Frequently Asked Questions

Composite Decking Questions

Composite Railing Questions

Step-Clip Questions

Composite Decking Answers

What is the composition of Duralife™ Composite Decking?

All DuraLife Composite Decking products are crafted from reclaimed hardwood fiber and rugged, UV-stabilized polypropylene. DuraLife Composite Decking combines a unique polypropylene-based formula with a highly advanced manufacturing process to yield a superior material. DuraLife Composite Decking was the first composite composite decking manufacturer to use polypropylene instead of polyethylene and also the first to introduce a capped composite composite decking product. Polypropylene (think of Tupperware® or red gas cans) makes it stronger, stiffer, and harder than other composites, so it can span longer distances and withstand higher temperatures with less expansion and contraction.

Is DuraLife Composite Decking maintenance free?

Although no composite decking is truly maintenance free, DuraLife Composite Decking's capped composite technology is stain, fade, and mold resistant so it requires only regular sweeping and periodic washing with soap and water to keep it looking great.

Does DuraLife Composite Decking have matching fascia?

We offer matching fascia for our Siesta Solids Collection composite decking (9 colors, including White) and our Siesta Hardwoods Collection (4 colors). Our Brazilian Cherry fascia may also be used with our Spanish Cedar MVP composite decking.

Why can't I see a distinct capped layer in DuraLife Composite Decking?

Rather than being a specific 'layer', our co-extruded, polypropylene capped surface material actually bonds to the composite substrate below during the manufacturing process which means that it won’t separate or peel off, even after heavy use.

Why isn’t the bottom of the deck board capped?

Through our extensive testing and over seven years of co-extrusion manufacturing experience, we have proven that our polypropylene and hardwood composite composite decking has minimal expansion / contraction or moisture absorption characteristics. As a result, we’ve decided that capping the bottom of the deck board would not significantly improve its overall performance and therefore warrant the added cost associated with that process.

Will DuraLife Composite Decking fade?

The DuraLife Composite Decking line of colors is fade resistant and will retain its natural appearance. DuraLife Composite Decking may lose some of the semi-gloss appearance and weather to a natural matte finish depending upon its exposure to the elements. DuraLife Composite Decking carries a 25 year limited warranty against fade in excess of 5 Delta E (CIE) during the term of the warranty. See Warranty section for complete information.

How do I finish a cut edge to match the color of my DuraLife Composite Decking?

When installing DuraLife Composite Decking, a "picture-frame" method (using our Starter Board profile) is recommended in order to provide a clean, finished edge around the perimeter of the deck and on stair treads. In other applications, a solid color-matched stain (similar to Sherwin Williams or Behr) may be used to coat the cut ends of the deck boards. We recommend taking a scrap piece of deck board with you when consulting with your local paint retailer for color matching and application procedures.

How much does DuraLife Composite Decking cost?

We do not set pricing for our dealer network and we do not sell direct to the public, however we work very hard to keep the pricing of DuraLife Composite Decking as low as we can. In most cases, you will find DuraLife Composite Decking is the most attractively priced product in the 'Ultra-Low Maintenance', capped composite market segment where it competes with PVC Vinyl and other capped composite decking products. And in general it will be in the price range of the higher grades of wood composite decking.

Where can I purchase DuraLife Composite Decking?

We sell DuraLife Composite Decking exclusively through a network of professional lumber dealers (generally, that locally owned, high-service family business in town where your contractor shops). If your local lumberyard or building product retailer does not carry DuraLife, ask them to contact us directly so that we may further develop our distribution network and improve our ability to supply our customers with our top rated composite decking products.

What kind of warranty does DuraLife Composite Decking have?

When you purchase DuraLife Composite Decking, you are protected by one of the industry’s best warranties, including our 25-year limited stain and fade warranty. DuraLife Composite Decking offers product warranties for both residential and commercial projects. Our Residential is a limited 25 warranty that is transferable and gives you extra protection and peace of mind, while our Commercial is a 10 Year Limited Warranty. See Warranty section for complete information.

