A Window on How to Enjoy a Safer Australian Summer
We’re not talking about sharks or creatures that bite in the bush. We’re talking about enjoying summer in your own back yard without burning… yourself or your surrounds.
It’s reassuring to know that NewTechWood composite decking comes with a BAL 29 fire rating. However, not all products, including other brands of composites, enjoy high BAL or fire ratings and are at a higher risk of being damaged by unexpected sources.
One such overlooked hazard is windows with low-emissivity glass (E-glass), which are designed to reflect more solar energy than your standard glass window.
The problem is these same E-glass windows can cause excessive heat build-up on the surface of surrounding objects.
Case in point: As reported by Channel 9 News in November 2018, the intense reflection coming off the e-glass on one of Perth CBD’s skyscrapers caused a BMW car parked nearby to almost catch on fire.
A representative from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services said: “We started measuring on top of the vehicle and we found it to be over 150 degrees on the roof. We’ve all heard of heat coming off magnifying glasses, it’s that sort of heat I suppose if it was isolated to a point it could start a fire.”
The damage caused by the reflected beam of highly-concentrated sunlight coming off e-glass windows affects everything in its path, such as cars, other painted surfaces, artificial grass, and products that contain plastic, including vinyl cladding.
Even people and animals exposed for more than a short period of time have felt discomfort and have had to move away. The potential for burns is real and eye damage is also a risk.
This low-emissivity glass also has the potential to harm composite products of any brand. The extreme elevation of surface temperatures, which exceeds that of normal exposure, can possibly cause composite products to melt, sag, warp, discolour, increase expansion / contraction and accelerate weathering.
When you go to the expense of utilising a composite product for its low maintenance and long warranty benefits, you don’t want to risk damage for the sake of having e-glass windows.
If you already have e-glass windows, one way to stop these potentially dangerous reflections is to apply an anti-reflective window film on the outside of the e-glass window. This works at diverting the reflection into different directions rather than one dangerous beam. It doesn’t stop the e-glass from working efficiently.
Speaking of hot… a favourite past time in Australia in summer is lazing in and by the pool. Wise pool owners have shade nearby where they can relax when not in the water and they remember the ‘Slip, Slop, Slap’ mantra. On a typical scorching Summer’s day they aren’t roasting themselves on the cement or stone pavers surrounding their pool.
Even with decking, you need to be equally ‘wise.’ All composite decking boards, whatever brand, are hotter than natural timber in full sun, due to the plastic content. The degree to which each brand heats up depends on the percentage of plastic their board contains.
As far as NewTechWood goes, the boards are manufactured from 60% recycled timbers and 40% recycled plastics. Out in full sun on a typical scorcher Aussie summer day, it can be likened to standing on cement or pavers… hot and you’d probably be wearing thongs.
Think about where you want your deck and if it is in a place where you expect a lot of traffic.
Otherwise, as with cement and stone pavers, you’re going to feel the heat.
For more information on NewTechWood’s range of high-quality recycled plastic decking, please contact our friendly team today, or visit our Find an Installer page to find an approved installer near you.