Think I am just thinking.

Words are but thoughts made visible.

PVC Decking – A Warning! – And a cure for White Staining!

  Well, we have now had our new deck for a couple weeks and had our first scare during the first week.  In an effort to protect our deck from dripping grease from the grill, we purchased a nice protective mat to lay down underneath the grill.

   With what turned out to be luck on our side in the long run, we had a couple days of rain the first week.  Having accumulated large amounts of water, we picked up the new mat to dry it out.  What we found underneath drew heartache and fear at what the cost was going to be.  For everywhere under the map the deck had turn white!  We first thought is was perhaps minerals or reaction from the water being heated in the Sun later in the day.  We tried cleaning the deck to no avail.  The white film remainded regardless of what we did.

   Consulting the TimberTech web site, when drilling down to the XLM information page, what I found at the bottom of the page was information which struck a note of fear.  The information warned of the danger of placing a Rubber based mat ontop of PVC decking due to chemical interation between rubber and PVC.  This has nothing to dowith TimberTech, but rather to do with chemical properties of rubber and PVC, regardless of the product.  The two items just do not play well together.

   So now I knew what caused the problem, but I had no clue if anything could be done about it.  So I did what any red blooded American would do, I wrote the company a “HELP” letter.  Using the company web site, I sent a message with what had happened and a request for if there was anything that could be done to repair the damage, hoping that replacement was not the answer. 

   Replacement would not have made us very happy as we had purchased a really nice big rubber backed mat which ended up whitening over six boards which are about 20 foot long.  Estimated replacement cost would have been around $300!

    The company wrote back the very next day with instructions which were somewhat surprising and which I was really hoping would work.  What the compay said to do was:

            1.) Get a heat gun (I used the wife’s hair dyer)

           2.) Heat up the surface of the deck, taking care to keep moving the heat gun around to prevent overheating, to the point where the white coloring fades and disappears from the surface of the deck.

     Though I wondered how this would work, I figured I had nothing to loose?  So, taking a long extension cord and hairdryer in hand, I proceeded to entertain my neighbor by sitting out on the deck, hairdrying my deck.  At first nothing seemed to happen, but then as the deck surface warmed up, suddenly the white film faded and disappeared before my eyes!  Though the hairdryer was slower than a heat gun it did the trick.

   So for the last week we have once again been able to enjoy the beauty of our new deck.  Now I need to figure out a better way to stop any grease dropping from the grill which seems to happen during slow cooking from the back of the lid.  But, regardless, I have learned a lessen and a little chemistry along the way.


July 3, 2009 Posted by | Household Improvements, Remodeling | , , | Leave a comment