Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Out with the "mold", in with the new.


Well, it's been a long, frustrating journey my friends.  But the Trex saga has come to an end.  At least from my ownership perspective.  The new Ipe deck has been installed at our house and I must say, my wife and I are both very pleased with the results.

The picture above is of my original Trex deck.  Blah!  As a reader of this blog, I probably don't need to recap you with the constant nightmare that Trex has proven to be.  The persistant mold, the loss of color, and the eventual deterioration of boards due to multiple applications of bleach-based cleaning solutions.

Done!  Finished!  Finito!




The next set of pictures are of my newly installed Ipe deck.  What a world of difference!!!  We used Ipe decking with Ipe clips so as not to have an visible screws.  Cedar rail supports with an Ipe finish top rail.  Black aluminum balusters, capped off with some copper post caps.






Now according to Trex, mold is an environmental condition that is in no way caused by or encouraged by Trex products.  Okay, fine.  So, here comes the real test with my new deck.  I will do nothing more than sweep my deck and gently hose off for a routine cleaning procedure.  If Trex is correct, that it doesn't matter what material is installed, then I should see black mold covering my deck in approximately 18-24 months.  The clock is ticking Trex.  I'll be very curious to see if my deck turns into a petri dish much like my old deck.


Friends and relatives with Ipe decks, or any natural material for that matter, have never has any sort of mold problems with their decks.  Even neighbors who opted for composite material such as Azek haven't had any issues and they are going on three years.

I'm told that yearly maintenance for my new deck includes:  washing off with a hose,  and applying penofin oil to bring back the lustrous sheen you see in these pictures.  This type of work is much more acceptable to me than the type of effort I was applying to my Trex deck.

The beauty of this is that when I'm done maintaining my deck on an annual basis, I will have something that I can be proud of;  unlike my old Trex deck which after a lot of elbow grease was equivalent to polishing a turd.

I hope this blog has been informative and entertaining.  I certainly hope that if you are looking to install a new deck, or replace an existing one, that you weigh all your options carefully before making a decision.  I wish I would have.

Cheers!

16 comments:

  1. Fuck Trex. Bullshit. Write a letter to the CEO and see what he has to say. If he blows it off, then try to take the fucking company down mother fucker.

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  2. Well said. :) Several people in our facebook group have written to Trex and called regarding their problems. Unfortunately, Trex has decided to hide behind their warranty instead of doing the right thing. Just like the automobile brake pad manufacturer in the movie "Tommy Boy", all they have done is guaranteed a piece of shit. This leaves unhappy customers with one final solution: tell everyone you know about your experiences so they don't make the same mistake that you did.

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  3. I am currently looking at building a new set of stairs / deck for the front of our house and looked at the EON materials from HOMEDEPOT. I was advised by their installer to go with Trex instead of EON as EON would be slippery when wet especially in the winter.

    After reading horror story after horror story about Trex, I've come to the conclusion that I need to re-think the materials that I am going to use for my stairs / deck.

    By chance did you use the Trex Transend line?

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  4. We mistaken built our deck with Trex Accents product line. Color was mold. Oops, I mean color was Saddle. Trex Transcend is a better product from Trex from what I'm told. It is not susceptible to the constant mold that you may experience like the product I had purchased.

    I certainly would never encourage anyone to purchase any Trex material. I would continue to look for other alternatives that may be more suitable to your particular application.

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  5. If the deck remains constantly wet, a perfect environment exists for fungus and bacterial to establish itself and rot to begin. In a worst case, wet rot will result in wood members turning to mush over time.

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  6. Unfortunately, the composite deck systems have bad reputation here in US. The meaning of composition established as composition of recycled shopping bags pet bottles and wood pulp (Junk paper products). Genuine composition should be PVC and wood flour extruded and should not have any recycled material used, as it is meant to be in other parts of the world. Genuine composite deck is the only solution to the decking needs. Check out the newest European system Pensadeck. It is unlike any of the home depot grade so called composite deck.

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  7. I use to prefer the composite decking. Recently I have acquired into the new house at where I use the futurewood composite decking. It was just something like cost effective for me. Hope anyone wanted checkout there website.

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  8. Wow. We're looking at putting in a small elevated deck off our master bedroom and our contractor recommended Trex. Because of past "hastiness errors" we've had with this contractor (nothing serious, but it pays to double check), I decided to do a little research. While Consumer Reports rates the composites has having their issues end in 2006, it is clear that this is not the case. And these stories about Trex have just cost Trex my business...not sure if I will go natural wood or plastic, but I will not be going Trex.

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  9. I can sympathize with the blog owner. Reading the review sounded very familiar to me. I opted for the more expensive, low maintenance solution to traditional timber decking in 2009 with Trex Accents Madiera. We had unsightly leopard spotting within a few months. Calls to Trex customer service were greeted with reference to the mold technical bulletin and product recommendations for cleaning. I was not satisfied with Corte Clean and had better results with Olympic bleach cleaner, but to keep the decking free of the unsightly spotting requires cleaning several times a season without a pressure washer. Trex doesn't back the use of pressure washers for cleaning, and indicates such use can void warranties. Trying to remove all spots with a cleaning solution and soft bristle brush is a chore. I am currently exploring options to seal the composite decking to hopefully prevent mold growth, including a product by EFY. I like the approach of re-building with an alternate material, though I can't fathom starting over after all the $$ and work I sunk into the composite deck. I'd be interested in seeing the comparison results after 18-24 months with the new deck material; hopefully you experience similar environmental conditions to make for a viable comparison. Thanks for starting the blog.

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    Replies
    1. Sarah O. from Trex Help and Support just informed me Trex no longer recommends any type of sealant on their products as of last year, and that doing so voids warranties.

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  10. I have some gently used trex decking for sale, hell I might even give it away. I wouldn't recommend this shit to ANYONE. MOLD!

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  11. Hello.

    We have a Trex deck which we put in two years ago. Same issue with the leopard spotting (mold), so the issue is still ongoing. I have seen a lot of info on the Internet that the problem is pervasive and it appears that Trex is not accepting responsibility for the problem. At least I found this out before we went ahead and put another deck in our backyard. Definitely would not recommend Trex for anyone looking for less maintenance not more.

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  12. Dear Trex, it has been over a year with my new deck and still no mold. What gives? I thought this was supposed to be an envrionmental issue and not related to your product. If that was the case wouldn't you expect to see the same moldy spots all over my new deck.

    I'm still waiting for this "environmental condition" to show up. Thanks for keeping it real!

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    Replies
    1. what type of trex decking did you use

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  13. My issue wasn't so much the mold but with the included white metal bits in the product itself. My deck is a circular spoked affair encompassing a circular hot tub. As such I had to cut the 12' boards into 3' sections that were then tapered from 5.5' to 3'. As I was cutting the tapers I kept seeing bright reflections from the offcuts. Upon examination I found they were bits of aluminum or zinc or magnesium or similar metal. Trex told me that was impossible, effectively called me a liar. I sent them a boat load of photos and they even sent out some reps but in the long run I was told they were not covered by warranty and just deal with it.

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  14. Didn't do your homework there is only one composite deck product that can handle the H2o and it is routinely installed under water and docks its 95% recycled as well so great for the environment, as all composites are 50% wood fibers this company has encapsulated the wood with there patented system thus they have never had a field failure ever ? in 25 yrs lifetime warranty that is transferable 1 time. Deck is Vantage Moisture Shield. check em out yourself

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