Louisiana-Pacific issued a product advisory today for composite decking materials purchased after Jan. 1, 2005, noting that some of the products can prematurely deteriorate and break, posing a risk of injury to consumers.

The advisory pertains to decking and railing sold as WeatherBest, Veranda, and ABTCo made by LP at its Meridian, Idaho, facility, the company says in a press release also issued today. Variations in the manufacturing process caused the deterioration, the release says.

Building product dealers nationwide sold the affected WeatherBest products. The Home Depot stores in the Western United States sold the Veranda and ABTCo brands, the release says.

The release says WeatherBest products manufactured after LP's sale of the Meridian plant in October 2007 are not affected.

If dealers have any of the possibly damaged products in stock, they should contact their local LP sales representative, says Mary Cohn, LP's corporate affairs manager. If the product is from the time range in question, LP will buy it back and pay to have it removed or destroyed, says Cohn. Requests for product return forms can be e-mailed to [email protected].

LP also asks dealers to help reach deck installers or homeowners that may have bought deteriorating products. Dealers can e-mail customer contact information to [email protected].

Homeowners should check the affected products for visible cracks, surface deterioration, and chipping of the surface layers, the maker says, and stop using the deck if products show signs of deterioration. If inspectors find that the products are LP's and are prematurely deteriorating, then the products will be replaced at no cost. Customers should contact LP Decking Customer Service to Rick Olszewski, LP executive vice president of specialty products and sales, says in the release that although this issue affects only a small portion of sold decking, "we urge people who bought or installed these composite decking products ...to contact us for an inspection through our decking notice Web site or customer service line."

The Web site is www.deckingnotice.com.

-- Victoria Markovitz