Ducan Decking - An Interview With Cori Kyle:

Every now and then, I explore new building products on the market and am intrigued by something. The Ducan line of deck coating products was exactly that. And so for my own education and the benefit of you, my valued visitors, I do interviews with experts.

Cori Kyle of Ducan is one of those experts. So let's get going. Here is the interview.

Q: Hello Cori and thanks for taking time to share your expertise in waterproofing decking. Your company manufactures the Ducan line of wood deck waterproofing materials and system.

Just for the benefit of some of our visitors who are new to the concept of waterproofing a wood deck we should explain briefly the various ways people can waterproof a deck.

There are surface sealing systems like vinyl membrane welded together at seams, fiberglass and your Ducan system - Roll-dek System .

There are under deck drainage systems that mount between joists and direct water that falls between deck boards away from the house towards a trough and then down spouts. So there are a number of ways people can keep areas under a deck dry.

Perhaps you could tell us how the Dek-Master system compares and differs from the other vinyl and fiberglass decking options because I understand you have a deck coating system that is painted or rolled over a deck surface and you also have complete vinyl membrane systems that are glued to the deck and seams welded like other vinyl membrane.

A: As a manufacturer we do offer a number of options for customers. We carry a line of waterproofing membranes called Dek-Master from 31.5 mil and 45 mil vinyl for the do-it-yourselfer, to a heavier grade 60 mil vinyl which is a roofing membrane. The difference between the two options are:

The do-it-yourself Dek-Master vinyl (31.5 mil) is thinner and can easily be installed by the average weekend warrior. We offer user friendly adhesives which allow the customer to adjust the vinyl for up to one hour before it dries. We also offer an overlapping seam adhesive (Overlap Cement) for the vinyl seams.

That being said, we also offer other adhesives for our heavier vinyl (60 mil). One is an instant tack solvent adhesive called Pro Contact Adhesive and the other is our Pro Water Based Adhesive which has minimal odor and could be used indoors. We also offer a hot air welding gun to do the seams of the vinyl.

Most often a contractor will purchase these "Pro" items but we have had many average homeowners do the job themselves. We offer a hot air welding DVD to teach the basics of hot air welding. We also offer rental of the hot air welding gun which makes it convenient and less expensive for the do-it-yourselfer to install the vinyl themselves. 

The other option for waterproofing is our rubber coating system called Roll-dek/Top Cote. This is a Hypalon and Neoprene, thick roll on coating. This product should be applied on new plywood or off the ground concrete decks. It will also adhere to metal and sanded fibreglass. There is a base coat (2 coats with skid resistant rubber chips) and Top Cote (1 coat, colour coat and U.V. protection).

New for 2012 will be our Water Based rubber waterproof system Superdek. This coating will be a tintable system and will be replacing the Roll-Dek/Top Cote. The new Superdek System will be able to be compatible over the Roll-dek System.

Q: Let's look at your Dek-Master vinyl membrane system. Tell me about it and how it compares to others?

A: The biggest comparision is that Dek-Master is available in Building stores for the consumer to purchase for a very reasonable cost. We offer choice. Choice of how to apply the vinyl, adhesives, Overlap glue or Hot Air Welding gun. We offer a user friendly option for the average homeowner and a heavier vinyl for anyone from an average homeowner to a professional contractor. Our brochures and DVDs are very informative and show how to apply the Dek-Master vinyl, making it an easy and cost effective option for anyone interested in waterproofing their deck.

Q: So you train people or give them guidance how to install your Dek-Master vinyl system?

A: Our literature, DVD's, Technical phone assistance is second to none. We do our best to make sure all our customer's questions are answered before they start their project. Our Sales Representatives do Product Knowledge training with building store staff so they can pass on the information to their customers.

Even though our focus is our retail building store customers, we do offer contractor training. We have a training facility in our office in Port Coquitlam B.C. It is a 5 hour training course which delves into everything from building a deck to applying the Dek-Master vinyl membrane. We offer on hands use of the Hot Air Welding Gun. Showing tricks and techniques to get the seams, corners and posts just right.

Q: What are the thicknesses of your vinyl products and what do you recommend for the average homeowner?

A: A: We offer 31.5 mil vinyl - Average Homeowner - 45 mil vinyl - Average Homeowner - 60 mil vinyl - More experienced and/or confident Homeowner, Professional Contractor.

Q: What are the critical areas of installing your Dek-Master vinyl membrane system that people need to know?

A: -To read all the directions before beginning and to call our 1800 technical support if they have questions before they start.

To use the right products for the type of vinyl they are applying and make sure the deck surface is prepared correctly before beginning.

If using a hot air welding gun for the seams, to use a proper hot air gun with correct tips and roller and to practice thoroughly before doing their own deck. 

To use 60 mil vinyl for any space which has a living area beneath. This includes a garage or boathouse, or if attaining a permit.

Q: How does it stand up to sun and foot traffic? Is there a warranty on the product?

A: A: Our Dek-Master vinyl products do have warranties, although they do vary. If a certified contractor has installed the vinyl the warranty is longer. The 31.5 mil vinyl has a three year warranty.  The 45 mil has a 5 year warranty (certified contractor 7 years). The 60 mil has a 7 year warranty (certified contractor 10 years) (New Zealand 15 years). We do not warranty stairs because of they are more difficult to make them water tight. The products do stand up well to foot traffic and because there is a U.V. protectant in the vinyl it can hold off fading.

