WEST BOUNTIFUL—Tired of staining that old deck year after year? A new product developed by a local company might just be the answer.
After years of builders and homeowners complaining about the ongoing maintenance and frustrations of a typical wood deck, Matt McClure, owner of Dekmax decided to look for a solution.
“We’d ask people what they wanted and they’d say ‘something that doesn’t need to be stained and is long lasting,’” McClure said. “But there was not a product out there like that. All products have a life. I thought, ‘wouldn’t it be great to listen to them and provide a way to give them what they want?’”
There are maintenance-free deck systems already on the market, but McClure said even those products wear out. So he and his team started looking for alternatives that would last a lifetime. The result? An aluminum planking system (APS) engineered to last.
“It’s attractive and looks like wood,” said McClure. “We got into aluminum because it is extremely durable, recyclable and there are no chemicals in the process of manufacturing it. It’s waterproof and will last a really, really long time. It has a warrantee for life. In the end it met and exceeded what people wanted. We think we’re onto something that could change the industry.”
At the first of the year, McClure had 3D models of the plank pieces made, then they started to talk to manufacturers about making them and what the cost would be. Dekmax filed a patent in April and the first order went into production in June.
“I thought this was going to be easy,” said McClure. “But there’s been a lot of learning.”
There are numerous benefits to aluminum. “If you saw a metal deck in the sun you would think it would be hot,” he said. “It actually disseminates heat, it’s one of the coolest of products. If you cover a roast with foil and take it out of the oven, you can touch the foil because it’s aluminum and it cools fast. It is a unique property.”
The plank pieces are covered through a power coating process and come in a variety of colors.
“It’s baked on paint much like a car finish,” said Corey Stahle, sales and marketing for Dekmax. “It doesn’t peel or oxidize and it will never rust.”
A modified tongue-and-groove (channel and gutter) system makes Dekmax APS easy to put in as well.
“It’s designed to be installed by virtually anyone,” said Stahle. “It’s a long-term solution for today’s busy lifestyle but engineered to last a lifetime. It improves the value of the home for many years to come.”
Current composite materials haven’t changed over the years, McClure said. “They’re putting it over regular treated wood framing (lumber). In our case you can put this over natural wood and it will never fail because sun and water never gets to it.”
Stahle said composite material is made with highly flammable materials that burn four times hotter than wood.
“You hear of hundreds of deck fires that have destroyed homes,” he said. “An aluminum deck will never burn. This will protect your home under a variety of extremes.”
They are also in the process of developing heat strips that would go under the planks and help melt snow, extending the usable season.
Dekmax supports American made products and APS was designed and is manufactured in Utah, according to Stahle. The cost is slightly higher than composite decking at approximately $16 per square foot for the do-it-yourselfer and $20 installed.
“People tell me they’ve redone their deck three times,” said McClure. “Our product is far cheaper than that. In the long run it will save money, frustration and heartache.”