Polyvinyl Chloride, or PVC, is a plastic-like product used in many applications. The most traditional use for PVC is in PVC piping; however, its versatility has developed a wide variety of uses—such as plastic bottles, packaging, credit cards, and even clothing. Another use for PVC is flooring. Several companies produce wood-like PVC for use in outdoor decks. AZEC, TimberTech, Tamko Building Products, and Wolf Home Products are large manufacturers of this product.
Well-made and designed PVC decking re-creates the look of wood without the maintenance required with a hardwood or composite deck. Wooden decking often requires staining, sanding, and other maintenance. PVC decking is advertised as requiring none of this work and thus has risen in popularity in recent years. As such, consumers and homeowners pay a premium for PVC decking products in exchange for the advertised low-maintenance, durable product. PVC is also advertised and represented as less expensive in the long-run than all-wood or composite deck alternatives due to the supposed lesser degree of required maintenance.
Unfortunately, not all PVC decking is well-made. Since PVC decking entered the market in 2007, its popularity versus other decking options has risen, and common complaints about certain PVC decking products have also become apparent.