Frequently Asked Questions About our Recycled Plastic Lumber Products
What is Mineral-Added HDPE Plastic Lumber?
We utilize a mineral additive to make our plastic lumber stronger and to decrease the expansion/contraction common to all plastic lumber. Our plastic lumber is a mineral filled composite formula meaning that we mix high-density polyethylene with any of a number of available minerals. Our proprietary formula enables us to offer a plastic lumber product that will last a lifetime yet outperform many of its competitors on the market today.
We are one of only a few manufacturers who utilize mineral to enhance the properties of plastic lumber.
What colors does Bear Board come in?
Currently our product is offered in nine different colors; white, gray, tan, putty, cedar, chocolate brown, black, green and redwood. We typically add new colors from time to time. Our color is consistent all the way through the material which means that the material color is the same on the ends as the color on surface. We are able to run custom colors with a minimum order of 2500 pounds.
Will colors be the same from manufacturing runs?
Although we make every effort to make sure our colors are matched consistently from manufacturing run to manufacturing run, slight color variations do occasionally occur due to the fact that we utilize on average 50% recycled content product.
Can Bear Board be stained or painted?
Stains or paint will not penetrate the surface of our material and will flake or peel if applied to our mineral filled composite plastic lumber. Our product is engineered to be low-maintenance and therefore it is sold with the idea that it will never need to be painted or stained.
Our plastic lumber stands out as a graffiti-proof product as neither paint nor stain will permanently adhere to our product.
Does Bear Board fade?
Everything fades in direct sunlight. Our color additives contain a ultra-violet protection package, which minimizes fade in our product. Our fading is so slight that we refer to it as no noticeable fading.
Is Bear Board slippery when wet?
Our mineral filled composite plastic lumber deck board is produced with a wood grain, which enhances the aesthetic property of the material, but more importantly provides slip resistance. We have met the ADA (American Disability Act) guidelines for slip resistance and the test date indicates that our product is less slippery when wet.
How long will your products last?
Our mineral filled composite plastic lumber will last forever as evidenced by our warranty which protects against rotting, cracking, splitting and peeling for a minimum of 50 years. Bear Board comes with a 50 year limited warranty. Because we do not incorporate fibrous materials into our product, there is virtually nothing to break down.
What kind of maintenance is needed?
Our mineral filled plastic lumber is designed to require very little maintenance. Other than cleaning the material with a garden hose, broom or pressure washer, there really is no maintenance needed!
What tools are needed during installation?
No special tools are needed during installation. Our mineral-filled composite plastic lumber cuts, routers and drills much the same as natural lumber.
Does the material expand or contract with temperature changes?
Yes, like all alternative wood materials on the market today, our mineral-filled composite plastic lumber expands in the heat and contracts in the cold on the butt ends of the boards. To work around this, we recommend that you incorporate a small gap between boards to account for this slight movement. We provide you with guidelines to follow in installation, which are based on current temperature and potential extreme temperatures.
There is no noticeable movement width-wise in our boards.
One of the attributes of utilizing a mineral in our formula is the minimizing of the thermal expansion rate and compares very favorably to 100% HDPE products on the market today.
How should I fasten Bear Board?
We recommend two different types of fasting systems to hold the deck boards down to the sub-frame; 2-1/2” stainless steel deck screws for shorter boards (please see our information under expansion / contraction), and for longer boards or if you would like the look of a hidden fastener system, we recommend ordering our groove and groove board to be used in conjunction with our biscuit system. Please keep in mind that since working with Bear Board is like working with natural wood, any fasteners that could be used with wood will work equally as well with Bear Board.
Do I have to pre-drill Bear Board during installation?
There is no need to pre-drill any pilot holes when working with Bear Board.
What is the proper joist span?
For residential applications we recommend the standard 16” on center for our 5/4x6 decking board and 24” on center for our 2x6. As always, be sure to check with your local building codes.
Can Bear Board be used for structural purposes?
Bear Board cannot be used as a substitute for wood in structural applications. Bear Board CAN be used, if properly supported, as a substructure in some applications such as decking directly over an existing concrete patio. As always, be sure to check with your local building codes.
Is Bear Board mold and mildew free?
