Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia, with a population of 5 million, and is the fastest-growing city in Australia. Because of the city’s pleasant climate, people are comfortable spending time outside their homes in various activities. Even for small children, the city offers many outdoor activities like visits to the zoo, park, botanical gardens, and more.
A space like a deck, just outside the house, is always an attractive option for a family. It is an open space where one can relax, read a book, listen to music, or even work, while all the time enjoying the outside breeze, bird notes, and the fragrance of flowers. And it is an ideal place to entertain guests and even have a meal with them.
So, while building a house, an individual should choose the right material for the deck to match their lifestyle, and consider how to maintain it. Futurewood, a premier company in Melbourne offering various decking options, provides these simple tips for choosing the best decking material.
For the right selection of decking material, a person will have to get the answer to many questions they should ask themselves. These are –
- · What are the natural elements and man-made dirtying that the area will have to withstand?
- · What is the type of maintenance the homeowner will have to do?
- · How frequently will it have to be cleaned?
- · How eco-friendly should the maintenance routine be?
- · And how much money should the owner be ready to spend on deck maintenance?
Wood is the conventional material used for decking, but depending on their answers to the above questions, a person may find that wood cannot always be the best choice. Composite decking is a new choice that customers are offered, for a more durable deck with fewer maintenance costs.
Wood needs regular maintenance
Wood has been in use for so long that many homeowners are reluctant to try new methods. However, insects like woodboring beetles and termites regularly destroy wood by either eating it or residing inside it. And fungi grow abundantly in damp wood and rot it. Wood needs to be constantly cleaned, maintained, and refinished in order to minimise its damage and preserve its appearance.
Recycled composites need less maintenance
Wood Plastic Composites (WPC) is a new form of decking material that is a combination of recycled wood and plastic, bound together by resins. It has the following advantages over natural wood.
- Wood splinters easily while WPC is more splinter-resistant.
- Wood is easily damaged by rot and insects while WPC is not.
- Wood is less weather-resistant and durable than WPC.
- Wood is more difficult to maintain than WPC.
- With WPC, the requirements of cutting, painting, polishing, etc., are less.
- WPC can be made with a wood finish and in a range of other colours.
- WPC is more eco-friendly because its wood requirement is less so it will not destroy forests in the long run. (It is made of 55% wood fibre, 40% high-density polyethylene, and 5% additives.)
Coming to the question of installing, fixing planks made of composite decking is not more difficult than fixing those of wood. Experienced workers can easily handle the job. There is a range of these already in the market, with more and more varieties being manufactured. The advantages of WPC over wood, mentioned above, are making it more attractive to customers.
A type of composite known as Capped Composite, has an additional PVC layer over its composite core. It is more resistant to mould and other fungi but is comparatively expensive.
There are also special types of WPC, made of wood flour, modified plastics, and special additives, and extruded through specialised equipment, which is more eco-friendly.
The price of decking materials may vary over a wide spectrum because of their components. Even when the wood is used for decking, its price varies depending on the type of wood. The price of composite materials will also vary based on the type of wood and plastic materials used in it and the expense involved in the manufacturing process.
Since the maintenance cost of composite decking material is low, even if its initial cost is slightly on the higher side, it may turn out to be more cost-effective in the long run. Thus, it makes much more sense to invest in composite decking over wood decking.