Will DuraLife Composite Decking rot, splinter, or decay like real wood?

DuraLife Composite Decking, when properly installed and maintained is warranted for 25 years against rot, structural decay, splitting, checking, splintering, or termite damage under normal conditions of composite decking use and exposure. *The Residential Limited Lifetime Warranty may be transferred one time form the original consumer to the subsequent purchaser. See Warranty section for complete details.

Is DuraLife Composite Decking slippery when wet?

DuraLife Composite Decking boards have a deep, embossed wood grain combined with a co-extruded surface that provides traction even when wet. DuraLife Composite Decking products are ADA compliant for ramps, etc.

How do I cut DuraLife Composite Decking?

A carbide-tipped combination 24 tooth blade can be used to cut DuraLife Composite Decking. When ripping DuraLife Composite Decking, use a ripping blade, which as deeper notches to clear shavings. Learn More.

Is DuraLife Composite Decking scratch resistant?

DuraLife Composite Decking features an extremely hard and durable polypropylene capped surface that is resistant to normal day-to-day wear however, even DuraLife’s hard surface may be scratched by dragging deck furniture or other items across the deck’s surface or by dropping items with sharp edges (like tools, etc.) onto the deck. Nylon furniture pads or glides are recommended for table, chairs, or other items that may be moved or re-positioned frequently on your deck.

What is the best snow removal procedure with DuraLife Composite Decking?

Any type of salt or ice melt can be applied to DuraLife Composite Decking as any wood surface along with the use of a plastic tip shovel. Please do not chip at any thin ice or directly on DuraLife Composite Decking as it may damage the surface of the material.

What is the proper method to handle and store DuraLife Composite Decking?

DuraLife Composite Decking should be stored on wood supports placed approximately every three feet and under a dry lumber cover or tarp. Rainwater that wouldn’t stain a deck will stain stacked lumber, so remember to keep it dry.

Why does Duralife add a protective sheet to the surface of each board?

Duralife provides this unique value added feature to keep each board clean and protected during shipment so that it is in perfect condition when it gets to the jobsite. At the lumberyard or on the job site, lumber wraps may blow off or simply not get re-installed once boards are removed from the unit. DuraLife wants to protect your investment, so we've added this extra level of protection to ensure that our composite decking looks great throughout the delivery and installation of your project. We recommend that the protective film be removed within 30 days after installation.

What type of lumber should I use for framing my deck?

We always suggest that our customers choose KDAT stamped framing lumber. This wood will be straighter and will also be lighter and easier to handle, and won't shrink and expand as much during and after the deck project. As always, check with your local code official for deck construction requirements prior to beginning your project.

What type of fastener should I use for the DuraLife Composite Decking Channeled boards?

The proprietary DuraLife Fastenator clip should be used when installing our Siesta Hardwood Collection, Siesta Solids Collection, or MVP channeled (pre-grooved) composite decking. Pre-loaded Fastenators (with #7 x 2 ¼" trim head screws) can really speed up installation time and improve the appearance of your deck. The outer, square edge of the DuraLife starter board (used when picture framing the outer edge of the deck) must be face-screwed using color matched capped composite deck screws. Learn More.

What spacing is required between DuraLife Composite Decking boards?

A minimum 3/16" spacing is required between DuraLife Composite Decking boards. The Fastenator hidden fastening system automatically establishes the 3/16” gap. Use the deck spacing chart in our installation instructions to address end to end gapping.

How much ventilation is required under the deck?

We recommend that the substructure of the deck have a minimum 2" clearance from grade to provide for adequate ventilation.

Can I overhang DuraLife Composite Decking over the edge of my deck?

DuraLife Composite Decking may overhang the outer rim joists, but the overhang should not exceed 2 inches.

How far can DuraLife Composite Decking boards span?

DuraLife Composite Decking is composed of 60% recycled hard wood fiber and 40% polypropylene, the strongest plastic used in a composite decking material, allowing DuraLife Siesta composite decking boards to span up to 20" OC at 90° and 16" OC at 45°. Our MVP composite decking is rated at 16" OC at 90° and 12" OC @ 45°.