Because of our closed molecular formula that contains no organic material, mold and mildew have no place to hide and no source of nutrition. If in the rare situations were enough dirt and grime are allowed to form on Bear Board allowing mold or mildew to form on the dirt and grim, a quick cleaning with a pressure washer will remove ALL of the dirt, grime, mold and mildew instantly.
Will insects or termites penetrate Bear Board?
Bear Board is insect and termite proof. The closed molecular formula that contains no organic material provides no nutrition source for insects keeping it free of infestation.
Is Bear Board an environmentally friendly material?
Bear Board is one of the most environmentally friendly forms of synthetic wood available on the market for three main reasons: It is made from recycled plastic keeping million of pounds of plastic out of our land fills. It contains NO wood keeping our forests green. And it can be recycled again after you are done with it. Here at Bear Board ecological stewardship is of the highest priority.
Does Bear Board it leach harmful chemicals?
No, Bear Board does not leach harmful chemicals because it has a closed pour surface.
Does Bear Board contain wood?
No, Bear Board does not contain wood or any organic material that causes decay or fading like wood based materials.
Does Bear Board contain PVCs or BPAs?
No, Bear Board does not contain PVC or BPAs that harm the environment. Bear Board is the ECO-FRIENDLY board that is made from mineral added HDPE.
Can I use Bear Board in or around fuel docking areas?
No, the warranty becomes void if Bear Board comes in contact with petroleum based products. Safety standards and most building codes require that alternative material be used in these areas. Refer to your local building codes for guidelines in what materials to use in these applications.
Is Bear Board scratch resistant?
Our proprietary formula has been engineered to be scratch and scuff resistant. Because Bear Board has the same color and material all the way through, even deep gouges can easily vanish by simply apply heat with a heat gun of propane torch.
No permanent staining?
Because of our closed molecular formula that contains no organic material almost nothing can adhere Bear Board making it resilient to stains.
Will I get splinters when walking on Bear Board?
No, Bear Board is guaranteed not to splinter as covered by our 50 year limited warranty.
Is there potential for static electricity when walking on Bear Board?
Yes, as with most other synthetic decking products, given the right conditions, Bear Board does come with the potential for the build-up of static electricity. We use static eliminators in our manufacturing process which dissipates the built-up charge in the extrusion process. However, just like with carpet, the potential remains for further build-up of static electricity. We have found that over time static electricity dissipates. Hosing down your deck with a combination of Simple Green cleaner and water will also help dissipate static electricity.
Can Bear Board be installed over a concrete porch and steps?
Yes, please see the installation instruction for details. As always, be sure to check with your local building codes.
What type of railing do I use?
There are many choices for railing to choose on the market today. If you prefer a matching railing system, Bear Board has the profiles needed to build a railing system. We manufacture 2x6, 2x4, 2x2 and post wrap kits.
What is the recommended length in my region?
You can install any length board you want as long as you leave enough room at the ends of the boards for expansion and contraction. Any material made of plastic will expand and contract during the course of the year. The mineral added to Bear Board makes Bear Board one of the lower expansion/contraction materials in the decking industry. We recommend 12’ boards or less without using a hidden fastener system.
How do you fix scratches?
Our products do not scuff but may be cut by sharp objects dragged across them. Because our color is throughout, scratches do not appear noticeable. If you wish to eliminate minor scratches it can be achieved with a heat source and putty knife. Wave the heat source over the scratch. If it is a deeper scratch and smooth over with the putty knife.
How will the product arrive?
If an order weighs less than 150lbs and is 8ft in length or less, we can ship via UPS. If lumber weighs more or is longer in length, we ship this via common carrier. We use several different carriers to find the best rate to you.
Do you have a dealer in my area?
We have several lumberyards that carry our decking materials. Please contact us for dealer and distributor information.
Do you design decks?
We try to help with any questions that we can, however we are a building material supply company and leave the design to you and/or your contractor.
How do I place an order?
You are able to place orders several different ways, via e-mail, online order form, fax and over the phone. Let us know what is convenient for you.
Do you offer discounts?
We offer discounts for non-for-profits, schools, churches, Boy Scouts, municipalities, re-sellers, contractors, and quantity discounts. Contact your sales rep to determine what discounts you might qualify for.