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Fiber-reinforced plastics, better known as FRP panels are gradually becoming obsolete that were once popular wall cladding materials inside commercial interiors.
FRP panels have several drawbacks, but the main one is that the FRP wallboard is not 100% water-resistant and is susceptible to callbacks because of repairs and repainting necessities.
The main competition for the FRP wall panel in the market is the Duramax PVC wall material. The high-end PVC panels are the better alternative to the traditional FRP.
The PVC panels are better quality wall cladding materials for commercial and industrial spaces like grow rooms, food facilities, dairy parlors, marinas, shipping containers, breweries, Laundromats, etc. Let’s compare FRP panels with PVC to find better wall cladding material for wet commercial interiors.
1. Installation Procedure
Have you tried installing FRP panels? Then, you must know that buying additional materials like rivets, adhesives, and backers is a must. You also need to hire at least 2 laborers for the perfect panel installation.
FRP installation is not a DIY job and is quite expensive. The FRP material is cheap, but the laborious installation takes almost 2 days and is not an easy task.
The complicated FRP installation is much more expensive than installing Duramax PVC panels. The PVC wall panels arrive in DIY kits, and the installation is a one-person job taking no longer than 7 hours.
The PVC installation requires no skilled worker or additional resources. Just spend 5 dollars on hiring a novice to install the vinyl panels. PVC panel installation saves 40% on material cost and 50% on labor expenses compared to traditional FRP wall paneling.
2. Maintenance Aspect
Maintaining the FRP wallboard is a Herculean task. The rough textured FRP material stains easily, and the wooden backers absorb moisture. FRP panels are not washable and require professional care to maintain a pristine appearance.
The expert maintenance necessary for FRP panels makes them a costly choice in the long run. Rather installing PVC wall panels is a more affordable selection. The smooth rivet-free PVC surface does not stain, rot, fade, or rust.
The PVC panels have dust particles gliding over the surface, and cleaning with a damp mop is enough to retain the white and bright look.
The PVC panels are resistant to most chemicals and have no backers, making maintenance easier. The PVC panels are washable with pressure washers and one can use detergents, and soaps for regular upkeep.
3. Durability and Strength
The FRP wall panel has questionable durability as the OSB backers attract moisture, rot easily, mold fast, and delaminate within a few months inside the wet commercial interiors.
The FRP panels are fragile wall materials as they are prone to dents and cracks and are not resistant to blows and high impacts. On the other hand, Duramax PVC panels last for 45 to 50 years with no repair callbacks.
While FRP panels are susceptible to damage and require repeated repair, post-installation PVC wall material requires no repairs or repainting. The PVC panels are recyclable and have a limited lifetime warranty, much unlike FRP.
The ½-inch PVC wall panel has a strong inner webbed truss design that makes them impact-resistant and robust cladding materials and a better alternative to FRP.
4. Hygiene Purposes
The FRP panels mold, harbor bacteria and are not a hygienic choice for the long haul. On the other hand, the PVC wall panels are mold-free, antibacterial, and resistant to mildew, microbes, and viruses.
The PVC panels are FDA-compliant, CFIA-certified, and ASTM-certified. The PVC panels maintain optimal hygiene and cleanroom sanitary conditions.
Duramax PVC panels have an anti-mold coated surface and no crevices to inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew, and waste matter.
The PVC panels are fire-resistant and have a Class A 1-hour fire-rated rating. The FRP panels have OSB backers that can speed up fire accidents, while PVC, with its non-combustible components, reduces fire outbreaks and controls outbursts for up to an hour.
6. Cost Factor
Did you know the pricey PVC panels are an affordable choice for the long haul? The PVC panels are highly durable and low maintenance, and the low-cost installation makes the wall material a cost-effective long-term choice.
On the other hand, the FRP panels are initially low-cost, but heavy-duty installation and high maintenance make the FRP material expensive on a recurring basis.
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