were the Trex mold issues resolved?

mary1805May 12, 2008

We are preparing to build a deck in our backyard this summer. Originally we planned to use Trex, but then I came across some of the mold issues people were experiencing on this forum and others. That seemed to be a couple of years ago, though, and I was just wondering if those issues had been resolved? We are planning to place our final order in a couple of weeks and I would really like to know that this problem has been taken care of, but if not, we will probably start looking into competitors of Trex.

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Mold is a function of there being wood fibers mixed in with the polyethylene plastic which composes the decking material. The wood absorbs moisture and supports the growth of mold. CorrectDeck is the only composite I know of that adds Microban to prevent mold, plus it has a harder surface and is made of polypropylene and wood. I'm not crazy about the look, however. The other choice is 100% PVC (Azek/Procell, Cellek, Trex Escapes) which if you like the look does not support the growth of mold and does not stain or rot and has a lifetime guarantee. But it's a little more expensive. Or IPE (Ironwood or Brazilian Walnut) is real wood, lasts forever, grays to a nice finish if you don't treat it (and don't mind the gray) and is hard as a rock. But it eats drill bits and saw blades. But only once!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 5:32PM
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Trex has never Resolved anything, they just pay off class actions and hire more Lawyers. They set aside 45 million $ to pay for defective material last year. I am thinking they dont want another class going on.

A search on this site will bring up the same ol " problems" those guys have been puting out from the begining. J.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 8:04PM
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We bought our Trex deck in 2005 - and are now kicking ourselves for doing the research too early (spring 2004) or not diligently enough and can't believe we missed all the mold issues online. We have Trex around our pool so of course it gets wet but it is also a sunny area so dries quickly. That makes no difference. We bought when their web said "No maintenance" and now we have so much mold it is almost the complete colour of the deck. We tried to clean it with soap and water (their recommendation still on their site!!) "Clean deck to remove dirt and debris. Soap, hot water and a soft bristle brush are all that is needed." hahaha that is funny. Then I tried a combination of bleach & soap and hot water (their first email to me). Didn't make one bit of difference. BTW - Our fencing around the pool is p.t. and was installed years before the deck and there is no mold or maintenance been done to the fence.

I did the whole claim package - that was a complete waste of time. They wrote back (spelling my name wrong) and said I have no claim as their warranty does NOT include mold but gave me a 25%, one time only, discount for Expert Chemical's deck cleaner, the cleaning steps for which state you have to follow their directions precisely and look like they will take a whole day to complete for our size deck (1100 sq feet).

Trex's website now says you should clean it spring and fall (Okay so that is about $400 a year for the product they are recommending) to reduce the chance of mold and they have a whole section on mold right on their site in the technical section (wasn't there when we were buying!)http://www.trex.com/technicalinfo/mold.aspx.

A N S W E R : So to answer your question, I am assuming if they still don't include mold in their warranty, the problem hasn't gone away.

Currently, I am left with my spotty deck that needs a major cleaning so...

Q U E S T I O N : Can anyone tell me if they bought the kit from Expert Chemical and if it worked or if I just try the Behr product?

I'll log back in and let you know after I clean it how it turned out. I think I will post some before and after pics on my blog for those of you considering it and I will post after-after pics again once I have tried their recommended products.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 9:49AM
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Thanks for the updates. I will get a quote on the Trex Escapes and see what the price difference is. Our original quote was for Trex Brasilia. Hopefully it is not a huge difference!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 3:52PM
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Sorry to read about your problems. No maintenance is a big joke with composites. I'm printing out your message to show my prospective clients when they say they want one of those "no maintenance" trex decks. I only build Ipe decks anyway.

good luck


    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 4:32PM
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I had a trex deck installed in september of 2005. No problems with mold (except surface black and green stuff that accumulates on everything out here), but when cleaning it this year for first time - noticed that some areas were disintegrating. Looks as if the surface is slighting bubbling, and expanding - kind of like pressboard when it gets wet. The bubbling areas when wet, easily crumble and flake off if you pick at them with a fingermail. The problem areas seem to be in an area that gets the most sun and reflected sun - directly in front of a white french door. In the parts that are affected (so far!), it is almost like the plastic is evaporating and leaving just the porous wood fiber. After looking at all possible remedies, I decided to use the Behr wood prep product to clean it, then use the Behr waterproofing sealer on it. I will let everyone know how it turns out. Looks like I really got taken on the 'no maintenance' claims like so many others. Paid twice the price as cedar, and now have probably twice the maintenance. Very dissapointed. I now imagine that any composite product will have similar issues, so looking for an alternative on the new house we are building. I will post pictures of the failing product here soon.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 1:09PM
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Installed our deck in 2005. The spotting problems started within a year. Earlier this year, I got nowhere with Trex. They gave me a 25% off coupon for some extremely expensive deck cleaner called Expert Chemical Composite Deck Cleaner and Enhancer only available by mail. Their web site describes 3 passes over the deck with the cleaner and the use of a brush to scrub. This process results in only 100 square feet coverage per gallon that costs like $17/gallon.

I was NOT happy since I already used their recommended cleaner, Behr Multi Surface Cleaner, that did NO good. It did however cost only a fraction of the above cleaner. I do NOT recommend it using a low power pressure washer and cold water. Has anybody tried it using a brush? I did not see anywhere in the Trex BULLETIN that a brush is required.

