Nov
25

Why Composite Decking Warranties Matter

Article by Faye Rook

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If you’re in the market for a new composite deck, then style, color, cost and maintenance are all likely on your deck-buying checklist. But, what about the warranty? A warranty is essentially a manufacturer’s or seller’s promise to stand behind a product’s performance. These promises can vary widely, so be sure to read them carefully before you buy.

To make sure you know what you’re getting into upfront, take a few minutes to find answers to these questions, building upon guidance from the Federal Trade Commission:

  • How long does the warranty last? Check the warranty to see when it begins and expires, and look for conditions that may void the coverage, such as sanding or using a pressure washer on the surface of the composite decking.
  • Who do you contact to get warranty service, and what is the claims process?  Find out whether the retailer or manufacturer will provide you with the warranty service, and how the claims process works. Some companies require you to register your decking warranty beforehand or to follow certain steps to make a claim.
  • What will the company do if the product fails? Read the warranty to see whether the company will repair the decking, replace it or refund your money. And, be sure you understand what they define as a “failure.” Some coverages are limited and won’t protect the boards when installed in certain ways. For example, allowing the material to be in direct contact with the ground may void some composite decking warranties.
  • What deck parts and repair problems are covered? Check to see if any parts of the decking product are excluded from coverage or fall under a different limited warranty, as may be the case with deck fasteners and railing products. Also, look for conditions that could prove expensive or inconvenient. For example, some warranties require you to have the deck professionally cleaned at your own expense before submitting a claim.
  • Does the warranty cover “consequential damages?” Verify whether the warranty covers damages caused by the product, along with your time and expense in repairing that damage. For example, if your decking product fails, the manufacturer may only cover the materials, not the labor to reinstall them or any damage the failed decking did to your home.
  • Are there any conditions or limitations on the warranty? Some warranties provide coverage only if you install the decking in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines, and maintain it according to their recommendations. Make sure these conditions will meet your needs.

Keep in mind manufacturers that stand behind their brand’s performance typically offer a more extensive warranty. For example, ChoiceDek composite decking offers a 25-year warranty that isn’t voided by direct ground or water contact. It also protects against rot, termites and insect damage.

While composite decking warranties should be simple, clear and easy to understand, not all warranties are created equal. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask a sales representative or contact the manufacturer directly. But, remember that spoken warranties aren’t law. Get any oral promises in writing.

The bottom line is your outdoor deck-escape is only as good as the boards you install. Make sure the composite decking you choose is made to last and backed by a reliable warranty.

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Comments

  • John Sargent
    Friday, July 22, 2016 10:17 AM

    Having trouble finding where to submit a warranty claim. I bought some gray choice decking material on July 10th. Two days after it was installed large and small dark gray spots appeared on the fronts of the boards. The dark spots range from several inches in size to small spots. Please help.
  • ChoiceDek
    Wednesday, July 6, 2016 12:38 PM

    Hi Paul- We most definitely do care about our customers! We actually follow up with the individuals directly since they are not notified of new posts on here and may not see our answers. We simply post the answers below just in case and to provide a good contact option if other readers have similar questions.
  • Paul B.
    Wednesday, July 6, 2016 11:51 AM

    How is it that all of your replies to the customer's comments on here are basically "cookie cutter" blanket statement answers? "We apologize for the inconvenience and assure you that we will do our best to get your deck back to beautiful! If you do not see an email from our team or have trouble getting a hold of us through email please call us directly at 1-800-951-5117." --- That doesn't sound at all like a company who cares about it's customers concerns.
  • ChoiceDek
    Saturday, September 26, 2015 12:52 PM

    Hi Melissa - I've passed your post details over to our customer service team who will be in contact with you by email directly to get a better idea of what's going on with your porch. We apologize for the inconvenience and assure you that we will do our best to get your porch back to beautiful! If you do not see an email from our team or have trouble getting a hold of us through email please call us directly at 1-800-951-5117.
  • Melissa patterson
    Friday, September 25, 2015 3:35 PM

    We recently replaced the material on our outdoor steps with your product. We picked a color to match the beach house gray steps to paint our porch. The porch color matched the step color for a few days. Now the steps are considerably lighter than the porch. Please advice what our options are.
  • ChoiceDek
    Thursday, July 30, 2015 8:12 AM

    Hi David Millan - I've passed your post details over to our customer service team who will be in contact with you by email directly to help resolve these issues. We apologize for the inconvenience and assure you that we will do our best to get your deck back to beautiful! If you do not see an email from our team or have trouble getting a hold of us through email please call us directly at 1-800-951-5117.
  • David Millan
    Thursday, July 30, 2015 3:39 AM

    Our deck and rails are worn, discolored, warped and cracked please advice on how to remedy this problem. Thanks
  • ChoiceDek
    Tuesday, June 9, 2015 7:49 AM

    Hi Clipper Still - Our customer service team will be in contact with you by email directly to help resolve these issues. We apologize for the inconvenience and assure you that we will do our best to get your deck back to beautiful! If you do not see an email from our team or have trouble getting a hold of us through email please call us directly at 1-800-951-5117.
  • Clipper Still
    Monday, June 8, 2015 4:18 PM

    Discoloration has occurred on my new decking after only six days. Dark splotches have appeared on several planks of my beach house gray material. Also, one plank has warped. I can provide photos. Please advise what to do.