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Green Home Improvements .info is written by Charles Faust. Charles has been in the home improvement industry since the early 1990's and has owned his own company for a little over 10 years. This blog was created to show Charles' efforts in making his lifestyle more "Green" and how his product selections for his clients are becoming "Greener".

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PVC Exterior Trim a Green Home Improvement

Written by green1 on Apr 15th, 2008 | Filed under: General Information, green projects


Spring is the perfect time of year to inspect your exterior trim for rot and decay. Most people have rot issues where their garage door trim comes in contact with the ground and around exterior doors and windows. Replacing wet or rotten trim will reduce the damage to your home and it will take away an invite to ants and bugs. Using a cellular PVC product like Azek allows you to install a product that will last a lifetime!

Cellular Pvc Trim

Exterior trim is generally made of pine which is a soft pourous wood that loves to hold water. We all know what happens when wood and water mix, in most cases you will have mold or mildew. Bugs also love wet exterior wood because they can nest or eat your home without having to travel far for a drink. Once the bugs begin to nest they generally call their family and friend and before you know it, your house is party central! You are left with two options, one is to tackle the project on your own or you can hire a home improvement contractor.

If you want to take on the project on your own you will need to decide on what type of wood you will replace the rotten wood with. Most home centers sell finger jointed pre-primed 1 x4×16’s- 1×10x16’s and all sizes in between, this product is referred to as PFJ (primed finger jointed). While the price of PFJ is tempting, the final project outcome is generally a disappointment;

1. With most PFJ wood you can see the finger joints (lines every 6-18″). Adding a nice glossy paint really makes these lines show up.

2. Under the coat of primer is pine and you can have rot issues down the road.

3. The finger joints can come apart when the glue breaks down.

Another option is using a harder more dense wood than pine. Fir is an excellent choice if you don’t mind painting it every few years. When my company removes old fir trimmed doors and windows we seldom find major rot or decay issues.

My solution is to replace exterior trim with a cellular PVC trim like Azek. Over the past few years my company has switched over to using Azek trim for almost all of our products without one call back. Azek exterior trim cuts like wood, you can use a router to shape it and it can be heated and molded into different shapes. One of the best features is that their trim is available in 18′ lenghts so your project will have less seams. With Azek vinyl trim you do not have to paint since the trim already comes with a white finish. If you want to paint a cellular PVC trim product you should sand it first so the paint has a surface to bond to, a 220 grit sand paper works fine. If you want a wood grain finish check out Koma, they offer a similar product line.

Azek PVC Trim

Since you are going to spend the time or money replacing your exterior trim you might as well find a product that will last you a lifetime. Granted you will have to pay almost twice the money up front for the PVC trim but the investment will pay you back over time. I feel that a green home improvement is one that you will never have to do again!



4 Responses to “PVC Exterior Trim a Green Home Improvement”

  1. Wow - I love the look of your new site! The colours are perfect!!!!

    And good article too, it is always helpful to get good ideas for going “green”.
    Thanks!

  2. Thanks, everyone complained that the other theme was a little dark.

  3. While PVC has the benefit of long life, there is considerable concern about its long term effect on the environment and the human body. PVC breaks down to dioxins which are known to cause cancer, and PVC is also being targeted as a potential endocrine disrupter.

    Are we trading relatively short term ease of maintenence for longer term environmental damage?

  4. Chris, For the people who are too lazy to maintain their homes PVC products save the landfills and trees.

    As I have stated before the production of PVC is just plain nasty. In regards to the cancer concerns, everything gives us cancer! Not that I don’t take cancer as a joke but rather everyone’s demand for the products that are laced with chemicals and then they complain about cancer.

    A good place to start if you are concerned about plastics/PVC and peoples health is in your kitchen. Google to find the dangerous codes for plastic and then look on the bottom of your cups and plates. Come to think of it, I think people are still installing PVC and plastic water supply lines.

    I took a break from decking a 12×12 deck with PVC decking to type this. By the way, nice looking website, feel free to leave your link if you comment again.

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