Hints & Tips
Exterior Deck Protection: A Guide To Protecting Vinyl Decks On Multi-Family Projects
October 30, 2023
The materials used for decks on multi-family projects in Canada and the USA can vary depending on several factors, including budget, design preferences, climate, and local building codes.
Many multi-family builders choose vinyl decks for their all-round quality, durability, and price. In this guide, we’ll delve into the challenges faced by exterior vinyl decks during construction and explore the benefits of utilizing temporary surface protection to ensure a flawless final result.
What Are Vinyl Decks?
Vinyl decking, or PVC decking, is known for its low maintenance and color variety. One of the most critical factors for projects in North America is vinyl moisture resistance. When compared with other decking materials, vinyl often outshines the competition. While vinyl may be low maintenance, it does require care and attention to keep it in optimal shape.
The Challenges Of Vinyl Deck Protection
The installation of multi-family decks varies depending on the specific project and design. In many cases, multi-family decks are installed as part of the overall construction process, usually during the construction of the building itself. This approach allows for a seamless and integrated look and is often more cost-effective to install the decks as part of the initial construction.
However, this approach also presents some challenges. Since the decks are installed early on in the construction process, they need to be protected from the elements with materials such as vinyl.
This protection is usually completed before the rest of the building exterior is finished, meaning that different trades need to access the decks to install things like outdoor lighting, deck railings, exterior siding or facades, and more. When different trades gain access to the decks, they bring their ladders, equipment, and tools with them, which poses the risk of damage to the decks, especially the vinyl material.
Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that the decks are protected as soon as they are installed before any trades use them.
Axiom’s Temporary Protection Solutions
Decks, being outside, are naturally exposed to snow, wind, and rain, particularly during winter, which can add to the challenges of which protection solution to use.
To help mitigate these risks, we offer a range of temporary surface protection products that can be used on your decks.
Below are our recommended products to remove the risk of damage to your decking.
Armour Protection Board – Black:
One of our most popular surface protection products, this board is 100% waterproof, easy to install, and can be held in place with Armour Tape fastened directly to the vinyl deck.
Armour Protection Board – Translucent:
With the same easy installation as The Armour Protection Board Black, this translucent equivalent is double the thickness, offering more impact protection.
Armour Protection Board – Grey:
Made of 4mm thick high-density material, this board offers the ultimate protection for your project. The thickest board we offer, it helps it to stays in place during heavy winds thanks to its increased weight.
This reusable product provides a basic level of protection for construction professionals on a tight budget. With extreme slip protection, construction professionals stay safe and protected.
Tape is much more than just sticking. The tape must adhere properly to prevent damage and potential site accidents from slipping. Importantly, it must be removed easily without leaving residue when your project is finished. With 60 days of clean removal, the Armour Tape leaves projects clean and protected. Construction professionals also save time on their projects thanks to its serrated edges for easy tearing.
Important note: we advise against using fleece or any material that can absorb moisture in outdoor applications. Such materials can retain moisture, causing mould and other problems and may even lead to staining of your decks over time. Therefore, it’s important to use a product that is specifically designed for exterior applications.
Choosing The Right Temporary Protection
Choosing the right temporary surface protection is crucial for the success of your project. To ensure that you get the exact protection you need, consider the following simple questions:
- What is the material of your deck?
If you’re working with vinyl decking, most surface protection products are compatible. However, some vinyl decks have special coatings that make it difficult for tape to adhere.
- What level of protection is required?
Assess your project based on how much traffic is expected to pass by. Do you anticipate basic traffic with just a few trades here and there, regular traffic using the decks, or heavy traffic?
- How long is your project expected to last?
The timeframe for your project is critical when it comes to sunlight and UV protection. Opting for UV surface protection should be a priority if your project takes place during the summer months.
Using temporary surface protection is the key to keeping your vinyl decking safe during construction. Decking needs to withstand the elements and foot traffic and by choosing the correct temporary surface protection, you can remove the risk of damage and expensive costs.