Timber or Lumber is often used for carpentry and can be used domestically or commercial
Untreated – This is an all-natural material used for timber decking. Although untreated, it is still durable and aesthetically appealing.
Treated – Treated timbers are processed to protect them from decay, weathering and insect infestations.
There are two types of treated wood: pressure treated and creosote treated:
Recommended for areas prone to decay. More common than other methods
Wood is chemically treated
Resistant to rot, decay and termites
Ideal for outdoor projects
Inorganic chemicals can be utilised
Pressure treated with pesticide containing creosote
Protects wood from insect infestations and decay
Exposure to creosote may present certain hazards
Sustainable over long periods
Prolonged skin contact is not advisable
Unsuitable for residential interiors
Unsuitable for farm buildings
Use of Decking for Outdoor Areas
Timber decking provides an additional usable area, especially for houses where space is limited.
Timber decking adds to the garden’s aesthetics and creates a good focal point.
Timber decking creates suitable elevation from uneven ground. It also helps to prevent accidents.
Timber decking covers damaged surfaces due to weathering.
Factors to Consider when Choosing the Right Timber for Decking
Choose an extra strong and durable material for outdoor use to avoid accidents caused by low quality decking. Consider the location and purpose of the decking before choosing the timber.
You should also ensure that the timber has passed the necessary quality standards. This will offer an assurance that it is high quality and non-toxic.
Consider the maintenance requirements of the timber you are buying. Some timber requires more attention to preserve its colour and durability.
Be sure that the timber is non-toxic. Some timber is treated with more concentrated chemicals that can be harmful with contact over prolonged periods.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification is important for both the supplier and the consumer. This certification proves that the company you are dealing with is recognised for forest management. It also offers an assurance that their products have been sourced from legal and well managed areas.
Different Types of Wood for Decking
1. Swedish Red Wood Pine Tree
Appearance doesn’t change with prolonged use
Highly durable in English weather conditions
Flexible and ideal for all purpose woodwork
Easy to use
Complete with a variety of finishes
2. English Oak Tree
Most durable English hardwood
Can be treated or untreated
Many stain options
Universally easy to coordinate
More affordable than rare woods
3. English Larch Tree
As good as Oak
Good resistance to decay
Requires no treatment
More affordable than rare woods
4. Yellow Balau Tropical
Reversible decking boards
Natural weather resistance
Less surface splitting
Great alternative to hard tropical wood
100% chemical free
General Deck Maintenance
1. Late Spring
Wash the decking area during late spring to eradicate mould and mildew. After cleaning, you should wait for at least two days before sealing the deck. Seal the deck in calm weather conditions.
In case of termites and ants:
When there are termites or ants under the deck, you can simply use a vacuum or a non-toxic solution to wash them away. These insects may appear on a yearly basis, so you may want to consult a pest control specialist to tackle any continuous problems.
In case of bees and wasps:
Install a screen under the deck to keep the nests and wasps away. You can do this during the spring before the nesting season has started.
This is the best time to inspect your deck. Pay closer attention to areas that are close to sources of water and look for signs of rot. You should also inspect the ledger to prevent the deck from collapsing. Lastly, check the remaining joints and railings.
3. Early Autumn
If you’re unable to wash your deck during late spring, early autumn is the next best thing.
Although it might be true that timber requires a good deal more maintenance than its plastic counterpart, its undeniable beauty and unquestionable adaptability means that wood remains the firm favourite for decking projects across the country.