Are you a builder or architect that is sick of working with wood? You can’t stand the termites, the rot, the constant painting, the splintering, the warping and most importantly the costly replacement every few years. You have tried fiber cement, but you hate working with the trim. The fiber cement breaks, it is heavy and it destroys your saw blades. You think you found a solution, free-foam cellular PVC, the wave of the future. Yet, you have heard horror stories scarier than the first time you saw Sloth in the 1985 Richard Donner movie “The Goonies.”
Well fear no more, we are going to break 5 common misconceptions you may have about cellular PVC, specifically VERSATEX.
1. Expansion and Contraction -The first point to remember is EVERYTHING moves. Wood moves, fiber cement moves and cellular PVC will also move. The truth is that VERSATEX cellular PVC moves less then wood and it will move less then fiber cement.
Why? VERSATEX will only expand and contract linearly. This means end to end. It will not warp or swell like wood or fiber cement. VERSATEX will expand 1/16” per every 20-degree change in temperature and you really only need to worry about expansion and contraction in board runs of 15 feet or longer. If you can, install when the weather is a mild 65-70 degrees, throw two stainless steel screws in every 16” and you are good to make those long 18 ft facia runs without any problem.
2. Painting – Like fiber cement or fly ash trim I HAVE to paint this product to keep my warranty. WRONG! Not with VERSATEX. But here is the thing…not all PVC is created equal. Some brands are so glossy that you void the warranty if you DO paint it. VERSATEX is a product that you can leave as is without painting and it will STILL never fade, crack, chip or yellow. Yet, if you do want a color other than white feel free to paint the product. (see #3 for dark colors)
VERSATEX has the highest paint adhesion rating on the PVC market. If you do paint and prime it using 100% acrylic latex paint you will be warranted by almost all major paint manufactures including PPG and Sherwin Williams for 25 years’ time.
3. Dark Colors- Oh no, you painted your PVC facia and custom shutters black and they are melting and moving all over the place. You know you can’t paint PVC black...right? Wrong again! With a painting color recommendation LRV of 55 or higher it can be hard to get into those darker trim colors. Luckily for you there are a few companies that make it possible to get those darker colors you are looking for without having to compromise the integrity of your PVC project. The main company I recommend is called AquaSurTech.
AquaSurTech is a water-based paint that requires zero priming or added hardeners. This means you are saving time and money in all sorts of ways. The best part about this paint is you can paint your VERSATEX facia as dark as the inside of a coffin on a moonless night without having to worry about it absorbing any heat.
4. Tolerances- I like to run my CNC with tight tolerances at least +/- 1/32” otherwise I lose product and money. I need my boards to be exactly 1” otherwise my wife is going to kill me. This is impossible with PVC because of the extrusion process…isn’t it? 0-3. Nothing is impossible when you are working with VERSATEX. With the tightest tolerances in the industry VERSATEX holds a tolerance of +/- 1/32” while the industry standard is +/- 1/16.” This give you the ability to accurately rip in the field, run through a CNC to make custom brackets or even build your own column wrap. With tolerances this tight, custom becomes a route that can easily be taken with cellular PVC over wood.
So, now that I have hopefully calmed your nerves a little bit, go out and work with some PVC. Remember, with VERSATEX your imagination is your only limitation.
Questions? Visit www.versatex.com