matt whale interview - duradek professional

Q: What is Duradek?

A: Duradek is made of PVC. It has over 50 years of thermal plastic proven technology focused to a roofing/waterproof membrane. It is fully glued to the deck or roof structure then heat seamed using hot air forming one continuous deck membrane.

It is primarily made up of salt, one of the most abundant resources on earth. Duradek comes in over 32 styles with varieties of colors, patterns, thicknesses and textures.

For over 34 years Duradek has been one of the least expensive decks to own, with easy soap and water care and is arguably one of the most environmentally friendly or green deck systems available.

Q: What's your background and how did you get into this line of work?

A: I started in the lumber industry, worked on the sawmill’s green chain where I worked up to the head sawyer. The mill specialized in the manufacture of highly specific treated posts, beams and stringers. I was recruited to the roofing and waterproofing industry in 1984. I expanded into coatings in' 86 till adding waterproof duradek decks in'89.

The last 10 years are focused fully on durarail aluminum railings and duradek. I have been educated by some of the best in the waterproofing, coating and roofing industries. Firestone, Bondcote, Karnak to name a few.

Q: What makes Duradek different from other waterproofing membranes?

A: It is not built on site, it is installed. It cannot delaminate or blister between layers for it is just one thick layer. There have risen similar products since duradek pioneered the process back in '74 but no vinyl deck manufacturer limits to and trains it authorized installers, provides accredited designer education and meets or exceeds building code better than duradek.

You will not find greater product consistency or commitment to the proper installation over the entire North American continent. I feel just as comfortable recommending a Baltimore installer or my local Seattle contractor.

A good contractor can make a bad product function and a bad contractor can mess up a great product, its all about the knowledge.

Q: How would you build a deck that is going to last 30 years or more?

A: Waterproof it. Don’t let it get wet and it won’t rot. Do not use treated plywood or lumber unless in ground contact or close proximity, remember Duradek is the wood’s treatment.

Build with Douglas fir or stronger, use the properly conditioned and grade of T&G plywood, let the wood breath. The plywood glued and fastened provides the ultimate in shear strength and stability.

If the floors in your house are hardwood, plywood under carpet or tile, how do you keep you floors from rotting? Keep your roof in good shape. Duradek is the roof you walk on.

Q: How do you install railings on a waterproof deck?

A: If it is a waterproof deck then have the waterproof contractor install the railing for single source protection. With Duradek I recommend a one inch plastic pedestal installed under the waterproofing. This elevates the post and reducing the water volume of the deck to post joint. Otherwise a fascia or rim mounted railing is preferred.

Q: What kind of expertise do guys like you bring to the table?

A: I sit in a place where most questions and resolve funnel. I start with a manufacturer who is focused on getting knowledge to the work force, providing building code compliance systems, and is sincerely interested in feedback.

When you call duradek you get time tested solutions or stay clear experience because we have people, a network and history.

Q: Is this a do it yourself kind of product?

A: It's close but no, if waterproofing is faulty the system rots. History is absolute on this, if it deck leaks then it was not done right, if it was not done right then commonly it’s not covered in the warranty.

I recommend you build the deck if you have the skill then leave the waterproofing to skilled waterproof installers, your duradek installers. Save your money on construction but protect the investment with a warranted installation.

Q: What kind of railing systems can people use with it?

A: Pretty much any type or style of rail, understanding that with surface mounted posts the installer of the waterproofing must properly flash or pedestal any post incorporated into the work. Furthermore if you or anyone other than the deck waterproofing contractor drills a hole to mount the post do not expect protection or waterproof performance other that a what a hole provides.

Q: Where can people find professionals like you and get this product?

A: Duradek, Nationwide on the net go to or by phone call 877 724 5427. In the Northwest go to or call us at 1 800 442 9215 and we will gladly hook you up.

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