Composite Railing Answers

Is the formulation for RailWays Railings the same as DuraLife Composite Decking?

No. Railways Railing is manufactured from a pvc & wood fiber composite with a co-extruded PVC capped surface.

Are Railways top & bottom rails actually 6ft. & 8ft. in length?

No. Rail section length is determined from the center of the posts for each section. Our Railways top and bottom rails are actually 94.3" (8 ft.) and 70.3" (6 ft.).

Is your 5x5 rail post a structural component?

No. Our 5x5 post sleeve must be installed over a 4x4 wooden post or a structural post mount. (see next)

Do I have to use 4x4 wood posts to install Railways post sleeves?

No. We also offer structural post mounts that are installed on top of the pre-installed composite decking. We recommend blocking the post location between the deck joists and using our wood mounting plate kits (sold separately). You may also use these post mounts when attaching the railing to concrete using concrete anchors and lag bolts.

Does Railways have stair rail and angled rail kits?

Our RailWays railing kits and components can easily accommodate both stair or angled rail applications. Simply change out the level rail hardware that came with your railing with our hinged stair rail or angled rail hardware kits (sold separately) for your specific application.

Step-Clip Answers

How does Step-Clip perform in extreme temperature conditions?

The Step-Clip is manufactured from the same polypropylene polymer as our decking products and both perform well under extreme temperature conditions. While we recommend installing at temperatures between 40 °F and 80°F (4°C and 27°C), we have tested our Step-Clip fastening system in below freezing temps, as well as and temperatures above 100 degrees and it has performed as designed at both levels.

Is the Step-Clip system more expensive than other methods of decking installation?

The cost of the Step-Clip is comparable to other hidden fastening systems on the market. This means you can install your decking quicker for the same price (and save on labor costs!).

Is this system going to replace DuraLife’s Fastenator Clip System?

The Fastenator clip will not be replaced. Fastenator clips will still be needed for angled decking or herringbone designs, stair treads, and for those that want to continue to use it for standard decking installations..

Can Step-Clip be used to install Starter profile boards in a picture frame design or with divider boards?

Yes, the Step-Clip can be used for Starter boards and picture frame applications. Follow the installation instructions for guidance on utilizing the Step-Clip in these applications. For divider boards, the DuraLife Cortex plug system, or color-matched capped composite deck screws are recommended.

How are stair treads installed with this system?

Stair treads are recommended to be installed with our Fastenator Clips, the DuraLife Cortex plug system, or with color-matched capped composite deck screws.

Can I get a sample of the DuraLife Step-Clip sent to me?

Samples of the Step-Clip and Fastenator Clip are included with every decking sample order we send out. Order yours today!

How are Step-Clip strips packaged?

Each Step-Clip strip is 23 inches long (584mm) and accommodates four deck boards. There are four package options available when purchasing:

  • Box of 75 strips without nails (covers approx. 150 sq. ft. / 14 m2)
  • Box of 75 strips with 1-1/4” (32mm) hot-dipped galv. ring shank roofing nail coils (covers approx. 150 sq. ft. / 14m2)
  • Box of 25 strips without nails (covers approx. 50 sq. ft. / 4.7m2)
  • Box of 25 strips with 1-1/4” (32mm) hot-dipped galv. ring shank roofing nail coils (covers approx. 50 sq. ft. / 4.7m2)

How do I replace a damaged deck board that has been installed with the Step-Clip system?

There are actually two easy methods you may use to replace a damaged deck board with the Step-Clip system. If the deck is not pictured-framed or if you remove one of the picture-framed edge boards that run perpendicular to the main interior boards, you can simply slide the damaged board out lengthwise along the clips and snap a new board into the existing clips. If you prefer not to remove one of the picture-framed edge boards, you may rip the damaged board in half lengthwise with a circular saw (make sure the cut depth is no greater than the thickness of the deck board), pry the two sections of the damaged board out, and then snap the new deck board into the existing clips.