Using waterproof decking materials for completion of your projects

Building your own deck can offer years of sustainable beauty, and provide an area that is frequently used by family and friends. Protecting your new asset from the demands of nature, is a concern that should take careful consideration. Without using the proper waterproofing materials, a beautiful outdoor retreat can become dull and exposed to the outdoor elements. Know your materials before starting a project, and keep your new living space attractive, with little maintenance.

Wood Deck Flooring

Wood is the number one choice of deck material for homeowners. It leaves a fresh, natural look and blends with any exterior home style. Treated Southern Pine is the most common choice for building projects, but the characteristics of this soft wood can lead to warping, if proper waterproofing products and regular care, are not used. There are other wood options that are more sustainable and stable.

  • Mahogany
  • Redwood
  • Brazilian Walnut
  • Membatu (Red Balau)

Exotic hardwoods are becoming more popular within our green society because of the hearty durability and rich, beautiful detail of the grain. However, there is a difference between some exotic hardwoods and pine. Most hardwoods have a natural oil that can prevent most polyurethane finishes from sealing properly. A tung oil-based sealant will give you best results from moisture and scratches. Be aware, however, that building and waterproofing a hardwood deck is very expensive, but the sheer beauty will last a lifetime.

Composite Decking Material

Plastic and wood fibers make up, what is known as, composite building materials. Although not as natural looking as real wood, the grain gives the appearance of wood and there are several natural shades to select from. Because this product is compressed into a very solid form,it can guarantee against rotting, splitting or termites for up to 20 years. Composite decking material is often made of recycled products that helps the environment. There are wood deck waterproofers that are made, specifically, for composite materials and do not contain harmful chemicals, but protects against mold, mildew and moisture. This is a great choice for money conscience DIYer and environmental enthusiasts.

Co-extrusion Composite Decks

Co-extrusion is a new technology that takes the best of polymers and wood flour, to create a stable material,flexible enough not to crack, strong enough not to bend, and is waterproof. There is no need to coat your co-extrusion composite deck with a weather protector because this is built right in to the materials. Some other attractive features include:

  • Low maintenance
  • Scratch and fade resistant
  • Impervious to stains
  • 20 to 25 year warranty

Existing Wood Decks

If you have an existing wood deck that is good shape, you can test the amount of waterproofing, that may be needed, by dropping a little water on the surface. If the water beads and stays on top of the wood, your wood deck should be adequately protected through the season. However, if the water is absorbed, like a sponge, it is time for some heavy-duty waterproofing.

Environmentally Friendly Waterproof Sealants

No one wants their pets and little ones to be subject to toxic chemicals that are commonly found in oil-based sealants. It is true that oil-based sealants last longer than water-based sealants, and have to be removed and reapplied every couple of years. New technology has found a way to address both of these concerns. One popular preservative for decks is pentachlorophenol. Odorless and colorless, this material works well when used as a primer, prior to applying a water repellant wood finish. This type of procedure works well for pine and is recommended for application in the fall. If you have cedar, redwood, or an exotic type of wood deck, you can find specialty water sealants for each of these types of wood.

Building a wood deck is not a simple task. Deciding on design and square footage, setting a budget and selecting the most appropriate deck materials, takes a lot of planning. However, with the options available in types of wood and wood composites, the maintenance can be kept to a minimum. Ask yourself a few questions before shopping for the most popular deck flooring.

  • Am I looking for a unique wood that makes a statement?
  • Do I want a carefree ‘sweep and forget’ type of deck?
  • Will my wood deck need to be waterproofed and UV protected regularly?

Know what to expect about waterproofing before beginning your deck and avoid any surprises once completed.

[message type=”custom” width=”100{438cb2300061349b6c7d90eaf8485b34cb640385e490e43e302dd2e197f2ab69}” start_color=”#FFFFFF” end_color=”#CFBB5F” border=”#BBBBBB” color=”#333333″]Jacob Pettit is a journalist from Australia. He writes for several newspapers about different topics such as business development, promotion, advertising and many other. Each piece written by him attracts number of readers. Decking Perth – http://www.patioliving.com.au/decking.php [/message]