In November of 2008, Mr. Rodney Sawyer contracted with Mr. David Stroud and Safrits lumber company to construct a large deck using TimberTech vinyl boards. We chose this product in-part because of the 25 year warranty and the advertised “no maintenance”. Both Mr. and Mrs. Sawyer specifically spent the extra $7,000.00 for the safety and durability of this material.
In June 2009 Mrs. Sawyer started to notice cupping and warping of 9-11 decking boards. By August 2011 the warping started to present a walking hazard. After several guests had tripped and fallen due to the severe continued cupping and warping; Mr. Sawyer initiated a formal request for warranty service due to defective building materials on May the 15th 2012.
On May 29th 2012 Shelley McCune, a warranty specialist with TimberTech requested that we send pictures and receipts for the boards. We sent several pictures (Artifacts 1-5 below) and the lumber company, Safrit’s Lumber in Beaufort, NC, sent the requested receipts.
TimberTech responded by sending us an email saying that we should have a structural engineer or the installing contractor examine the deck as it was a joist and butting problem. TimberTech, never having sent anyone to inspect the installation they simply stated “This is in no way a workmanship issue.”
Astonished Mr. Sawyer contacted the installation contractor David Stroud. Mr. Stroud inspected the deck on July 6th 2012 and issued his detailed report which clearly shows that the decking boards are showing significant signs of cupping and lifting up from the pressure treated joist boards (Clearly Defective Material); presenting a significant trip hazard. Mr. Stroud also inspected, at length, the pressure treated 2”x 8” framing material to determine if they could be related to the problem. As the deck was constructed from the same material on both corners you would expect, if this problem was a construction manifested problem other boards would also cup and warp; this is not the case. (Other boards with the same joists and butting do not have this problem as they do not appear to be defective) Mr. Stroud has 12 years of experience working with many building materials and specifically Vinyl decking boards and wrote “In my experience the likelihood of a framing issue causing this type of problem is not possible, especially considering the way the decking boards are warping upwards on the ends away from the opposite running joist boards. I believe that the boards do not have enough fiberglass.”
Mr. Stroud further concluded “based upon my inspection of the TimberTech decking boards we used; purchased locally from Safrit’s are defective and as such should be replaced immediately. I would strongly propose that if TimberTech are in anyway doubtful as to my findings, a company representative should conduct your own inspection.”
Furthermore; if these decking boards are not replaced quickly this defective material will become much worse and someone is highly likely to fall and could be severely injured.
We spoke with TimberTech last year in regards to the deck we had built at 421 Hillcrest Dr. using Timbertech Lumber. It was explained to you the condition the deck was in and that it was a safety hazard and clearly defective material.
At TimberTechs suggestion we had our contractor come out and inspect the deck to see how the boards were cupping, separating, mildew, etc. and to make sure they were installed properly. We did this and the contractor sent you a letter clearly stating that they were installed correctly and to date we never heard back from Timbertech.
We have contacted Timbertech repeatedly for over a year and were told someone would be out to inspect the deck, however at this time no one has called or attempted to inspect the deck. So therefore, take care not to use this company or any of their products as it’s extremely obvious they will not honor any warranty support; even in the face of clear concise evidence; like the Sawyers you will just get the run around and then silence. There are many other companies that would make a far better building materials choice and offer outstanding customer service.
The Sawyers have started a media campaign to alert as many potential consumers of this inferior products as possible. An aggressive Facebook and Twitter campaign has already reached over 100,000 consumers and will continue to post everywhere until the defective boards are repaired and the 25 year warranty is honored!
Rodney and Delores Sawyer