We are in Northwest Arkansas and the deck has an extreme southern exposure. We are still having difficulty accepting that this is mold or mildew since the temperatures get quite hot for a number of months every year. My wife even thinks that the spotting is worse in the direct sunlight.

Would somebody please explain to me where the Corte Clean Environmentally Friendly Composite Deck Cleaner at www.corteclean.com mentioned in other posts came from. I see no such product mentioned in my Trex MOLD TECHNICAL BULLETIN.

Jerry D

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 11:36AM
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NO!!!! TREX is the worst product and a waste of money. We had it installed in 2006 and had mold problems within a year. We cleaned it with Corte Clean and unfortunately mold stains, so even after cleaning it, it still looked terrible, now a year later there is mold over every inch of our deck, we are so disgusted. Does anyone know of any pending class action lawsuits?? We wanted no maintenance and paid the hefty price for what we thought would be the best product, now we are left with a ugly disgusting looking deck, it is very embarrassing and we are very angry (to put it nicely).

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 4:59PM
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Sorry Laura,really its a bad deal. The last I heard the 45 was up to 68 million for bad material coming from the t=junk plant in Navada.

The trex guys will never stop until they see the train coming in the tunnel,then they will take the money and run. J.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 7:10PM
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We too have experienced the same black spot mold problems and are totally dissapointed with the product. We installed about 400sf of Maderia decking in 2005 & 2006 and have been working with Trex and the suppliers (Home Depot and Spring Arbor Lumber Co)_ to find a solution ever since. Trex guys never answer your questions about how to clean the mold, only say that it can be cleaned with "these products". We have tried all recommended products to no avail and when we talk to the Trex folks they only refer us to the claims dept who say they don't cover mold.

I would be happy to join any class action against Trex.

Jim & Judy Campbell
3330 Harben St,
Jackson, MI 49203

    Bookmark   September 12, 2008 at 7:53AM
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For those with moldy Trex decks, DO NOT clean with bleach as it will break done the wood fibers in the deck frame. I've seen it first hand on a tear off job I did last year. The folks had a spa setting on top of the deck & cleaned that area with bleach. All the joist in that area were badly damaged.


    Bookmark   September 12, 2008 at 11:16AM
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Dear James James:

I am a representative of Trex and would like to discuss your concerns. Please contact me at 800-BUY-TREX or question@trex.com.

Pat M

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 3:46PM
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Pat you are just not geting it...these Folks Hate your product they dont want to discuss corcerns,,they want you to remove that total junk put on something else and pay for the whole thing. Like you should. J.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 7:42PM
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Pat the trex blowhard is only trying to make it look like he's all concerned about these people's problem with trex. He probably could care less, just putting that post on here for show, imo. If he was really a good guy he wouldn't be working for a rip off company like trex.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 1:26AM
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I have a Fiberon composite deck and after eight months, it was covered with mold. The company claims they are not responsible because it is an environmental problem. The website states that their product "never needs any treatment and requires low maintenance." The company used deceptive advertising and blatant lies. They have told me to use bleach to clean their product, but pouring bleach on a deck that is 3000 square feet does not seem very environmentally friendly.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 3:36PM
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Good old Trex deck good idea bad follow through, they even got a rep on a forum to try to act like the care that I have had to replace 3 decks due to the junk the try to sell, I will never do a comp deck again nor will I allow my sons to, weather best is running in to the same problem now its only a matter of time before they all do composite decking is junk, any real wood is better than comp's looking in to Ipe Decking, or we just built a deck out of Tigerwood decking and Ill tell you if you are looking for something original thatÂs they way to go the guys at Advantage Trim and Lumber talked me in to doing Tigerwood on the back of my daughter and son in laws house because they wanted something different and Ill tell ya it is a very good looking product and as I'm told will last almost as long as Ipe, it was cheaper too.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 1:54PM
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Tigerwood is a great alternative to ipe and I will tell you what there is no mistaking it. There is no way I would ever put composite deck on my house. I even stopped putting them on customerÂs house, just because I canÂt see doing that to someone. I like making money but I have just stopped taking those jobs where there is no convincing them not to use a defective product like such as composites. I am really happy with the tigerwood decks I had built, and now that Advantage Trim and Lumber started carrying the 5/4x6 it is a lot easier to convince the customer to switch over to tigerwood instead of composits.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 3:42PM
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I'm in the middle of screwing down my garapa deck...a LOT less expensive than ipe and so far so good. My 1x6 on 16's feel pretty solid.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 9:15PM
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Weather has should have no bearing on the composite material. my uncle has been a contractor in Oregon (rains nine months out of the year)for over 15 years, who uses several types of composites without fail. He does not ever recommend the use of Trex to customers because they do have a faulty product. Like deckman22 said don't a chemical unless it is an MBA (microbiotic agent) or else it will break down the top layers of the composite itself. However there are many good alternatives with a little research they are easy to find. Always look for a warranty on the product. I would recommend something such as Timbertech as it has a 25- lifetime warranty even for fading and literally has no maintenance. I have put in decks for people that have had to be replaced but they were fully paid for by Timbertech (including contractor fees) and they have a decent customer service center from what the customers have stated.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 1:04AM
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