The Evolution of Decking: From Redwood to Composite

Building a redwood deck was very popular 20 years ago. We sold truckload after truckload of 2×6 decking grade redwood. At times, it was hard keeping the product in stock. A redwood deck was beautiful when completed with a nice red tone. It had very little blonde sap wood, and a clean finish you thought would last forever.

Today, we sell 20 times less redwood than back in the day. The product today has very little red tone and the blonde sap wood has taken over. The redwood still looks great when it is finished with stain, but the high cost of redwood plus the number of man hours to keep it beautiful almost makes it prohibitive to use. Today, we love our free time and don’t want to spend it sanding, power washing, and finishing a deck every two years.

Today’s popular decking materials are the composite or plastic decking. Composite decking is generally made from wood fibers mixed with plastic bags, then molded and cooled. There are several different products on the market, and the quality of these products continues to improve year after year. Composite decks provide a combination of beauty and performance. Combine a variety of natural wood tone colors, durability, and being maintenance free (with the exception of a good wash once a year) and you have the perfect mixture. Also, most decking products today are environmentally friendly while not containing harmful chemicals and consisting of recycled woods and plastics.

The composite decks haven’t had a perfect track record though. In the early years, most products had failures due to moisture or the color fading. Products today claim they can be installed on the ground, installed in the ground, or last a lifetime underwater. Now, I don’t know why I would want to build a deck underwater.

The product that I know the best and have a very good track record of selling is Moisture Shield. Moisture Shield can say that they have never had a failure or delamination due to moisture. They’ve never had a failure because of the way they manufacture their products. They know exactly what wood fibers and the amount of different plastic resins that are used in their product.Flagstaff Decking

There is a simple recipe for success with Moisture Shield. First, they clean the wood fibers from all of the contaminants (nails, rocks, dirt) and then cook the wood fibers to eliminate the moisture and expand the fiber. Second, they measure the different grades of plastic (secret formula) and put into a large vat; melting the plastic. When the plastic is melted and the wood fiber cooked; they mix the two together and feed it through a molder. The plastic mixture completely covers the wood fiber which is the key to eliminating product failure in the field. After the product is molded in 2×6 deck boards, the product goes for a long one mile ride on a conveyer belt to cool the product. Most other products go into a cooling bath; however a quick cooling creates an unstable product.

Moisture Shield also has one of the industry’s leading warranties. The Vantage and Pro products come with a transferrable lifetime warranty, and The Essentials product comes with a 20 year warranty, even while installed on the ground or underwater. I’m not aware of any decking product that comes with a lifetime warranty.

Once installed, the Moisture Shield decking requires very little maintenance. A good hosing or power washing is all that is needed; so you can spend your time grilling, socializing or just relaxing on your new deck. If you install your deck underwater, add swimming to your list.

Flagstaff Decking

Flagstaff Decking





{HomCo Lumber & Hardware has been in business for 40 years and in Flagstaff for 37 years. HomCo is locally owned by Mike & Penne Brackin.}