Weatherproof Moldings

Azek available in board stock and millwork profiles

Priced cometitively with clear cedar, cellular PVC is comletely water resistant and has performed well in extremely wet conditions for 20 years. Azek makes a range of board sizes from 5/8 to 5/4 thicknesses in 4- to 16-inch widths. All PVC trim stock is mixed with a foaming agent that injects tiny bubbles into the material, making it more supple, and much less brittle, than PVC pipe. But unlike some cellular PVC products that have a higher concentration of bubbles toward the core, Azek has a dense, uniform consistency throughout that can be worked just like wood without exposing voids. This allows it to be milled into any shape. A variety of time-saving millwork profiles are now available, including crown, drip-cap, quarter-round, and brick moldings. While cellular PVC holds paint well, the most durable alternative is to leave the solid white material unpainted. Azek is UV resistant, so it won't yellow, and its matte finish does not appear plasticky. For more information, contact Azek Trimboards, 877-275-2935,

Lighter Fiber Cement

Fly ash improves siding's performance

CertainTeed's latest fiber-cement siding is formulated with fly ash, which makes for a lower-density material that is lighter in weight, has a more authentic grain texture, and is reportedly less likely to delaminate if soaked by floodwater than conventional fiber-cement siding. ColorMax FiberCement Siding is available in a range of horizontal and vertical siding profiles with a Class 1A fire rating. Like any fiber-cement siding, it is impervious to rot and wood-boring insects, and it resists the damaging effects of salt spray and ultraviolet radiation. CertainTeed's warranty covers 100% of the cost of materials and labor to repair or replace any manufacturing defect within the first two years following installation, as well as a 50-year warranty on the board and 15 years on the prefinish. For more information, contact CertainTeed Corp., 800-233-8990,

Tall-Wall Studs

Straight and true for 30 feet

Tall walls and kitchen walls that require flat, true surfaces for cabinet and countertop installations will benefit from TimberStrand laminated strand lumber (LSL) studs. TimberStrand might be thought of as a structural OSB. The comany probably dislikes such a comarison, lest we associate OSB with problems of swelling, but there is so much adhesive in TimberStrand, it's far more impervious to moisture. The comarison is useful, however, for visualizing what this material looks like. Its cousin, Parallam, has fibers aligned parallel to the length of the member, whereas TimberStrand fibers go every which way. The big advantage is the increased strength and stability of TimberStrand over dimensional lumber, allowing for crisp, straight framing lines. The material is available for a wide range of applications, including beams, rim boards, treated sill plates, headers, columns, and studs, all available in lengths up to 30 feet. The manufacturer offers design tools and technical support that allows designers and builders to optimize lateral wind loads and vertical loads for tall walls using this engineered product. For more information, contact Weyerhaeuser Co., 888-453-8358,

Breathable Roofs

Slip-resistant polypropylene underlayments

Fortifiber introduced two new synthetic roofing underlayments — RoofTex 30B and PlyDry 30. Both are tear-resistant woven polypropylene membranes with a slip-resistant surface and a breathable coating on each side that allows moisture to escape while providing a highly durable barrier against bulk water intrusion. The difference in the two products is in the coating: the PlyDry material uses a polymer coating; the RoofTex material uses a slightly more durable polyurethane coating better suited to low-slope comercial applications that will see more traffic during construction. For more information, contact Fortifiber Building Systems Group, 800-773-4777,

Paperless Drywall

Glass-mat facing won't feed mold

Georgia-Pacific Gypsum now offers a lower-cost version of its DensArmor Plus paperless drywall and DensShield tile backer for use as a wallboard throughout the house. The new DensArmor board does not have a water-resistant core like its older brothers but does include the same glass-mat facing that denies mold its source of food. Mold needs a cellulose-based food source, in addition to water and warm temperatures, to grow. Take away any one of those ingredients, and you stop the mold. DensArmor installs and finishes like conventional drywall. For high-humidity locations (pool house, sauna room, bathroom, etc.) or for use as wet floodproofing, use DensAmor Plus, which includes a water-resistant core. Beneath tile, use DensShield, which has a water-stopping acrylic coating. For more information, contact G-P Gypsum, 800-284-5347,

Screws for Composite Decking

New designs solve a range of problems

Simpson Strong-Tie's new deck screw solves several fastening issues with comosite decking installation. comosi-Lok comosite Decking Screws feature "wings" on the shaft of the screw that counter-bore a hole into the deck board. These wings create a channel for the excess comosite material, which reduces upward pressure on the screw and prevents the comon problem of "spin out" that typically occurs in hard, cold, or wet boards. The screw's cap-style head captures any mushrooming material, keeping it out of sight and ensuring a clean look. comosi-Lok comosite Decking Screws are available in gray, tan, red, and brown to match the popular comosite decking colors. The screws are available in bulk or for the Quik Drive auto-feed fastening systems, which offer a fast, convenient way to secure deck materials. Quik Drive's drive systems are ideal for high-volume deck applications. For more information, contact Simpson Strong-Tie, 800-999-5099,

Impervious Siding

Cellular PVC siding provides fine detail

The same advantages that cellular PVC has brought to exterior trim are now available in clapboard siding. NuCedar Mills offers clapboard siding milled from solid boards of cellular PVC. The siding goes up quickly in panels, locking at the top and bottom like conventional vinyl siding, but the material is solid, much like a traditional clapboard. Available in 4-, 6-, and 8-inch exposures and in smooth and grain surface textures, NuCedar's Classic Clapboard is coated in Polane polyurethane from Sherwin-Williams. This factory-applied, baked-on finish is available in 22 standard colors and 1,400 custom colors. The manufacturer claims this coating is used on high-performance aircraft and military vehicles, making it the most durable finish available. For more information, contact NuCedar Mills, 866-393-8883,