Most people think that vinyl products are bad for the environment because they don't rot easily and just pile up in the landfills. However, a closer look at PVC features reveals that it is one of the greenest building products around. This is possible because PVC:
PVC is one of the most durable decking materials. According pvc.org, early PVCs had useful service lives of five decades, and modern products are expected to last more than double that time. PVCs, therefore, conserve resources because it takes a long time for their products to be replaced.
Apart from that, the material neither rots like wood nor corrodes like metal. This means that you don't need to paint your PVC decking frequently or clean its corroded parts with harsh chemicals. As you know, the chemicals you use leach into the soil and eventually contaminate water reservoirs.
Apart from being durable, PVC is also recyclable in different forms such as:
- Mechanical—the material is cut or ground to make a new PVC product such as carpets, this reduces the need for new productions.
- Post-industrial—industries collect specific PVC products (for example, via buy-back programs) to recycle along with their postindustrial wastes (production materials that never made it into finished products).
- Chemical—the plastic is broken down to its molecular level, chemical additives such as chlorine are removed, and a cleaner product is extracted. This method is mostly suitable for contaminated PVC.
It is just unfortunate that post-industrial recycling is more successful than post-consumer recycling; more effort needs to be put into this area. The bottom line is that the material is recyclable; it is only human nature that is limiting the amount that is being recycled.
Has a Relatively Lower Carbon Footprint
Lastly, you should know that the production process of PVC consumes relatively lower energy than most of its competing products. A life-cycle analysis of the material also reveals that, over the cause of its life, PVC emits relatively low levels of carbon dioxide (CO2). For example, it performs better than aluminum or glass products of comparable use. Note that PVC is also fairly energy efficient because of its low thermal conductivity, which means it reflects most of the solar energy. This leads to reduced energy consumption in your house.
Therefore, if you want an easy-to-maintain-deck material that is also good for the environment, then you can't go wrong with PVC. Just ensure that you get a professional installer like Alberta Vinyl Decking & Railings Ltd so you don't have to renovate your deck sooner than you should due to bad workmanship.