Since decking materials are outside in all weather, they wouldn't last very long if they couldn't cope with the elements. However, some decking materials cope with all that weather by using protective coatings and some use anti-rot chemicals, while others cope by simply being impermeable. These differences can make some decking materials much more high-maintenance than others. Here are the basics of how each of these strategies works.
1. Protective coatings
One way to avoid damage from the elements is to keep a protective and easily replaceable layer between the decking material and the punishing sun, rain, and ice. This typically comes in the form of a sealant that you reapply every few years as it wears out and breaks down. Reapplying a sealant may take work and may even cost money, but it's much less expensive than replacing your decking. Wood decking typically uses these protective coatings, as does bamboo decking or any decking panels or railings made of iron or galvanized steel.
2. Infused chemicals
Wood decking can have another type of protection too. The types of wood used for decking are typically pressure treated, which means they have chemicals infused through the wood to reduce the speed of rotting. Modern-day pressure treatments typically use chemicals such as copper to protect the wood. While these chemicals don't keep the weather from getting in, they slow down the actions of microbes that would otherwise naturally decompose the wood. Because the chemicals only stave off rot and don't prevent water damage such as swelling, wood decking also requires sealants even if it's pressure-treated.
A decking material that's made of a solid, nonporous, nonreactive material all the way through won't have to be resealed or refinished because it's not dependent on the protective coating to keep out the weather. Instead, it survives all weather by being solid and waterproof enough that water and ice can't get into the material and damage it.
Some types of decking that are relatively impermeable are aluminum, vinyl, and low-maintenance composites. These types of decking have enough impermeability that they don't require regularly applied protective coatings to keep out the weather. Rust-prone metals like iron aren't in this category; although they're nonporous, they react with water and need a coating to protect them from rust.
As you can see, different types of decking have different mechanisms for avoiding weather damage. Some mechanisms may be more effective than others, which can be one reason why some types of decking last longer. And if your decking requires frequent resealing, you'll need to stay on top of maintenance to avoid even earlier failure.
Get in touch with a local decking company today to learn more about the different types of decking and which ones have the lowest maintenance requirements.Share
5 February 2021
Do you like your existing flooring? It isn't always easy to find floors that you love, which is why so many manufacturers create such an incredible variety of different products. However, if you know what you are looking for, choosing the right flooring doesn't have to feel like an impossible feat. I wanted to create a blog all about finding the right flooring to make things easier for homeowners across the world. Check out this blog to learn more about different products, manufacturers, installation methods, and styles. After all, you never know when you will need to find a new floor for your place.