Its been a while since I was on here (as we now have someone half decent doing all the on line marketing to replace me).

But I wanted to bring to the group's attention the issues we are seeing with hollow composite decking.

The TDCA recently contacted me and actually visited the Ecodek factory here in Wrexham to get a better understanding of composites and also to do some research in our lab to investigate why some of the hollow boards on sale are failing so badly.

Ecodek is solid and always will be, there are many reasons for that!

Pro Landscaper seem to agree:

http://prolandscapermagazine.com/are-your-readers-hollow-composite-...

and here's our latest blog entry on the subject:

http://ecodek.co.uk/blog/solid-vs-hollow-the-battle-begins/

It always pays to buy British, there is little or no quality control on the hollow decking coming from China - our lab reports show mixed plastic waste that de-laminates within weeks of being installed! Its appalling that companies are getting away with selling such a weak product and it gives composite decking a bad name.  We're here to try to rectify that!

And don't think that the UK suppliers of these inferior decking boards are not aware of the product's short-comings, believe me, they know & they choose to ignore it. 

Rant over .........

Alex Collins

MD Ecodek

Made in the UK

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Time for a decking conference methinks...

No real regulations and they are so desperately needed.

No real understanding of how to construct the very many different  products on the market

Maintenance, who cares

Longevity, its ok we've been paid...

calculations, tables, construction techniques

correct tooling...

This is a massively ignored subject and much could be done about it...

Hello Alex.

I myself is getting very frustrated with the hollow cheap recycled decking. Its either recycled bin bags, rice paper or recycled dashboards and tyres. It just puts a bad name to composite decking. And at the moment its being flooded into the UK market . I've been offered it loads at the moment from China and this lady is trying to sell it to us for 98p a MTR. That says it all. The shrinkage on the Chinese stuff is around 30mm per board. I've refused to use it on the reason its no guarantee . if it does carry one its usually a year they give . the warrenty also is non existent. Its really annoying me. The solid composite which we all know of like millboard, timbertech, trex, Fiberon are so more superior is unreal . especially with guarantee , fade and stain values also structure reasons as well if you follow the guide lines. But I think I've said my bit now and feel a lot better.Peter

98p per metre!!! That's ludicrous - our material cost alone is nearly £3/m - just shows what utter cr*p they put in it.

We are currently pioneering a new EU composite decking standard along with a couple of other European 'quality' producers.

These things do take time however, so its unlikely that an official standard will be issued for 5 years or so.

In the mean time, we will continue to shout about quality and the benefits of solid decking.

As we are the only UK manufacturer (est 2002), then we might shout about that a little too!

Thanks

Crikey, 98p thats silly.

With respect to the hollow decking, is this all of them?

Standards, you know I love standards, will this then be part or included in the tables by TRADA to conform to EC5, now that would be great if so.

No Karl, not all. If they're PVC composite then they are more likely to be ok as PVC has better tensile properties than hdpe or pp. However, that doesn't mean all PVC composites will be ok.  What we are seeing with the Far Eastern product is that it contains MIXED waste plastics, namely PP/HDPE/PET.  Anyone in the plastics industry will tell you that its very difficult to homogenise PP or HDPE to PET. That's why they are de-laminating, the polymers aren't mixing and instead, forming separate layers in the product. If I had a balcony made from this stuff, I would be very worried indeed, as should be the distributors, they may well end up with blood on their hands.  I am going to seek advice as to whether I can name & shame - I have the proof so I'm hoping (in the interest of public safety) I will be legally allowed.  I dread to think how much is out there..............One of the main DIY sheds has been selling it too..........

I see where you are coming from and have to agree.

Top name and shame.... I would ask the lawyers about that, there are so many companies selling poor quality products, it a shame that the main purchaser being Landscaper and contractors and the fact that price is king when it comes to purchasing. Quality is a secondary feature and unless the clients are made aware then the contractor will supply the cheaper product.

If these new standards are promulgated in such a way the general public can easily identify with the problem would slowly disappear.  

Bring on a Deck Expo... your thoughts?

Alex Collins said:

No Karl, not all. If they're PVC composite then they are more likely to be ok as PVC has better tensile properties than hdpe or pp. However, that doesn't mean all PVC composites will be ok.  What we are seeing with the Far Eastern product is that it contains MIXED waste plastics, namely PP/HDPE/PET.  Anyone in the plastics industry will tell you that its very difficult to homogenise PP or HDPE to PET. That's why they are de-laminating, the polymers aren't mixing and instead, forming separate layers in the product. If I had a balcony made from this stuff, I would be very worried indeed, as should be the distributors, they may well end up with blood on their hands.  I am going to seek advice as to whether I can name & shame - I have the proof so I'm hoping (in the interest of public safety) I will be legally allowed.  I dread to think how much is out there..............One of the main DIY sheds has been selling it too..........

Yes Karl - agree.

Had an interesting conversation with a project manager from a rather large house-builder recently, they were comparing Ecodek to cheaper brand. When I pointed out that the cheaper brand only had a 5yr warranty, whereas ours is 25 years FULL warranty commercial & residential, the guy's answer was something along the lines of "we don't care, 5 years is enough for us".   

Hmmm...........

I have this every day of the week, this conversation usually has "whats your cheapest" in there somewhere, I always request the spec and quite simply its a contractors job to maximize their profits. 

I get this with timber just as much, the spec calls for teak and the contractor would say "what looks like teak that's cheaper" my answer is usually errrrr teak? 

We could be discussing this at a Decking Expo, whats do you recon?

Alex Collins said:

Yes Karl - agree.

Had an interesting conversation with a project manager from a rather large house-builder recently, they were comparing Ecodek to cheaper brand. When I pointed out that the cheaper brand only had a 5yr warranty, whereas ours is 25 years FULL warranty commercial & residential, the guy's answer was something along the lines of "we don't care, 5 years is enough for us".   

Hmmm...........

Decking expo? Maybe, although we don't tend to do shows, we use a different routes to market at present and they're working well for us.


It wouldn't be a show for selling, more of regulations, fixing techniques, showcasing projects and raising standards


Alex Collins said:

Decking expo? Maybe, although we don't tend to do shows, we use a different routes to market at present and they're working well for us.

Ah ok, quite possibly then.  Keep me in the loop.

Thanks

Alex

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