This article was updated on 01/24/19. Happy National Peanut Butter Day!
AERT (Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies) is based in Arkansas and manufactures their signature MoistureShield line of building products.
Expanding in a poor economy, they have lately opened the doors of a new plastic recycling plant in Watts, Oklahoma. The factory itself is qualified for LEED green building certification.
Composite Wood Saves Money
Thriftiness is a virtue that is based on the long run rather than instant gratification. Log-homes.thefuntimesguide.com tells us that MoistureShield composite decking costs roughly $4 per square foot.
Traditional hardwood decking materials can be a bit less or more expensive, on the other hand. For example, imported ipe hardwood is a choice building material, but will set you back about $5.48 for the same square foot.
Mahogany can be found for as low as $3.45. Home Depot carries cedar fence pickets for around $2 for a 1 X 6 X 6, which is less expensive than composite material.
With that in mind, where are the savings? Consider durability and consistency. Composite deck boards are are less labor intensive; they dont require to be cleaned, stained, sealed, or refinished as often, even though periodic cleaning is recommended to keep it looking new.
MoistureShield fence pickets will not have to be replaced every four years or so, like cedar pickets. As a side benefit, you wont find the knots, cracks, and warping you can expect in regular wood. One can say that it lacks that “character” if that is what you are looking for.
Using MoistureShield is also certified as a green construction standard for LEED certification, if that is what you are looking for.
Why is MoistureShield Sustainable and Environmentally Responsible?
This is a green building product fashioned from recycled plastics and large chunks of reclaimed wood fibers. Notably, this is not the sawdust and wood flour that many other manufacturers use.
Now here are two eco-friendly factors to consider. Primarily, new resources are not used in production coupled with with the attendant resource-eating processing. Secondly, the wood and plastic ingredients have been re-purposed, reducing land fill contributions.
So how much waste exactly is saved from the landfills in this case? AERT estimates an astounding 271,808,511 pounds per year! And it comes as no surprise that all that plastic is not going to decompose anytime soon.
An important point of their manufacturing work flow is their patented process named total encapsulation. This is a fancy term, although descriptive, that means that the individual wood fibers are properly aligned.
Then they are completely encapsulated in the plastic medium. The final result is simply that the fibers will not be exposed to the elements and pest insects like termites following installation.
This product boasts a full 20-year warranty and has stated claims of not experiencing a product recall or a single instance of rot, delamination, or decay. That is an impressive track record for any company in the industry.
Some Composite Decking Installation Tips
Installing composite and wood decking is not exactly rocket science, but there several things to think about to ensure that your work will last and will be safe. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list; check the reference articles listed at the end of this article.
Only utilize blue chalk with your chalk line because red is permanent and will stain your planks.
Always verify your local building codes.
Only use recommended or stainless steel screws, carriage bolts, and other fasteners.
Pre-drilling attachment holes is always recommended.
The maximum distance between railing posts is 72 inches; the recommended distance between balusters is 3.5 inches.
Joists should be 16 inches on center with a perpendicular decking pattern and 12 inches on center for an angled or herringbone pattern.
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About the Author:
Kelly R. Smith was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation and financial and energy trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.