A timber deck is on every homeowner’s wish-list and for good reason too. Timber decking can transform the ugliest concrete courtyard into a place of beauty. However, when you invest in a natural timber deck, you are also signing up for a lifetime of maintenance if you want it to keep looking as good as it did on the day you installed it.
In addition to termites, timber decking can be affected by moisture, mildew and mould as well as stain producing products such as red wine and grease, or exposure to the sun’s UV rays.
Continuous exposure to water can take a toll on an exposed deck, producing mould and mildew problems. Good luck trying to get rid of a mould problem once it has taken hold.
Furthermore, moisture causes swelling, which can result in warping, cupping and splitting of the decking boards. The only cure for this damage is replacement.
Discolouration and Stains
Whether you paint or oil your timber deck, you will be doing this regularly throughout its lifetime to both protect it and keep it attractive. Timber will suck up whatever you spill on it… hence stains like red wine and grease become permanent memories unless you pay to have it re-sanded and re-sealed. Also, how much of the stain can be removed depends on how deep the stain has seeped into the wood.
UV and Fading
The Australian sun has a powerful drying and fading effect on everything it touches, timber decks included, especially in heavy wear areas where any protective sealant has long since worn away. Dried-out timbers splinter and split and nails have a nasty habit of popping up.
Wear and Tear
Everything is prone to some degree of wear and tear, especially something that is covered with sealant, stain, or paint and exposed to constant friction, like footsteps.
Unless you intend to float over your deck, you are going to wear down whatever you have sealed it with, exposing the natural timber beneath to all the nasties seeking to destroy it. The deck ends up looking shabby after a while.
Fortunately, experienced deck installers use termite-treated timbers for decking. Unfortunately, this special treatment is lost over time due to exposure to the elements. How quickly this happens depends on how much moisture the timber is exposed to and whether it is in touch with the ground or not.
So even with treated timbers, you will be required to call in the pest controllers for termite treatment for the lifetime of your natural timber deck.
Ready for some good news now?
Composite deck manufacturers, who started out trying to save the environment and forests began to realise that there were other benefits they could offer that natural timber could not.
Now, not all composite timber brands are equal – some are better than others. Check out different brands in the market such as NewTechWood, which offers a 25-year warranty against UV fading, staining, rotting, splintering and delamination, and damage from termite and fungal decay.
So how does NewTechWood offer this level of protection? Simple – by capping their boards.
What is capped composite decking?
NewTechWood’s fully capped composite decking is based on a patented technology called Ultrashield, made from a special engineering grade polymer (Dupont Surlyn).
This protective shield and the core of the deck are extruded together under very high temperature simultaneously, creating an impermeable protective barrier against moisture, UV, insects and bacteria.
With no dangerous adhesives or chemicals involved, there is no harm to the environment. Ultrashield technology also means there is never any need to oil, paint or seal.
Deck boards that are capped provide maximum protection against nasties such as stains from wine, coffee, soy sauce, oils and other spills. Messes and accidental spills can be easily wiped off the protective capping, whereas a natural timber board will have soaked it up and left a stain by the time you return with a cloth to wipe it up.
This is also what protects the boards from mould and mildew. Likewise, this protective capping prevents the boards from splitting, cracking or cupping.
As for colour fade, the unique formulation of the capping ensures its colour stays much longer compared to conventional composite decking and unprotected timbers.
Remember, not all capped boards are created equal. NewTechWood is one of the best capped composite decking brands and one of just a few that caps its boards on all 4 sides, including the grooves. Some brands only cap the top, or the top and bottom, and the cheapest products don’t cap at all.
So, if you really want a deck with assured longevity and true low maintenance, fully capped composite timber is the way to go.