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Old 07-20-2007, 11:21 PM   #1
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TREX decking extremely disappointing


We replaced an aging wood deck with TREX decking last summer (06). Within a few months, we had spots occuring all over it. Our experienced installer and contractor "had never seen it before". We had it gently pressure washed, and still, the spots continued to increase. By this May, the entire 3000 square foot deck had spots.
We tried contacting TREX, and were referred to their Insurance Claim company that handles all complaints. We were assigned a case number, but nothing was initiated. We had to make all phone calls and do all follow up. We subsequently learned from a supervisor within their system that three years ago, "one plant" produced an inferior product, but it was most likely "not out in the market any more".
We continued to seek assistance with diagnosis. The manager of our local supplier, Lumberman's, came on site and agreed, he "had never seen it before" and recommended that we get the TREX rep out to examine it. After some time, he came out and agreed, he had "never seen it before".
They brought out an Olympic Deck Stain removal product, and instructed us to apply it full strength, twice if necessary, to attempt to remove spots, which covered almost all of the entire deck. The men agreed that the spots appeared to be a mold that was coming from the interior of the product itself. We applied the cleaning product full strength, and were able to remove some of the spots, which were about the size of a nickel. Some still remained.
The TREX rep assured us that they would send out a professional to clean it again, but one never materialized.
We continue to be unsatisfied with the TREX product. We sought a complete replacement, but TREX said they had to use one of their own sub contractors, who refused to do anything until TREX agreed to pay him for the work. We sought an optional opportunity to replace the TREX with a product of our own choosing, but TREX refused.
TREX guarantees their product for life. They guarantee it against defects. However, we feel we have a defective product.
Most recently, we received a standard form letter from TREX indicating the problem absolutely was "mold" and "our fault" and "not their problem". We feel the claims TREX makes are false. We refuse to recommend the product to any of our contractor friends, and all who see the product at our home agree it is substandard.
It is disappointing that for such an expensive, life time guaranteed product, the company in fact does not stand up for it, it hides behind it.
We are curious if any others have had a similar problem. If so, we would consider a class action law suit.
It is a shame to have a brand new deck look poor and damaged, and to be making excuses to visitors about the condition of the deck.

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Old 07-21-2007, 07:31 AM   #2
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TREX decking extremely disappointing


I would be interested in see pictures of the problem. Please post a few.
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Old 07-23-2007, 07:49 AM   #3
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...We tried contacting TREX, and were referred to their Insurance Claim company that handles all complaints.
Wow, that's not quality customer service is it? Pictures may help...
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:50 AM   #4
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Wow, I have the same spots on the things I built with Trex. I dont know if me, being a homeowner who installed it myself, would be able to be involved, but I spend a good amount of money building steps, benches and tables out back and only a year later, they have the black spots on them like you described. I made no attempt to clean them yet, but I figured I'd pressure wash them with bleech or something first.
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:59 AM   #5
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Apparently, these problems w/Trex aren't anything new. Going back to 2004, when a Class Action Suit was filed in N.J. by four homeowners arguing Trex was a defective product ("spotting" and mold among those defects, btw) and that Trex didn't abide by its own guarantee: "No need for any sealant or maintenance other than regular hosing." As you might suspect, the suit was eventually settled out of court. Trex never admitted and made a special point of issuing a statement that "Settlement doesn't amount to our [Trex's] admission of guilt". Duh.

Do a Google search w/criteria "Trex complaints"; "Trex mold"; "Trex class action". You'll be amazed at the number of hits!

You might be interested in this thread from Garden Web's Home Improvement Forums and this post from a thread on Bob Vila's website (Read the entire threads on both sites for more info). Basically, they reveal why any present complaints to Trex re spotting issues will fall on deaf ears. "Mold and its resultant spotting", to paraphrase, "is caused by an Act of God and therefore not covered by any warrantees or guarantees by Trex". It's also advised not to pressure wash it as the force of the water will only deeper impregnate mold into the product.

Even though Trex has "been there and done that" via the settled suit, if you can wrangle up more than four other homeowners w/similar complaints (and by virtue of the number of others in your same boat, that shouldn't be a problem) you might have a chance to shake "The Trekkies" up a bit more.

Try contacting your local (and national) newspapers and/or t.v. watchdog reporters. Nothing like negative national press to build a fire under their butts. Especially since they've already been burned once. Oh, and if all else fails, devote a goodly amount of time to posting on as many forums and complaint blogs as you can, restating your dilemma and issues w/Trex and their...uh..."response". Then contact Trex again. Only this time include ALL the links or names of where you posted and what you said. In this day and age, (like it or not) the Internet has replaced or at least well supplemented print media and tv in dispensing information.

Good luck and, for what it's worth....thanks for the heads up on this product as I was considering using it in construction of our new deck.

Last edited by Linjay; 07-23-2007 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 07-23-2007, 12:17 PM   #6
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I'm sorry to hear about your problems with Trex. We were getting ready to specify Trex for a deck we're building in September. Perhaps we'll use something else. What competitive product do you recommend? Has any company reviewed composite decking? If so, how did Trex fair?

