June 25, 2021

Trex vs Azek Decking Problems | How They Compare

For those looking to lay out the perfect deck in their backyard, but aren’t sure where to get started, or maybe they have a Trex that won’t stay where you put it, this blog is for you. We will explain the differences between Trex and Azek decking, and help you choose the right one for your needs.

Image courtesy of Joe Shlabotnik

Trex vs Azek

Trex 

Trex decking is 95% recycled material such as sawdust and ground-up plastic. It feels like wood hence the natural look and feel. That saves you from the burden of painting, sealing, and staining your material. There is minimal maintenance required on the Trex deck. 

There is high performance in the product, and it lasts longer on exterior items due to its ability to withstand harsh conditions. That is how it keeps its color. A Trex board outperforms wood grain. 

The natural beauty of Trex decking comes in multiple color tones. It has an outer shell resistant to scratching, hence no need to apply an additional layer of protection. Trex decking comes in three forms. 

That is the Trex Transcend Composite decking (premium option), Trex Enhance, and Trex Select. These are high-performance decking materials that are flexible in the manner they come in multiple colors. In addition, low-end Trex decking material fades faster. 

Be sure to check out our guide to painting composite decking.

Pros

  • Minimal maintenance
  • Saves time
  • Environmentally-friendly
  • Durable
  • Safe
  • Cool
  • Multiple colors.

Cons

  • Not as affordable
  • Requires experience.

Azek

Azek decking consists of PVC material that does not contain wood fibers. It neither rots nor accepts moisture, and the structure is beautiful and is dent and scratch-resistant. No insects affect the decking. 

The Alloy Armour shell on Azek decking has UV protection that preserves the original color of your structure. That means it is fade-resistant. Azek decking is durable and comes with natural hardwood grains. There are multiple colors offered. 

You are flexible in choosing a color of your choice that matches your environment or existing furniture. The boards provided by Azek decking have wide-width that gives you room to create designs of your choice. The 100% synthetic decking has a natural hardwood look. You are allowed to paint and decorate Azek. It comes with artificial material, and that is 100% PVC. 

Plastics are resistant to multiple natural elements. It takes many years to rot. That is why it is more durable than Trex hence the steeper price. It maintains its appearance for a long period. Azek takes time before fading. 

Pros

  • Weather-resistant
  • Good heat dissipation
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Great warranty
  • Resistant to mold
  • No splinting
  • Durable

Cons

  • Prone to cracks
  • Can be unstable.

Warranty

Both products come with fade and stain warranties. The difference comes with Trex offering 25 years, whereas Azek comes with 50 years. Both are limited but cover material defects, splinters, and rot. 

Both manufacturers keep updating their warranties. Keep looking at the updates so that you do not rely on old terms. When there is a problem, both companies either replace the product or refund a portion of the money you paid. 

Heat Retention

Azek and Trex get hot. The difference lies in Azek, as it is a bit cooler than Trex. You feel comfortable taking a walk barefoot, whilst the sun is blazing on your Azek deck.  Azek is less resistant to weather since it expands and contracts more than Trex. The expansion and contraction leads to cracking

Scratch resistance

These products react differently. What makes them different is the sheen and grain pattern that makes each product. Trex has a wide range of decks that have different levels of resistance to scratches. Trex transcend is the top pick in scratch resistance amongst its models.  

Fading and staining

There is minimal fading and staining that takes place on both products. However, the damage is taken care of by the warranty both products offer. Staining used to be a problem, but it was solved due to improvements. 

Mold

Both products grow mold, and that is why their warranties do not cover mold damage. There is no need to coat the products with a water-repellent preservative like wood decks. Both companies encourage users to clean off mold regularly. That means you are to blame for the growth of mold. If you are doing your part, the warranty covers the damage. 

Azek Decking Problems

Mold grows faster on the surface and inside the texture. There is a need for regular maintenance to get rid of it. Color fading is experienced differently on different Azek decks. It does not affect all decks the same way. 

A quick solution comes in replacements. That looks untidy and weak. The decks feel spongy when you are walking on top. It feels unsafe, but that is the nature of the deck. It scratches, but it is resistant. 

The deck is made of a cap. That is the outer shell that protects it from mold, stain, scratches, and fading. It extends the life of the deck. The durability of the cap matters determines the life of the deck. That is the area that is exposed to sunlight and harsh temperatures. 

Trex is more resistant than Azek. PVC scratches are easy to get rid of using a heat gun. In that case, you have to choose between a durable material or an easily repaired one. Azek lasts longer based on the plastic material used to make it than natural resources. 

Trex Decking Problems

If dirt and debris grow on your Trex decking, use a hose. You cannot use a power washer for the operation since it damages the deck. Use a washer that is below 2,000 PSI with a wide fan tip. 

More caution is required when working on low-budget Trex decking. The decking is resistant to water, but ice is challenging to remove. A plastic shovel is ideal to use as well as calcium chloride and rock salt. 

U rays cause the color to fade, and it is worse on colors. The rate at which your deck is affected is visible after some months. That is what led to the 25-year warranty that covers color fade. You are confident that the deck lasts up to 25 years. 

The deck is prone to flaking. Contact the manufacturer since the problem is dangerous. Static build-up is another problem that comes with Trex decking. That is prone to happen even in a dry area. Use an anti-static solution to clean your deck since it reduces static electricity.

Trex vs Azek in Hot Weather

Trex 

Trex contains natural elements that take time to absorb and generate heat. That is why it remains cool for a longer period on a hot day. It is cooler than Azek. 

Azek

In hot weather, Azek becomes warmer than Trex because of the high content of PVC. Plastic absorbs and generates more heat than natural elements. It becomes uncomfortable on Azek decking when temperatures rise. You cannot walk barefoot on the deck. Azek expands during summer.

Trex vs Azek in Cold Weather

Trex 

Trex decking is beautiful when covered in snow. It withstands the harsh conditions of winter weather. No rotting or warping is encountered. That is how it manages to escape the damage that comes with cold weather.

Azek

Azek comes with a moisture-resistant technology that avoids moisture absorption. Use a plastic snow shovel to remove the snow on top of the deck. Metal shovels damage the surface of the boards. 

David D. Hughes

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