It's Not Always the Same Mold, Same Mold with Composite Decking
TimberTech PRO® Decking offers something competitors don’t:
a fully encapsulated deck board for superior surface protection
4-Sided Capped Board
Capped polymer and 4-sided capped composite decking provide homeowners with a great alternative to traditional composite and wood decks that are susceptible to mold and mildew.
3-Sided Capped Board
Some competitors only offer 3-sided capped composite boards, which leave a full side of their boards (that are full of wood particles) exposed to the elements.
Let’s Talk About Mold
Mold, in all its forms, has been on Earth for millions of years. It’s in the air, the soil, and helps keep the world’s ecosystem running by helping to decompose organic matter. While great for the environment, mold can be dangerous not only for you and your health but for the health of your deck and home. According to the CDC, mold thrives and feeds on
paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products – meaning traditional wood decks and composite decking with wood particles in the core (and sometimes the cap) susceptible to moisture damage. With your biggest financial investment at risk, why endanger your family’s health and home with a wood deck that’s susceptible to unsightly and unhealthy mold growth?
Realizing that deck boards play an important role in the health of your family and home, finding a decking line with superior surface protection is paramount. Which deck board option is going to best protect your family and your outdoor living investment?
Decking Mold Meter
What is Mold and How Does It Happen?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines funguses (or fungi) as “types of plants that have no leaves, flowers or roots.” Mold and mildew are the non-scientific names that encapsulate several types of fungi – and, apparently, there are over 300,000 different types! Fungi can be in black, white, green, yellow, fuzzy, slick, multi-cellular or single-celled; mold takes all shapes and forms. While mold only needs moisture to live, spores love organic materials to feast upon.
Most homeowners know that finding mold inside their homes is a huge hassle and potentially very scary; however, if it’s outdoors, is it a big deal? Yes and no. Outdoors, mold plays an integral part in breaking down dead leaves, trees, and plant matter to go back into the ecosystem. However, that also means that wood decks and traditional composite boards are prime real estate to hungry mold spores. When a home inspector says, “Mold is eating away at the foundation of your deck,” they mean it literally – mold isn’t a cheap date. Left unchecked, mold can lead to structural damage.
The Solution to Moldy Decking
Capped polymer and 4-sided capped composite decking provide homeowners with a great alternative to traditional composite and wood decks that are susceptible to mold and mildew. While composite decking is known for being a step up from wood decking, not all boards are created equal. Composite decking is made up of a blend of wood particles and plastic materials to form a deck board, then some are capped with a synthetic material to help keep moisture out. Any exposed wood particles in a board’s core or cap weaken its defense from mold, mildew, and moisture damage.
Some competitors offer capped composites, but take board-compromising shortcuts to help pinch pennies.
See the Difference
|Wood Decking|| Composite Decking|
with 3-Sided Cap
|Composite Decking with 4-Sided Cap and Capped Polymer Decking|
|From premium hardwoods to treated lumber, like high-end IPE, traditional wood offers no capping or surface protection against mold or moisture damage. In fact, when hardwoods start to get moldy it’s difficult to effectively clean the deck boards and remove the attached spores. Many homeowners make the mistake of using household bleach to clean the affected area which causes premature degradation and discoloration of wood due to the harsh chemicals going far past breaking down mold to attack the lignin holding organic wood together.||Competitor A only offers 3-sided capped composite boards, which leave a full side of their boards (that are full of wood particles) exposed to the elements. They claim that it’s because the boards need to breathe however, it only leaves exposed wood particles for mold to make a home. Plus, Competitor A uses wood particles in some of their caps, leaving even more organic material exposed to moisture damage – and, you guessed it, mold. Competitor B, on the other hand, offers both 3-sided and a few 4-sided capped boards (not pictured), but cuts through their cap to make grooves that help with installation – those exposed grooves leave the interior wood particles ragged and exposed to moisture – and, ultimately, susceptible to mold growth.||TimberTech PRO Decking boasts 4-sided capped composite boards that have no wood particles, AKA organic material, in the cap. Plus, the cap flows through the grooves and onto the backside to cover all four sides of the board. The cap contains a proprietary Mold Guard Technology® blend of non-organic materials – meaning all PRO Deck boards offer better protection against mold and mildew than any competitive composite in the market. It’s that simple – and that bold – because it’s true. TimberTech AZEK Decking features capped polymer boards that provide unrivaled surface and core protection because there are no organic materials in it – anywhere. The cap contains Alloy Armour Technology® and uses no wood particles. That means AZEK Decking has almost no risk of hosting or growing mold or mildew.|
| Treated Pine || Competitor A – Scalloped 3-Sided Capped Board || TimberTech PRO 4-sided Capped Board |
| Redwood || Competitor A – Full Profile 3-Sided Capped Board || TimberTech AZEK Capped Polymer Board |
| IPE || Competitor B – Scalloped 3-Sided Capped Board |
| Cedar |
*Test applied constant moisture exposure to the bottom side of each product for 26 days.
What’s So Special About TimberTech PRO’s Cap?
The cap for the TimberTech PRO Decking line is designed to keep mold, mildew, and moisture out of not only the interior of the board but the surface as well. Spores have nothing to grab onto or feed themselves since the up to 80% recycled materials in the core aren’t exposed to the elements. Plus, it’s backed by a 30-Year Fade & Stain Warranty and 30-Year Limited Warranty, which is better than any other capped composite competitor!
In fact, every cap that TimberTech produces, including for the TimberTech AZEK® Decking line and TimberTech EDGE™ Decking line, contains ZERO organic materials. Each blend is different because each line offers different core makeups to suit the needs of homeowners. Each line boasts a cap that resists mold, mildew, and moisture damage and offers superior surface protection. Period.
To most homeowners, “mold” is a dirty word – literally. But when every TimberTech Decking line offers unrivaled surface protection and industry-leading warranties, the dirty word loses its fear-inducing power.
Want to test TimberTech boards for yourself? Order a sample for free and compare it to our competitors.