Thanks,
Kelly
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:10 PM   #7
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I will post my opinios about Correct Deck CX. I think it is one of the better products out there on the market... However in my area we dont have mold issues so I cant say from firsthand experiance that it does not mold... But it is not supposed to. And it has been holding up to all the other things it claims to do. I have not yet seen a negative complaint about the CX line molding in the forums I have been on. In fact I have not seen a legit complaint about the CX line at all.
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Old 07-28-2007, 11:19 AM   #8
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TREX decking extremely disappointing


To all postings, you have provided some incorrect and misleading information.
Trex is not a lifetime guaranteed product and never has claimed that. Also, it does stand behind its product and did so by responding to you in a professional and honest way.
I won't challenge your assertion that you have a mold problem, but it can be managed. I do so currently with my trex deck and rail system. Two cleanings a year is all I need to get the deck looking new again. I use Beh#62 for mold/mildew and behr #63 to finish it up, 45 mins beginning to end, easy stuff!
No matter what product is out on your deck you have the opportunity to grow mold. It is a naturally occuring problem that will settle and grow anywhere there is a food source. All composite deck manufacturers have people like yourself with mold issues. That's a fact.
As to the assertion you can't pressure wash it, you are incorrect. You can, if you keep the pressure washer PSI below 1500. If you go above that you will damage the deck.
You all should take the time to read the warranty and the cleaning instructions, which are available on the web site. There is some usefull information there.
For those of you considering Trex, don't be scared off. All decking materials have the opportunity to mold. Trex was easy to install and looks great. The colors offered, in my opinion, do the best at replicating what a wood deck looks like. Be sure to select a product that has been around for a while and is no danger of going out of business. A few have already this year. Choose the product that looks the best to you. All products install somewhat differently but they all perform similarly.

Lastly, for all this negative feedback posted here you could find just as much positive feedback if you were to look for it.
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Old 07-28-2007, 11:32 AM   #9
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TREX decking extremely disappointing


I have to respectfully disagree to a point. I built a nice set of steps off the back door with Trex. I had 2 16' pieces left over. A few months later, I decided to build a set of benches and tables, using Trex as the seating and table surfaces. I had to buy more Trex to finish my project. Now more then a year later, you can clearly see a difference between the first and second batch of Trex I bought. The first batch has the black mold spots and the second batch has none. Its not unfair to say they had a bad run, it would just be in their interest to replace what is obvioulsly bad!
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Old 07-28-2007, 12:21 PM   #10
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That post is too long Images will help
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Old 07-30-2007, 04:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tank View Post
To all postings, you have provided some incorrect and misleading information.
Trex is not a lifetime guaranteed product and never has claimed that. Also, it does stand behind its product and did so by responding to you in a professional and honest way.
I won't challenge your assertion that you have a mold problem, but it can be managed. I do so currently with my trex deck and rail system. Two cleanings a year is all I need to get the deck looking new again. I use Beh#62 for mold/mildew and behr #63 to finish it up, 45 mins beginning to end, easy stuff!
No matter what product is out on your deck you have the opportunity to grow mold. It is a naturally occuring problem that will settle and grow anywhere there is a food source. All composite deck manufacturers have people like yourself with mold issues. That's a fact.
As to the assertion you can't pressure wash it, you are incorrect. You can, if you keep the pressure washer PSI below 1500. If you go above that you will damage the deck.
You all should take the time to read the warranty and the cleaning instructions, which are available on the web site. There is some usefull information there.
For those of you considering Trex, don't be scared off. All decking materials have the opportunity to mold. Trex was easy to install and looks great. The colors offered, in my opinion, do the best at replicating what a wood deck looks like. Be sure to select a product that has been around for a while and is no danger of going out of business. A few have already this year. Choose the product that looks the best to you. All products install somewhat differently but they all perform similarly.

Lastly, for all this negative feedback posted here you could find just as much positive feedback if you were to look for it.
Boy I hate it when company reps come in and try to defend thier products.
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Old 09-18-2007, 07:57 PM   #12
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TREX decking extremely disappointing


Wether I'm a rep or not doesn't change these facts nor does it have anything to do with what is being discussed. One of the challenges with any construction product is ensuring the customers understand what they are buying, how it performs and what to expect from it. Hopefully those who took the time to read the post were able to gain some valuable and correct information.
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Old 09-19-2007, 09:32 AM   #13
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Wow two cleanings a year tank? Talk about maintenance free!!

when will people realize trex is such trash. I restore a wood deck for fraction of the cost and it will last 10 times as long. Most decks get cleaned every two to three years. Twice a year just to keep a maintance free deck looking good? Forget that
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Old 09-19-2007, 03:18 PM   #14
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I would have to respectfully disagree. Wood by nature is rotting and wearing away. You can slow it down, but you cant prevent it forever. The plastic used on composite decks will last much longer, and stay better looking, even when not maintained to "manufacturer specs", in my opinion.
That being said, I do think Trex is a good product, but had a bad run or a series of bad runs. I have bought it twice from the same place a year apart and the older stuff looks much "dirtier" then the one year newer stuff. Overall, it seems to be a great product.
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Old 09-19-2007, 07:28 PM   #15
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Composite is a mix of plastic and wood. They fail even quicker because the wood in the composite rots out and the plastic gets brittle from uv damage.

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