Q: Do you do installations or is this a system you sell to professional installers or homeowners?

A: We are the manufacturer so we do not do the installations. Many of our building stores have professional contractors who do install the vinyl and we do train contractors to install our Dek-Master vinyl membranes.

Q: I know from experience and other systems that welding the seams, patching around posts, corner transitions and up cant stripping and the wall of the house is absolutely critical to ensure a waterproof job. How do you help your customers out on these things?

A: We have DVDs and a website (www.ducan.com) which provide this information and our technical assistance is available 5 days a week Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm for information.

Most decks are extremely straight forward for vinyl installation. A typical square or rectangle deck is quite easy. When your deck is an odd shape with bows and juts sometimes it is better to leave it to a professional.

Also, if the deck is above a living area or a permit is being attained it may be wise to again hire a professional. This being said, many homeowners are opting to do it themselves to save money and to proudly do it themselves.

Q: You also have a deck coating system that looks a bit like a really thick viscous paint that is rolled on directly to wood surfaces. Let's talk about that system and how it differs from the vinyl membrane system and where people might want to use this one.

A: The coating you are referring to is the Roll-Dek System, which is our Hypalon and Neoprene rubber coating. Some customers would rather use a paint on coating rather than a vinyl membrane because they feel it is easier. Some customers like the look of a painted on surface rather than the vinyl membrane.

Q: What are the various costs per square foot for the other systems and yours?

A: The Roll-dek System is approximately $2.90 a square foot and the product must be applied with a coating of Top Cote every three years.

The Dek-Master vinyl membrane varies in cost for the different thicknesses of vinyl from $3.09 a square foot to approximately $5.40 a square foot.

Q: How long does a properly installed Ducan Roll-dek system last?

A: We have decks that have been coated with this system for upwards of 25 to 30 years. These decks can last a very long time if maintained with a Top Cote every three years.

Q: Do you warranty the Roll-dek product or an installation if done properly?

A: A: We do warranty the product if installation has been followed and receipts are kept.

Q: Are there color options available? Are their texture options for the surface?

A: There are two options available Sandy Beige and Dover Grey. the texture, which are fine rubber chips, are in the Roll-dek Base Coat.

Q: How hot does the surface get in the direct sun?

A: The surface can get very warm, like any other surface in the direct sunlight.

Q: What kind of preparation has to be done to a wood surface in order to use the Ducan Roll-Dek system.

A: It must be new, dry T & G 3/4 or 5/8 spruce or fir (no pressure treated plywood). There should be galvanized non return flashing and cantstrip used on the edges of the deck and against the building.

Our Rubber Fill-it must be used to fill plywood joints, screw indentations and knots. Polyester tape should be embedded into the Rubber Fill-it in the plywood joints. The surface must be swept or vacuumed prior to application.

Q: What is the minimum slope you recommend to keep water flowing?

A: One inch in ten feet

Q: How do you seal between the deck and the wall of a house, cant stripping or anything like that?

A: We manufacture a galvanized cant strip for against the building and also DucaFlex Caulking to seal it to the building. Polyurethane Calking can also be used.

Q: What do you recommend for a good strong drip edge? Nothing worse than seeing water stains and dirt dribbling down the fascia board of a deck.

A: It is a requirement to use galvanized non return flashing. We do not recommend aluminum flashing as it waffles in heat. We provide a 6' galvanized non return flashing in the building stores.

Q: So what is the overall advantage for a homeowner using your Ducan Roll-dek system rather than the vinyl and fiberglass?

A: The rubber coating is flexible, easy to apply and easy to clean. It bends and flexes with the heat and cold of the environment. It likens to that of a rubber band (bends and flexes with movement as apposed to an acrylic coating which would be like plexiglass.

Plexiglass shatters or cracks with expansion and contraction. Thus, a rubber coating stands up better under all weather conditions. The vinyl membrane does the same as the Roll-dek System, it flexes with weather extremes.

Q: A vinyl membrane system has to be installed properly and the welding quality is critical for the performance. Also fiberglass decks have to be installed in the right temperature with the right humidity so the resin cures properly - its a chemical reaction - so that has to be followed properly. But both are quite good performers when done right. Where does Ducan fit into this mix?

A: A product always has to be installed correctly for it to work. Whether using Overlap Cement for the vinyl seams or Hot Air Welding, both have to be done correctly for water prevention to happen. All instructions must be adhered to.

Q: Where can people find your products? Do you have any dealers in the US, Canada, the UK or Australia?

A: We are available in most building stores in Canada but the best way to find a store is to visit our website at www.ducan.com and click on "find a retailer near you". We have some dealers in Western Washington like Lowes, some Do it Best and Mclendon's Hardware. We also have a distributor in New Zealand.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to mention that we did not cover off?

A: We also have a cleaning product for decks called "The Duke" cleaner and degreaser. It is safe to use on the Dek-Master Vinyl and the Roll-dek System. You should never use bleach or harsh cleaners on your vinyl as it can fade the color and break down the membrane. This product can also be used around your home safely and effectively. 

Ducan Products also carries a 60 mil vinyl which can be purchased through Rona, Home Depot, Home Hardware Building centres, Totems, Co-ops and many other independent building center dealers. We have all items available plus hot air welding guns for rental through our head office.

If you would like further information please call 1800 943 8226 www.ducan.com.

Q: Thanks very much for you time. So folks that is the Dek-Master and Roll-dek waterproofing system s . A great option to consider and add to your arsenal of solutions for waterproofing your deck!

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