If building a green home has taught me anything, it’s that the best products in the world can be a bitter disappointment if a manufacturer or service company treats me badly. Heck, I can even forgive a disappointing product if the supplier or manufacturer makes a sincere effort to amend a bad situation. If they don’t, well, I can be a pretty unforgiving consumer. And I have a long memory.
So when I go to a tradeshow like the NAHB International Builders Show (IBS) I’m not just looking at products. I’m looking at how the people in the booth respond to me. If they are kind, respectful and genuinely interested in me, then I’m that much more interested in their products. It instills confidence in me as a consumer.
I got this kinds of reception at the MoistureShield® booth a few weeks ago at IBS. Now, I’m a southern gal and these folks were from Arkansas, so we probably shared a certain kinship from the get-go. Still, they took me into their booth and had a long, thoughtful conversation with me in the midst of a crazy tradeshow atmosphere. You could say they had me at “Hello” – or “Hey there” as the case may be.
Sustainable, Recycled DeckingMoistureShield makes a composite deck product that closely (very closely) resembles the look of real wood. It is made of 30% post-consumer and 60% pre-consumer recycled materials making it overall 90% recycled. More specifically, the product is manufactured with a 50/50 blend of recycled wood fibers and plastics, to which it probably owes its realistic appearance.
All that is well and good, but any homeowner is going to have certain reservations about usinga composite wood decking. The concept has had rocky start, so inquiring minds want to know: Will it fade? Will it warp? Is it prone to mold or mildew?
As far as fading, any decking material will fade somewhat when exposed to UV rays, but MoistureShield says that each of its products will remain within its same color family, presumably maintaining its aesthetic integrity.
In terms of durability, MoistureShield warrants all its products against rot, decay and termite damage with a limited warranty ranging from 20-years to lifetime, depending on the product. The company is very proud of the fact that it has never had a product recall or failure due to product delamination, decay, or rot (Not every composite deck manufacturer can say that!). This durability is due to a process called “total encapsulation” which means all the wood fibers are aligned and encapsulated in plastic. This process makes them more resistant to moisture and warping due to thermal movement.
I was as impressed as one can be without having used the product or worked with the company directly myself. But just to balance out my own subjective observations, I did some checking on the Internet and all the reviews I found were consistently favorable. In fact, I ran across one composite decking blog in which the writer’s impressions of the company seemed to mirror my own.
I admit I’ve had some reservation about composite decking even though I love the idea of using a recycled product that is far more maintenance-free than wood. Bottom line, I wouldn’t be afraid to use this product. And I just might.