The cedar planks on the backyard deck and at the boathouse dock were falling apart – literally – after being installed less than seven years prior.
It was a frustrating situation for the cottage owners. To replace the rotting boards, they went looking for something that was durable, long-lasting, low-maintenance and designed for lakeside living.
They found their product: WearDeck, supplied by Baycrest Distribution in Muskoka, covered all the bases.
The North American-made synthetic lumber product is waterproof, rot proof, and mould proof; perfect for withstanding the environmental pressures a dock faces throughout the year.
Jason Smith of Baycrest Distribution says the word “proof” is a key characteristic: many other boards on the market only offer resistance to water, rot, and mould.
David Smits, who was hired to install the new boards, says they were a pleasure to work with. He even went so far as to use them for sleepers on top of the steel beams to increase the entire structure’s durability and longevity. “Using the Weardeck 2×4 for the sleeper completely eliminated the chance of rot.”
The design has the lower part of the dock skirting in the water, something that can only be done with quality synthetic lumber. WearDeck boards can be completely submerged without any harm, and are designed not to split, splinter, warp, twist, or fade.
One thing David really loved was WearDeck’s increased span strength: their decking and dock boards can clear span up to 36 inches, making it more desirable to builders than any other manmade board on the market.
“I installed these boards 32 inches on centre with absolutely no problem,” says David. “That’s a big deal when you’re framing. If you use boards that need to be 16 inches on centre, you have screws everywhere.”
With the highest live load rating in the industry, WearDeck 1×6 boards can support over 120 lbs. per square foot at 24-inches on centre with minimal to no expansion or contraction.
“The product is built to offer durability and strength, which allows WearDeck planks to last a lifetime,” explains Jason. “Even when they’re installed in a busy marina, where boats have the habit of hitting the dock, the structure remains in fantastic shape and shows little to no signs of wear and tear.” That kind of abuse, he notes, far exceeds what the typical cottage dock experiences.
Cool and comfortable
The family also really loves how the WearDeck boards are comfortable underfoot, even on the hottest days. Weardeck comes with heat-reflective technology integrated into the boards. “This is an important feature,” says Jason. “Competing boards offer this feature as a coating that will quickly wear off.”
Static has long been an issue with many manmade boards, making them unsafe for marina use and often causing discomfort due to static shocks around the boathouse and cottage.
Weardeck has constructed their boards with static inhibitors, allowing it to be used at marinas and eliminating static issues at the cottage.
Since the install, David says the backyard deck and dock have been very easy to maintain – just a quick once-over with a strong hose or power washer and it’s ready for anything, be it a special event or just unwinding with the family.
Baycrest keeps stock of all Weardeck colours and profiles at their Muskoka location, so it is convenient for builders and cottage owners to quickly get what they want when they need it.
“The 2×4, 2×8, and 2×10 have been popular choices with dock builders on the Big Three lakes,” adds Jason.
With a lifetime guarantee and unmatched quality, Jason says this is “the last board you’ll ever need to buy.” Indeed, the ROI on a lifetime product is much higher than one that needs to be updated every five to 10 years.
“If you decide to sell your property in 10, 15 or even 20 years, you won’t have to worry about replacing the deck or dock boards to add value or appeal,” says Jason.
Indeed, the switch over can also have immediate results. This was the case for John, a cottage owner on Lake Muskoka who had trouble selling his property due to the condition of his decks and docks. “Once we replaced all of our wood planking with Weardeck, we sold within two weeks,” he says.
As for the family that changed over from wood, “they love it!” exclaims David.
TEXT CHRIS OCCHIUZZI | PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN