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Azek butt joints holding up?

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  • #16
    Re: Azek butt joints holding up?

    Im in Mass. and have done several jobs with Aztk that are now over two years old. The glued, mitered jopints are all still tight, the butt joints have moved slightly [no more than wood]

    I used the white stainless steel, ring shanked nails. One job was left un painted [white] the other was painted, nails flush.
    Robert Robillard
    www.robertrobillardcarpentry.com
    www.aconcordcarpentercomments.blogspot.com

    Quality means doing it right when no one is looking - Henry Ford

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    • #17
      Re: Azek butt joints holding up?

      If we gun it we use SS siding nails which are 2 1/4" trim head and ring shank, 16" OC and no less than 8" on face (1 x 10 gets three nails across). If cost is not an issue, or it's real cold out, then SS trim head screws, same pattern. My favorite filler is Kampel WoodFil http://www.kampelent.com/wood_fil.htm which is locally available and (a lot)less expensive than BondNFill and works just as well, but we do paint all PVC.
      Mark

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      • #18
        Re: Azek butt joints holding up?

        Mark,
        Honestly, thanks so much for such great information. I know a lot of people who think they'll avoid paint by using PVC. Not the way to think. And I know a lot of people who install it with framing-head nails and regular head screws. Then they 'bondo' over the fasteners. Two problems: I don't think there's nearly as much pressure on the head of the nail/screw as there is against the shank. In fact, the experience I've had with fastening any kind of material, is that headed nails and screws are rarely necessary for trim work. Most material moves against the grain, in ratio to the width of the board/thickness of the board, that means it swells and contracts very slightly in the thickness, though can swell and contract considerably in width. Trim-head screws are the perfect answer to most exterior trim applications, including pvc. And to fill nail holes in ANYTHING (wood or pvc) with Bondo, which expands and contracts at a totally different rate than wood/plastic/engineered wood, is kind of silly. But people sure are using it a lot these days.
        Gary

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        • #19
          Re: Azek butt joints holding up?

          I have something to add that I didn't see mentioned. On the few jobs I've done with Azek, the builder wanted the fascias glued continuously to the sub-fascia with polyurethane. We used ss pneumatic trim nails, with extra nails at the joints, and the jobs look good. Some are around 4 years old.

          I'm no expert with the long runs, but I can say when trimming around windows, pocket screw joinery has worked great. No problems at all.

          Tom
          1) Unconsciously Incompetent: He knows not, and knows not that he knows not. He is a fool. Shun him.
          2) Consciously Incompetent: He knows not, and knows that he knows not. He is simple. Teach him.
          3) Unconsciously Competent: He knows, and knows not that he knows. He is asleep. Wake him.
          4) Consciously Competent: He knows, and knows that he knows. He is wise. Follow him.

          May we all endeavor to progress from not knowing that we know not, to knowing that we know.

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          • #20
            Re: Azek butt joints holding up?

            Interesting. Never would have thought of pocket hole screws. I have fine and coarse threaded screws. Which do you use? I wonder if they are galvi or stainless, or if they make them?

            Thanks for the info everyone,
            Mike
            Last edited by mdannolfo; 02-25-2006, 09:55 PM.

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            • #21
              Re: Azek butt joints holding up?

              Mike, they're coarse thread. The screws made specifically for pocket holes. They weren't galv, but I filled all the holes with silicone caulk. The holes are all on the back-side of the trims. None on the edges.

              Tom
              1) Unconsciously Incompetent: He knows not, and knows not that he knows not. He is a fool. Shun him.
              2) Consciously Incompetent: He knows not, and knows that he knows not. He is simple. Teach him.
              3) Unconsciously Competent: He knows, and knows not that he knows. He is asleep. Wake him.
              4) Consciously Competent: He knows, and knows that he knows. He is wise. Follow him.

              May we all endeavor to progress from not knowing that we know not, to knowing that we know.

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Azek butt joints holding up?

                Thanks Tom,
                I have the screws and use them on interior butt joints on interior casings all the time. I don't know why I don't take that time on exterior joints. Just blop up pine with 2 1/2 stainless, full head nials. Sink the heads and the painters puddy and paint. So on my Azek trim job, I'll pocket hole screw, and I like filling the pocket hole with silicone, stainless nail it and throw in a couple trim screws too for good measure. Damn, I better add some time to my estimate.

                thanks Tom,
                Mike

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                • #23
                  Re: Azek butt joints holding up?

                  Gary-
                  Well, it was bondo related failures in PVC and Polyurethane that started us looking for alternate fillers (also why Azek has found a profit center in Bond-n'Fill). Bondo (a.k.a. auto body filler) is meant to fill metal. If used on plastics it basically gets squirted out of holes like toothpaste out of a tube. Bondo used on PVC (or exterior polyurethane) is a disaster waiting to happen. We like the Kampbell as it works like epoxy (two parts and pretty foolproof mix ratio) and is softer than the plastic, so it compresses well. So far so good.
                  The misconception that Azek spreads about their product not requiring paint bugs me. Of course it's "technically" true, it won't rot, but it won't look very good (for long) either. Prepped right it will hold paint eternally so why not sell it as such?
                  As for fasteners, no need for headed nails at all, I agree. Stiff wire does the trick. Stainless seems to be the proper consistency and why not use a premium fastener on a premium material?
                  Mark

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                  • #24
                    Re: Azek butt joints holding up?

                    Two years ago (summer) we had a customer that speced out a lot of horizontal banding around the house ( craftsman style ) We priced out azek and that blew the budget. Experimented with and then installed TECH TRIM - Universal Forest Products, looked great and brought it in under budget. Then just last week took a new customer over to the house (winter). Gaps were noticable in the scarf joints of the 30' runs but all window joints and where the cement board butted were still as tight as the day we installed. New customer was impressed and speced it out. We installed with s.s. siding nails, 16 o.c.

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                    • #25
                      Re: Azek butt joints holding up?

                      I here comments like this all the time about Azek and other PVC's.

                      "Prepped right it will hold paint eternally so why not sell it as such?"

                      My question is how does anybody know? The material has not been around long enough for a proper review. If you prep pine trim boards properly they will hold quality paint 5-8 years and thats here on the ocean. Will the PVC do any better?

                      Now don't get me wrong I use the stuff in certain situations but I do not like using newer materials until I can see what happens to it after 10-15 years installed.

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                      • #26
                        Re: Azek butt joints holding up?

                        Well the fact that the stuff doesn't rot makes it idea for conditions close to grade, but think of all the work we are cheating ourselves out of in the future if we all start using the stuff... I'm sticking with pine and repeat business.

                        Just kidding. This is my first big job with the stuff and we'll see how it goes. I am armed with all your knowledge and hopefully I can get the stuff to stay on the building. By the time I nail, glue and screw, I think the sheathing will pop off before the trim does.

                        So as far as scarf joints go, should I try to pocket hole them too? Should I try to biscut them together? That doesn't seem to make sense. I scarf like everyone else I would imagine. Open 45 on a stud and then closed 45 on top of it with glue in between and nails. There seems to be a concesus that scarf joints with this stuff open up. How do we solve this, or is it the nature of the beast!

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                        • #27
                          Re: Azek butt joints holding up?

                          The long horizontal lengths are going to move (contract and expand). I don't think a more ridgid fastener like a pocket screw or biscuit at a scarf joint is a good idea. But think of it like this:

                          If a product is going to move a certain distance during seasonal temperature swings, you can cut that movement in half by installing it when the temperature is at the midpoint of that swing (in theory). I think doing this will help:

                          1) If any way possible, if you're near one end of the temp. swing, try to delay the job. Or if one end of that swing is coming up soon, maybe go to that job now, and just do the running trim.

                          2) On really cold or hot days, just don't install the running trim. Instead, try to put that stuff up on days closer to the temp. mid-point.

                          3) Keep the long stuff out of the sun on the hot days, and in the sun (and separated from other pieces-one piece on top of 5 others in the sun doesn't help the ones in the stack) on the cold days.

                          I know doing all this won't be practical in a lot of situations, but if you try to work with this stuff, and consider the effects of the temperature when installing it, it will help you get better results with the mitres on the long runs. I'm sure of it.

                          I try to work with this stuff like I described ever since I marked a long piece for a cut, but didn't cut it right away. The trim was in a pile, in the shade. I put a piece up on my cut station, in the sun, but went to install siding for awhile. It sat for maybe an hour in the sun, and when I rechecked my measurement, it had grown by about 3/16" as I recall.

                          Tom
                          1) Unconsciously Incompetent: He knows not, and knows not that he knows not. He is a fool. Shun him.
                          2) Consciously Incompetent: He knows not, and knows that he knows not. He is simple. Teach him.
                          3) Unconsciously Competent: He knows, and knows not that he knows. He is asleep. Wake him.
                          4) Consciously Competent: He knows, and knows that he knows. He is wise. Follow him.

                          May we all endeavor to progress from not knowing that we know not, to knowing that we know.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: Azek butt joints holding up?

                            Tom may be right, it may be best to install PVC in the mid-temperature range. Only problem is that it's often impractical to do so. I've always looked at it the same as when we do solid wood frame and panel work: I test everything with a moisture meter before I even cut. If it's dry I allow for expansion and if it's wet I allow for shrinkage. Plastics are exactly the same but the movement is thermal and not related to moisture. It's also cumulative in long runs. Not so with wood. I actually prefer to install plastics in the cold as I've never had a failed joint due to shrinkage on those jobs...

                            As for paint staying stuck, PVC is closed-cell. Water cannot migrate through it like it can, and does, in wood. This is THE primary cause of paint failure on wood trim. This is what started me with PVC in the first place. Also, where does your wood come from? Plantation radiata pine from South America with 3/8" growth rings? If you have some old growth pine available then I absolutely agree, I'd rather use the pine. Given the crap available in the local yards I'd rather use PVC if it's close to grade.

                            On the other hand I'd love to remind everyone that PVC (flat boards, siding, carpet backing) is nasty stuff: the dust is bad for your lungs, Dioxin, one of the most potent poisons known to man is created in its manufacture and if it's burned (think dumpster). It is BAD for the environment. (Sorry, I'm a fisherman...) I don't use it for facia, soffitt or corner boards. But nobody asked about that... IMHO I only recommend you use it for water tables and close-to-grade applications.
                            Mark

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                            • #29
                              Re: Azek butt joints holding up?

                              I agree, today's Pine sucks. The growth rings are huge and soft. My people bagged on the PVC and the 2000 extra it was going to cost. I am only using it on a sill on a dormer that is very close to the roof. Oh well. I'll use it on my house when i get around to that job... someday...

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                              • #30
                                Re: Azek butt joints holding up?

                                I agree with Mark on this one, I have started using the winsor one pfj pine and only using pvc "wood" as little as possible, were I absolutely needs to be (i.e close to grade) because of the environmental problems pvc all the way through it's lifecycle. It disturbs me when I read the articles touting the pvc without a single mention of the rather large down side.
                                "I smell a lot of 'if' coming of this plan." -Jayne Cobb

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