Plastic Deck Coatings Offer False Promises

Have you seen the commercials about the products that promise to transform your timeworn wooden deck to a like new condition?

In our line of business, we have seen many deck owners place their hopes of restoring their aged or worn wooden deck into products that usually only offer false promises. A great example is the paint-on, do-it-in-a-day plastic deck coatings that are prevalent in the home improvement stores. Many retailers have been stocking products in the paint section that appear to put a thick coating on deck boards, giving them the appearance of synthetic decking. These products claim to offer superior protection to the wood itself and to eliminate splinters, nail holes and minor cracks. These products also boast about their ease of application claiming a homeowner can apply the product over the course of a weekend.

At Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio, we have experienced the truth about plastic coatings first-hand. And all is not what it seems. We recently we met with a homeowner in regards to redecking his backyard deck after having a bad experience with one of these products. During our consult, the homeowner was quick to point out that during application of the coating, the surface area reached a temperature hot enough to melt the bottoms of his shoes leaving an imprint on the surface. This, along with other factors, led to his consideration of redecking the space.

We realize that each individual case is different, however, our experience with “fix all” products such as these has proven to be anything but positive. These products only serve as a short-term solution to a long-term problem. Many are made up of epoxy-style coverings that appear to be smooth, flawless and cool to the touch when exposed to the sun but in reality, can come out rough and retain heat on structures that have a southern exposure.

And that’s not all, the nature of the product is to form a coating over your existing wood deck. Bear in mind, that if moisture or any rot is already underway, using these products only lock the problem in, they do not address it. Application over rotten wood, damp wood, etc, will likely cause failures of the coatings.

Other inconsistencies that must also be addressed are tight spacing of existing deck boards and reduced drainage capabilities. The circumference of these coatings will make tight spacing worse, and the area between your decking boards must be cleaned out regularly or face side rot. Flashing issues at the ledger are also a concern as is a lack of proper waterproofing over joist tops.

The prospect of success, if any, of using these “paint-on” products lies within the surface preparation itself. Wood needs to be cleaned and free of any debris, oils or grease (this includes barbecue sauce). Prerequisites also include replacement of any loose nails. Manufacturers of the product even recommend your existing deck be screwed down to avoid the chances of any nails working up through the new finish. We are quick to point out these products should not serve as a “fix” for rotting wood or a surface in very bad condition as many deck owners may assume. These products serve as an alternative to conventional sealers or stain, not as a decking repair system.

Redecking an aging or failing deck through a quality deck contractor is the only real solution for invasive decking problems. Our diverse portfolio of decking materials includes quality wooden choices as well as the highest quality synthetic options on the market.

Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio is here to help you make an informed decision about which material is the best suited for your outdoor space needs. We have many redecking options available to accommodate your lifestyle and budget. Our knowledge and experience working with wood and synthetics over the years can ensure an outdoor living space that not only meets but exceeds your expectations. Contact us today to learn more (937) 848-7040 or (513) 897-2040. You can also email us at wcohio@archadeck.net.

This deck addition in Liberty Township, OH, transformed this backyard from basic to beautiful

One of the perks of running and operating Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio is having the opportunity to shape an expert living space design into an area void of any outdoor living space. It is much like the feeling an artist gets when he is staring at a blank canvas. As your outdoor living structure builder, I get just as excited working on our clients’ projects as they are anticipating its completion!

Such is the case with one of our most recent projects in Liberty Township, OH. The project is located in The Meadows of Aspen Trail subdivision. When I initially arrived at for the design consultation, the backyard had no existing outdoor living space. The backyard consisted of a 3′ × 3′ landing with no steps. You could simply open the back door of the home and walk (or fall), straight into the yard. The homeowners expressed their desire to have a deck built that could be accentuated later with a paver patio.

As you may already know, Archadeck can build your outdoor living combination project in stages as your budget and lifestyle afford. This is what we refer to as staged or phased building, and it is exactly what these homeowners had in mind. As you can see from the photo above, we designed the deck using a wide, wrap-around stairway in order to make access to the upcoming patio addition easier — the deck will flow effortlessly into the anticipated paver patio.

Before we could officially begin the project, a zoning variance had to be obtained along with a sediment and erosion control permit as the setback from the house to the back of the property was .96’. After securing all the necessary permits and documentation we then began the project by first tearing off the small landing, Archadeck built a stunning pressure-treated pine deck on the East side of the home. Their property allowed this configuration which helps with exposure because the deck will not receive heavy sun.

The design of the deck features a multi-level, step-up to an octagonal area that is spacious enough for lawn chairs. We used Deckorators railing in a smaller profile to open up space and help the deck appear bigger. Since this particular neighborhood has strict ordinances in place in regards to the visibility of on-site storage, we also installed a solid board skirting to the deck to enable out-of-sight storage underneath.

The homeowners are elated with their new deck and are looking forward to the upcoming patio. Take a look at the before and after project image below - amazing!

If you are ready to take your backyard from boring to beautiful, contact Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio today at (937) 848 – 7040 or
(513) 897 – 2040, or via email at wcohio@archadeck.net.

Let this be the year that Archadeck makes your outdoor living dreams come true.


Tim Stephens, owner, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio


A simple verse that speaks volumes about the value of using a professional

“There is that buyeth much for a little, and repayeth it sevenfold.”
— Apocrypha: Sirach chapter 20, verse 12

I recently met with a wonderful homeowner here in our showroom earlier this week. Her neighbor had given her our contact information because she had a deck built 6 years ago by a less-than-professional local buiilder in the area and after the atrocious quality of the project, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio repaired and redecked the entire deck for her.

In addition to addressing the many negative the issues left behind from the other builder, many of the deck posts were out of line, and boards were installed at various lengths, the structure itself was evidence of what can happen when you choose to go the cheapest route. The homeowner I met with was quick to quote the verse from the Apocrypha “There is that buyeth much for a little, and repayeth it sevenfold” because she realized that often you feel as though you’re getting more for a small amount, but without quality and value you will pay much more in the long run.

Nowadays people want the lowest price more that ever. They seem to forget the old adage you get what you pay for. It might seem like a great idea for your budget to accept the lowest contracting bid or quote for your new outdoor project, or let the builder who can start the job the soonest, but that can be like shopping for exquisite china at a discount store. Yes, you might find something that works temporarily, but you will ultimately end up saving money in the long run by spending for quality now.

Quality outdoor living structures builders companies want to stay in business and work hard to please their customers, like Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio. We are the company that will still be around years down the road and this is because we don’t skimp. We offer quality products, strong warranties and use highly skilled carpenters and craftsman. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to know that usually the lowest bids on an outdoor structure project often involve cheap materials and unskilled or poorly trained workers.

Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio has operated in the Dayton & Cincinnati area since 1990. We are a custom design and custom build firm and we have the strongest warranties in the business. We maintain an office in historic downtown Waynesville, OH, so when you are ready to have that new outdoor structure designed and built remember to contact us.


Tim Stephens, Owner Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

“Let this be the year that Archadeck makes your outdoor living dreams come true.”



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