One of the appeals of composite Decking is that it will last a long time with minimal care. Assuring that our dreams will be fulfilled by choosing composite decking is its warranty. The more extended and comprehensive the warranty, the better, right?
But not all composite decking warranties are the same.
Raising the question, which composite Decking has the best warranty?
The best composite decking warranties are from Fiberon and MoistureShield. They have the longest, most comprehensive composite decking warranties. Guarantee a lifetime of decking performance, covering structural, fading and staining for 50 years.
After reviewing over 50 composite decking warranties of some of the best and not so great composite decking companies.All their warranties are not simply one-paragraph promises but much more detail in their explanation and limitations of coverage. With plenty of lawyers speak to go around.
I am not a lawyer but a carpenter who has built decks for many years. So, I will try to cut through the lawyer speak to highlight important parts so composite decking warranties and when and where it matters.
- 1 Best Composite Decking Warranties
- 2 Other Composite Brands that also offer a Lifetime Warranty
- 3 Composite Decking with Shorter Warranty Lengths Then the Best
- 4 Some Important Exclusions and Limitations in Composite Decking Warranties
- 5 Is Labour Included in a Composite Decking Warranty?
- 6 How Soon Must Warranty Claims be Made for Composite Decking?
- 7 Composite Vs PVC Decking Warranties
- 8 Conclusion
Best Composite Decking Warranties
Starting with the best before the rest. Here are what I consider the top two composite decking companies for the best warranties.
MoistureShield and Fiberon have multiple lines of Decking with variations in warranties. For the best, I am picking Fiberon’s Concordia collection and MoistureShield’s Vision®.Their other warranties are good and should not be discarded, but they offer the best composite decking warranty in the industry for these two lines.
Let me explain how.
Longest Residential Warranty
They both offer a 50-year or sometimes referred to as lifetime warranty to homeowners. Now that is a long time. It’s hard to envision what the world will be like in 50 years, but they are confident that their decking will still be there, looking good on your deck.
Their lifetime warranty is also the most comprehensive. We will get to other brands that offer similar lengths but with exceptions. Particular decking performance not included. Decking characteristics that make Fiberon and MoistureShield’s warranties better.
Structural is possibly the most important warranty. I like how Fiberon refers to it.
“Physical Integrity Performance”
Their Decking will perform with integrity for the life of your deck. Now, if only we could get Fiberon to warranty our politicians.
Not to be outdone, MoistureShield claims that after over 30 years of making and warranting their decking, they have never had a field failure. Never has their Decking broken when installed and used correctly. Now that’s better than a warranty, actual dependable performance.
One note of difference between the two warranties. MoistureShield can be installed or near water without voiding the warranty. Fiberon cannot. They specifically state that the warranty does not cover boards submerged in water.
Their decking colour will not fade over the life of the warranty. Well, technically, the fading will be limited to less than 5 Delta-E. This is a very technical reference, but in simple terms, you will barely be able to see the difference between your old Decking and a new one. Slight difference of course but not a huge one.
Most accidental spills on your deck will not stain the decking. MoistureShield has a long list of products that will not stain the deck if clean within 7 days of the spill. Gives you plenty of time to clean your deck to prevent permanent damage.
Fiberon is not as specific but essentially promises the same stain resistance of their Decking.
Staining caution, regardless of which brand of composite most decking will be damaged by suntan lotion, is excluded from most warranties. Lather up so where else.
Digging more into the numbers, there are slight differences between the two, prorating replacement value. It’s not the same.
MoistureShield prorates their decking from year 1. Decreasing by 2% every year. If you make a warranty claim 2 years after purchasing your decking, you will only get 98% of what you paid for it. Or $980 for everything $1 000. It doesn’t seem like much, but it can make a difference.
Fiberon, on the other hand, prorates starting at 10 years. If you make a claim at year 9 you will get back every dollar you paid for your decking. Full, 100% replacement. It does decrease by 10% every 4 years after that. Diminishing how much your warranty payout will be.
