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PVC Installation Guidelines
(Please see separate instructions for Deck and Porch Boards.)
Storage and Handling
Store AZEK® Brand PVC products on a flat and level surface. Since AZEK® is more flexible than wood, it may conform to uneven surfaces. AZEK® has a density comparable to Pine and should be handled as Pine would be to avoid damage.
AZEK® products can be cut using the same tools used to cut lumber. Carbide tipped blades designed to cut wood work well. Avoid using fine tooth metal cutting blades. Rough edges from cutting may be caused by excessive friction, poor board support, or worn or improper tooling.
AZEK® products can be drilled using the same tools used to drill lumber. Drilling AZEK® products is similar to drilling a hardwood. Care should be taken to avoid frictional heat build-up. Use standard woodworking drills. Do not use drills made for normal rigid PVC. Periodic removal of AZEK® shavings from the drill hole may be necessary.
AZEK® products can be routed using standard router bits and the same tools used to rout lumber. Carbide tipped router bits are recommended. Routing AZEK® products provides a crisp, clean edge.
For best results, use fasteners designed for wood trim and wood siding (thinner shank, blunt point, full round head). To take advantage of the performance of AZEK®, use a highly durable fastener such as our Stainless Steel Trim Head Screws or hot dipped galvanized fasteners. Staples, small brads, and wire nails must not be used. The fasteners should be long enough to penetrate the solid wood substrate a minimum of 1-1/2".
Standard nail guns work well with AZEK® products. Like wood, use 2 fasteners per every framing member for trimboard applications. Trimboards 12" or wider will require additional fasteners. See drawing below. Fasteners must be installed no more than 2" from the end of each board. AZEK® should be fastened into a flat, solid substrate. Fastening AZEK® into hollow or uneven areas must be avoided.
Pre-drilling is typically not required unless a large fastener is used or product is installed in low temperatures.
As it comes from AZEK®, their boards have a mill finish indistinguishable from painted wood. And because Cellular PVC is impervious to moisture it does not require painting for protection. However, as we cut, mould, or sand while making items out of PVC the interior of the material is exposed. Because AZEK Cellular PVC is so fine-grained and consistent throughout the material, many of our customers install it unpainted.
Nevertheless, we believe painting provides the very best, most consistent appearance. Paint helps pollen, dust, and other contaminants slide off the surface and also covers very faint streaks of surface yellowing sometimes produced during machining.
AZEK® accepts and holds paint very well. Use a 100% acrylic latex paint with a Light Reflective Value (LRV) of 55 or higher. For darker colors (LRV of 54 or lower), paints specifically designed for such applications must be used, such as Sherwin-Williams VinylSafe™ coatings.
Follow the paint manufacturer’s recommendations to apply. No special surface preparations are required prior to painting — just ensure the AZEK® surfaces are clean and dry.
Moisture cycling is a main reason for paint failure on wood. Since AZEK® absorbs no moisture, paint lasts longer on AZEK® than on wood. However, paint may also take longer to cure on AZEK®. Generally, paint will be dry to the touch quickly and hard to scrape off in a few days, but may take up to 30 days to fully cure, depending on the humidity and temperature.
For best results, glue all AZEK-to-AZEK joints such as window surrounds, long fascia runs, etc., with AZEK® Adhesive to prevent joint separation. The glue joint should be secured with a fastener and/or fastened on each side of the joint to allow adequate bonding time.
AZEK® Adhesive has a working time of 10 minutes and will be fully cured in 24 hours. Shelf life is about 6 months after opening if tightly resealed but this can vary with temperature and amount remaining in the can. If standard PVC cements are used, keep in mind these products typically cure quickly, which will result in limited working time and may reduce adhesive strength.
For best results, surfaces to be glued should be smooth, clean and in complete contact with each other. To bond AZEK® to other substrates, various adhesives may be used. Consult adhesive manufacturer to determine suitability.
Expansion & Contraction
AZEK® products expand and contract with changes in temperature. Properly fastening AZEK® material along its entire length will minimize expansion and contraction. When properly fastened, allow 1/8" per 18 feet of AZEK® for expansion and contraction. Joints between pieces of AZEK® should be glued to eliminate joint separation. See Gluing section above. When gaps are glued on a long run of AZEK®, allow expansion and contraction space at ends of the run.
AZEK® products must not be used in load bearing applications, but may be used in spanned applications such as soffits and ceilings.
For soffit installations:
- For spans of 16"–24", use a 1x AZEK® product.
- When using AZEK® Beadboard, fasten every 12" or less.
- Install AZEK® Beadboard perpendicular to structure.
For ceiling installations:
- For spans of 16"–24", use a 1x AZEK® product.
- When using AZEK® Beadboard or thinner AZEK product, fasten every 16" or less.
- If temperature at time of installation is 40°F or below, spans need to be decreased to 12".
- Never span AZEK® products more than 24".
Ground and Masonry Contact
Since AZEK® does not absorb moisture, it is an excellent choice for ground and masonry contact. Indeed, it is ICC Building Code certified as suitable for ground contact. (International Code Council Report ERS-1074)
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