Timber decking can be a great option for someone who is looking to improve the way the place looks. Depending on the types of timber, it can be barefoot friendly, naturally beautiful, ideal for coating, non-toxic and recyclable, and in addition have great durability and dimensional stability. Some types of timber can embody all those characteristics and more.
As with any purchase, thorough research needs to be done beforehand in order to make sure that you’re making an informed and confident decision. When choosing the type of decking board there are certain factors that you should take into account, such as maintenance cost, initial outlay, and exposure. Depending on your budget, you should also take into consideration that spending a little more money in the beginning can save you time and effort in the long run. A simple online search for your location, for example “timber decking northern beaches” can show you what options you have and you can weigh the pros and cons.
The most common species are Radiata Pine (which is softwood) and Merbau (which is hardwood), but there are also other species which are somewhat common, such as Spotted Gum, Balau, Cypress, Blackbutt, and Pelawan. When it comes to outdoor decking, choosing a dimensionally stable material is essential, in order to make sure that the decking will remain flat and not split, warp, swell, rot, get affected by fungi or water uptake. The stability of the decking board and its durability is mainly based on density. Denser timber takes more time to absorb or expel moisture, which in turn makes it contract or expand.
It is also important that the decking material is non-toxic, which makes it safe for people and pets. Depending on both your needs and your budget, take into consideration how long-life do you want your decking to have and how much work are you willing to put into it in order to maintain it. Some services come with warranties against decay or rots, which you might want to look into, depending on your environment. Depending on the level of exposure, the coating of the boards might need to be resistant against UV light and have enhanced coating performance that lasts longer.
The coating needs to be placed on the decking boards as soon as possible after being installed. The coating is needed in order to maintain weather resistance and UV stability. Different coatings perform in different ways and have different characteristics. For example, in the case of fully exposed areas, oil-based coating is recommended (as opposed to water based). The choice of initial coating can be crucial for the long-term performance of you deck, which is why careful consideration is needed when deciding how many coats of paint or oil gets applied after the installation. If maintained regularly, timber decking can last for many years. The amount of maintenance needed depends on a number of factors, such as amount of traffic and exposure levels. If the deck is showing signs of wear, then an additional coating needs to be applied.