Compared to MoistureShield, Fiberon’s warranty claim will always pay more.
Fiberon introduced a labour warranty in 2015, with many others now joining them. This is a huge plus.
First is that labour will often cost as much as the decking. It is great to know that initially, if the decking fails, you are not out of pocket to correct the problem.
Secondly, this is saying a lot about their faith in their product. Labour is an over and above. You do not pay them to install their Decking. But if their decking fails, they will pay you to get it replaced.
The labour warranty is limited in two ways.
- A trained brand installer must install it, which makes sense. All composite decking warranties are clear that the decking must be installed correctly. What better way to ensure this than requiring a trained decking installer.
- Time-limited. This part of the warranty is not for the life of the decking.
- Fiberon 5 years
- MoistureShield, 2 years for Plus Contractors, 5 years for Premier Contractors
The labour warranty is the same if you use the top brand contactor. If not, Fiberon includes a few extra years.
Other Composite Brands that also offer a Lifetime Warranty
Fiberon and MoistureShield are not the only ones to offer 50-year composite decking warranties. Here are a few other brands with lifetime warranties.
All four are missing fading and staining in their warranties. Lifetime structural is great but compared to MoistureShield and Fiberon, which they all cover but they fall short of being the best.
The bonus replacement labour is generally missing also. Again, it is not required if the decking lasts, but it is nice to have just in case.
DuxxBak Rice Hull Composite decking is almost as good as Fiberon and MoistureShield. It doesn’t include labour, which a few years ago no one did. But what made me remove it from the list of best is this one line.
“In those states where a Lifetime Limited Warranty is defined as something less than “lifetime” this warranty becomes a 25 Year Limited Warranty.”
Combined with how it is prorated. It is prorated starting at 10 years, reducing every year to 25 years. One can only assume that after 25 years, there is no payment or that it is inconsequential. So close to the best, but..the line had to be drawn.
One more strange one, Deckorators Mineral-Based Composite (MBC) Decking warranty is good, just not great compared to the best. It is warranty structurally for 50 years, prorated similar to Fiberon. Except again, Fiberon pays more for a longer time.
The catch is Fade and Stain warranty. Rather than a lifetime, it is limited to 25 years. Half of what the best fading and staining warranty is.
And to prevent stains, you have to clean up the spill within two days. Still suitable, just shorter than the best.
The possible redeeming factor is replacement labour. Deckorators (MBC) warranty pays replacement labour for the full 25 years. That’s five times longer than Fiberon and MoistureShield. If they had only included fading and staining for the life of the Decking. They would easily be on the top, as the best warranty ever.
Composite Decking with Shorter Warranty Lengths Then the Best
Fifty years is a long time, and most composite Decking does not have such a long warranty. Except, of course, the best.
Not an exhaustive list as they are constantly evolving, and new brands are being created. But let’s start at the top and work our way down.
Composite Decking with 40-year Warranties
Again, Fiberon and MoistureShield. We should have guessed they would also hold the number two spot with the best warranty.
- Fiberon Sanctuary
- MoistureShield Meridian™
Composite Decking with 30-year Warranties
Dropping to 30 years and expanding the number of brands.
- TimberTech Pro
- Fortress I Series
- MoistureShield Elevate™
Including the usual fade, stain and structural. Except only TimberTech Pro includes a warranty for replacement costs with certified installers.
Composite Decking with 25-year Warranties
This has become the benchmark of composite decking warranties. So much so that if I see a composite decking with less, I wouldn’t install it. For all your paying for composite Decking, I think the least it can do is last for 25 years. If it doesn’t, why not just install pressure-treated. But with a good warranty of at least 25 years, composite becomes worth it.
