deck plank. They found it in Composatran's Premier Railings and bought the company. Anyone that is looking for a maintenance free won't find it BUT if you are looking for the LEAST labor intensive deck product Azek IS it. So is their new rail.

I represent ABC Supply in Prescott Valley, AZ and I am proud to say I now carry Azek decking products. Delivery is no longer a problem Arizona.

Regards
 
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Old 10-07-08, 09:42 AM
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Had my budget allowed I probably would have chosen Azek. I liked the product, but it put the cost of my deck over budget.
 
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Old 10-13-08, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by j_kempf View Post
I know that this thread is pretty old but has anyone clarified that TREX has a PVC product called Escapes™? The difference between TREX Escapes and AZEK Deck is that TREX ESCAPES has a Class A fire rating (E84 Flame Spread & Smoke) where as AZEK Deck only has a class B which can put off 2x's as much smoke. Also, TREX Escapes is a lot more resistant to mold. (AWPA E24-06)TREX Escapes mold resistance is 0.3 versus AZEK Decks 5.3 rating. The rating system is as follows: 0 = No Growth; 2 = Hardly Noticed
3-4 = Slightly Noticed; 5-7 = Definitely Noticed
8-9 = Severely Stained; 10 = Completely covered
Hi J_kempf:

I The facts you state are correct. We have introduced a 100% cellular PVC product called Trex Escapes.

The information you note above is accurate. Trex Escapes features enhanced stain, mold and scratch resistance, ultra low maintenance and superior fire resistance, for an appealing outdoor living area that is both durable and beautiful.
 

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Old 10-14-08, 11:09 AM
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Trex vs. Azek

Correct me if I'm wrong but I only know of two cellular pvc manufacturers that have processed a mono extrusion formula. Azek being one and VekaDeck the other. It's my understanding that Trex has employed VekaDeck to provide Trex with it's own line of cellular pvc but that VekaDeck made the Trex product line with a dual extrusion process which is creating delamination issues with other composite manufacturers getting on the pvc bandwagon. Since Azek bought Pro Cell and the patented process along with it I haven't seen anyone else come up with the mono extrusion technology other than VekaDeck.
 
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Old 10-28-08, 11:45 AM
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Trex response

Hi bigred110:


There was no evidence of delamination issues of our Trex Escapes product line while VEKA was producing it however Trex and VEKA have mutually agreed to terminate VEKA's production of Trex Escapes.

Market acceptance of Trex Escapes has been strong, and the product manufactured by the new vendors will continue to have the same look and quality as the product previously manufactured by VEKA.
 

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Old 02-09-09, 08:27 PM
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Any more information on how the Trex escapes is holding up since not being produced by Veka? I am making the decision to purchase composite/vinyl and now am narrowing it down to the product. My deck will be north facing and approximately 800 square feet. Possibly could balloon into 12-1300 if I can find a good price on a product I want.
 
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Old 02-24-09, 11:31 AM
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Does Azek get very hot I live in the NY area my deck measure s11x9 want to replace the wood deck with either trex or Azek any suggestins heard that trex has a mold problem & stains easily .
 
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Old 02-24-09, 12:08 PM
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tonig,

No, Azek doesn't get any hotter in the summer heat than wood does, and it cools off quicker in the evening once the sun gets off of it.

Where I live (Redding, CA) we rival Las Vegas NV and Phoenix AZ for summer heat. Days of 112 to 115 are more the rule than an exception, and I've installed about 15 Azek / Pro Cell decks in this area.
 
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Old 02-26-09, 07:14 AM
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thanks do you have a info /experince with fiberon or timbertech my deck has sun most of the day .My main concern is stains & mold . whtever input you can givem would be great.
 
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Old 02-26-09, 12:18 PM
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tonig,

Fiberon and Timbertech are both composites. They contain wood fiber. Azek is 100% vinyl -- no wood fiber.

A composite (I don't care what brand it is) is going to stain easier, scratch easier and be more suseptable to mold than vinyl. Mold on a deck only occurs when the owner ignors it and lets dirt and organic waste sit on it. Mold can't grow without food, and dirt and organic waste are its food. Hose it off a few times a year and you won't have mold. Don't let leaves sit on it in the fall. Blow, sweep or hose them off. Same with pollen in the spring.
 
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Old 03-04-09, 09:23 AM
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I've been researching composite and vinyl/plastic decking and am leaning towards the vinyl/plastic as opposed to composites. I signed up for Consumer Reports, in order to access their Decking Test report, and found that Azek had a very good rating overall in the category of plastic decking. I have also been looking at other similar vinyl/plastic deck products, which includes Trex Escapes, TimberTech XLM (which has a composite core surrounded by a vinyl/plastic cover), and Gossen WeatherReady / Passport. From what I understand, the Gossen WeatherReady is similar to the Azek line. The Gossen Passport is a type of laminated deck (similar to laminate flooring) and has a very nice wood look to it. Unfortunately, the Passport only comes in a dark redish-brown and grey. Would be interested if anyone has good reports on other vinyl/plastic decking that I could compare to the ones I've researched.
 
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Old 03-05-09, 07:26 AM
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I built my deck with a product called Quadra. It has some pros and cons, check out the link I posted earlier in this thread.
 
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Old 03-20-09, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by lefty View Post
tonig,

No, Azek doesn't get any hotter in the summer heat than wood does, and it cools off quicker in the evening once the sun gets off of it.

Where I live (Redding, CA) we rival Las Vegas NV and Phoenix AZ for summer heat. Days of 112 to 115 are more the rule than an exception, and I've installed about 15 Azek / Pro Cell decks in this area.
Can the smooth side of Azek porch flooring be used as the walking surface, or do I have to use the grain side up?
 
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Old 03-28-10, 02:34 PM
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Azek/Procell does not stand behind its product

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We have had many problems with our Procell/Azek deck and so have many others. We paid top dollar for this material and still have the original pamphlet that says "stubborn stains and mold don't stand a chance". We have over 1,000 sq. ft. of decking that cost a lot of money and it started to look old and worn after the first few months. We called the company and they sent a crew to clean it, a three step processand very time consuming. As a matter of fact the company had a crew traveling all over the states doing exactly this (cleaning Procell decks). We asked what would happen if this treatment didn't hold and it stained again. They said that they would come back as often as needed because it was guaranteed. It held up for a few months and them it happened again - mold, stains, white spots, black spots, and fading. The company advertised that all you need to clean it was soap and water. Well soap and water did not clean this. We called them again. They sent a crew out again and they said it was oxidation and they would clean it with a newer solution and, they cleaned it once again. It was ok for a few months. Then, stains, scratches and spots appeared again along with stains now on the Azek white trim that the crew had touched with this "solution." I am about to call them again. This deck is not quite three years old. Someone online said that they heard It had to be a bad batch. It must have been because there are some people who have this decking and have had no problems so far. Now the company is saying that you have to apply a solution to the decking every year to restore it. Well, that is not good enough. We purchased Procell (top dollar) because you did not have to do anything to clean it but use only soap and water for stains. If that was the case we would have kept our wooden deck that looked much better than this! This is false advertising. And this "solution" costs $69 dollars a bottle. Well if this deck has a lifetime guarantee how much will this cost year after year after year. I am reaching out to anyone who has had problems with this product. Maybe we can start a class action suit and get our money back. Other companies have had problems and they stood behind their product and refunded the cost of materials to their customers. We are out a lot of money and I will not stop until something is done. Please let me know if you have had any success in resolving your problem.
 
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