Quality Assurance Program
When it comes to styrofoam, recycled content tends to degrade and fall apart quicker. As such, recycled styrofoam is not appropriate for moldings because they should sit on your exterior walls for decades to come. That is why Decoramould's styrofoam is sourced from one of the world's leaders in EPS manufacturing, known worldwide for producing quality Expanded PolyStyrene (EPS - styrofoam). We purchase only Type-I Virgin EPS... for the non building-geeks - that is styrofoam that weighs 1 pound per cubic foot (and therefore is light weight), and is made with 0% recycled EPS. The styrofoam we purchase is also oven-cured, which fully dries out the styrofoam to ensure there are no pockets of "moisture" within the styrofoam that can affect the quality of our product.
2. Alkali-Resistant Fiberglass Mesh
Regular fiberglass mesh degrades and can actually entirely disintegrate over the years from exposure to the alkali in all cement products. Decoramould uses fiberglass mesh that is specifically coated with an alkali-resistant compound so that the benefits it is intended for will last through the life of the product. The purpose of the fiberglass mesh is to reinforce the cementitious coating and provide a lath underneath of the coating, which helps to maintain the integrity of the coating as the molding bends or is impacted by objects.
3. 2-Coat Cement System
Arguably the final look is the most important aspect for you, and because of this, Decoramould takes extensive measures to ensure the coating lasts as long as physically possible. All of Decoramould's exterior trim products are extruded using a 2-coat system. After the fiberglass mesh is applied, we place the moldings on a manufacturing line that passes the product through an extrusion machine. This machine applies a uniform, continuous coating of specially modified cement containing fiberglass fibers as well as acrylics - at a thickness of 1/16th of an inch. Once the molding comes out the other side, it is hand placed on a drying rack in a climate-controlled environment and allowed to cure (view definition) for 24 hours. After 24 hours, the molding is placed again on the manufacturing line and passed through the extrusion machine with a slightly larger opening to apply a second coating at 1/16th of an inch.
This process gives us total quality control over the end-thickness of the coating as well as control over the drying process. Through testing, we have found that coatings applied at 1/8th of an inch in a single run cure unevenly and as a result are more prone to cracking (both during the curing stage and years down the road!).
The first cement coating does not fully cure within the 24 hours, allowing the second coat to combine with the first coat to form a single stronger, monolithic layer.
Why 1/8th of an inch?
Many manufacturers choose to apply only a 1/16th of an inch coating to their product, in order to cut down on costs. Over the years, we have discovered that 1/16th of an inch does not fully absorb the exterior-masonry or EIFS paint our moldings are painted with, causing premature failure. With 1/16th of an inch, there is a higher chances of the coating delaminating, or the paint peeling - as well as lessened impact resistance.
Why Modified Cement?
While the main ingredient in the coating - cement - provides the majority of the benefits, we have found in our experience that it's the little things that make all the difference. Decoramould uses a specially modified cement that contains acrylics for workability and higher flexibility, and synthetic fibers that interweave amongst one another to create a woven matrix. These 2 additives help to keep the coating from cracking under pressure from expansion and contraction due to weather, impact from external sources, or due to the natural aging process.
Additionally, instead of simply using water to begin the curing process in the cement, Decoramould is one of the few manufacturers that uses an "acrylic binder" (a type of glue) - making the coating simultaneously harder, more flexible, and smoother looking. While this increases our costs about 10% on average - our expert contractors say it's worth every penny because it reduces maintenance such as painting, crack repairs and accidental damage.
All of this ensures a uniform, quality product that is consistent from molding-to-molding. It is for this reason we are confident enough to offer a 5 year warranty from delamination and base-coat bubbling on all moldings, trim, sills, cornices, flat bands, columns, caps/bases, pilasters, quoins, and keystones manufactured by Decoramould Inc., when installed by a certified contractor and properly protected. Conditions apply. If you have any further questions regarding the quality of our product, please feel free to contact us.