- Armadillo’s Lifestyle
- Barrette Outdoor Living
- Deckorators wood-Based Decking
- Fiberon’s Good Life Weekender Collection, ArmorGuard
- HD Deck Dual and Pro series
- TimberTech Edge
- Trex, all 3 lines
- UltraDeck’s Inspired, Fusion, Fusion 2.0 and Triumph
The exact details vary by brand, but most composite decking with a 25-year warranty includes structural and is covered for limit fading and staining. Of course, it is prorated. Diminishing down to nothing by year 26.
Composite Decking with Short Warranties
Now the brands with less. These composite deckings don’t even have a 25-year warranty.
- EnDeck has a 15-year limited warranty
- EkoDeck+ Classic 10-year waranty
- EkoDeck+ Designer Series 15-year warranty
- EkoDeck+ Flame Fighter 20-year warranty
- HD Deck XS, 150, and 3D lines have a 10-year warranty
- UltraDeck Rustic™, Natural™ have 10-year warranty
Install at your own risk. Warranty is not the only thing that makes composite decking good, but it is something that should be considered.
Some Important Exclusions and Limitations in Composite Decking Warranties
There is the obvious exclusion that is included in almost every warranty and many insurance policies.
“Acts of God”
Which will void the warranty or limit it.
But every composite decking warranty will have some fine print which is important to read over. Looking for some of these key limitations to the warranty.
- Heat from Fire
- Low-E windows
- Suntan lotion
These have all been known to damage the surface of composite decking and are often excluded from the warranty.
Once aware of what may void the warranty, you can make good decisions to keep the decking in the best shape possible.
Staining often has limitations. Limitations on what products may stain the Decking and which will not. And also, how quickly you need to clean up the spill to avoid damaging the Decking or voiding the warranty. All good information to know.
Is Labour Included in a Composite Decking Warranty?
With most warranties, the answer is no. The warranty covers the product and the product only. But there are some important exceptions to be aware of.
Decking brands that include replacement labour costs if you should need to make a warranty claim.
- Deckorators 25 years
- TruNorth 10 years
- TimberTech 2-7 years
- MoistureShield 2-5 years
- Fiberon 5 years
- Trex 1-5 Years
Labour warranty is generally conditional on trained installers. The warranty length varies by brand and installer’s experience level.
This is the single biggest reason for the difference with Trex labour warranty. The more Trex decking the installer has installed, the longer the warranty. Almost all the warranties, including labour replacement, adjust similarly.
How Soon Must Warranty Claims be Made for Composite Decking?
Generally, claims must be made within 30 days of the decking damage.
Of course, this depends on individual warranties, and you should always read the fine print. Best practice is to make a claim as soon as you notice a problem. Even if you do not complete the claim, it is recorded and you can refer to it later if the problem worsens.
Making any future claim easier.
Composite Vs PVC Decking Warranties
As a general rule, if you purchase PVC decking, you will get a longer warranty than most composite Decking.The standard warranty length for PVC decking is 50-years.
- Bear Board
- Fiberon’s Promenade & Paramount
- Fortress Apex
- Wolf Serenity
The details may vary, but all the above PVC decking warranty equals the length of the best composite Decking. Meaning if you are buying PVC, you are getting one of the best decking warranties.
There are a few exceptions with PVC decking. The following are only warrantied for 25-years.
If you have heard me talk about Zuri before, you know what I am about to say. The testing and the performance are not reflected in the warranty. Zuri, for sure and possibly Clubhouse and Evolve should have much longer warranties but don’t.
You will need to make a judgement call for these brands.
What makes a good composite decking warranty?
The same thing that makes composite decking good. Structural durability, resistance to fading and staining. Including replacement labour cost is a beautiful bonus.
When you are shopping for composite decking, do consider the warranty. Looking that it includes all the things that are important for your deck, like fading and staining. Then make sure it is long as you hope to enjoy your deck. And you are good to go.
Enjoy your deck, and I hope you never need to use the warranty, but if your deck fails, it’s good to know that it’s covered.