UltraShield Composite Decking.

Timber and Water – Fencing & Decking for Your Seaside Location

Here in Perth, especially in the western suburbs, it’s great to live by the beach to find relief from the hot summer sun. However, that hot sun and that beautiful salty air that feels so great against our skin isn’t so great for our outdoor areas and building exteriors. Special care and consideration needs to be taken in coastal regions to ensure the longevity of your fencing, decking, and even your home.

The Problem with Timber 

timber rotTimber is a classic material that many homeowners love to use for their homes and gardens. However, if you live near the ocean, timber is a poor choice for decking your outdoor living area or using in fencing as it’s not likely to last very long, even with proper care and maintenance. This is because UV rays dry out and crack the paint and seals used to maintain the timber, and the salty moisture in the air then seeps into the wood, causing mould and rot.

Similar Issues with Metal 

To avoid the common issues that people have with wood, many choose to use steel fencing instead. However, the use of metal comes with its own set of issues. Salt is highly corrosive to steel, causing it to rust much more quickly than it would in non-coastal areas. The closer your home is to the waterfront, the more severe this problem will be.

Composite Materials

That said – outdoor living is such a huge part of the Australian lifestyle that you will still want to invest in your outdoor living space to enjoy the sun and the sea breeze. So what are you to do to prevent your decking and fencing investments going down the drain after a few short months exposed to the sea air?

Composite materials provide the answer that you are looking for. While you’ll still get that welcoming and traditional aesthetic that timber offers, composite timber materials do not have the same weaknesses as their timber and metal counterparts when exposed to the elements, making them the perfect choice for seaside homes. Rather than having to constantly maintain, repair and replace your decking and fencing, composites deliver the long-lasting durability, being UV resistant and rot-free.

With quality composite timber (like the level of quality you’ll find in NewTechWood products), you’ll get a deck or fence designed to fully mimic real wood, right down to the grain texture. This way, you can achieve the classic look of wood that people love so much, but without all the hassle and cost of frequent maintenance and repairs.

Composite Cladding

Urban direct wholesale, cladding by Laura and Charles photography, North Perth

As well as composite being a fantastic material for your decking and fencing, composite cladding for your home’s exterior walls is also a great option for coastal areas – it doesn’t get affected by the salt air and so protects the walls of your home from succumbing to the harmful UV rays and salt air near the coast. Even cladding the exterior wall facing the coast or facing the sun at the hottest point of the day can have a huge impact on your home’s longevity.

To learn more about our products and what we can do for your home, get in touch with us today!

Worn out timber decking

Should I paint over my worn timber decking?

Painting over worn out timber decking is certainly tempting – a quick fix to get you through another season. But should you paint over worn out timber decking? It’s not a good idea.

Why you shouldn’t paint over a worn out deck

Decking that is worn and flaking is unattractive, but it is giving you warning signs. If the flaking extends to the wood, or the wood has become spongey, it means it is rotting and on its last legs. Painting the deck to look better doesn’t stop the wood from deteriorating; it only hides the inevitable a little longer.

Ignoring these warning signs might save you some cash in the short term as you put off replacing the deck, but you could end up paying a much dearer price. Worn decking around a home or public pool could give way, causing grave injury to your family or patrons – not to mention the possibility of lawsuits as a result of those or even less serious injuries.

What are your other options?

One option is to replace your deck with new timber. Should you choose this option, you will have a lovely deck no doubt, but you will also be subject to the maintenance it requires, and inevitably the same issues you face today. As with your current deck, a new timber deck is going to wear over time, requiring repairs or replacement to keep it safe and looking good.

Decking Urban Direct WholesaleA better option you may want to consider is instead replacing the deck with composite timber decking. These decks are beautiful, easy to maintain, and last a very long time. Composite timber decking is perfect for home and commercial use. Al fresco areas become lovely, functional and easy to maintain when made from this special decking. Some of its many benefits include:

Easy Maintenance – Your timber composite deck will not require sanding, oiling or painting like wood does.

Looks Like Wood – No one will know that your deck is timber composite because quality composites are virtually identical to the look and feel of real wood – from the colouring to the grooves.

Resistant to Pests – You will not have to worry about insects or termites eating away and destroying your deck.

Protected Against Moisture – You will not have to worry about rain, spills or pool moisture warping your deck. Your timber composite will be fully capped for Ultra Protection against moisture.

UV Protection – Your deck will be UV protected, so there will not be any fading from sun exposure.

Eco- Friendly Materials – You can feel good about the decking, which is made from 95% recycled materials. This includes reclaimed wood fibres and high-grade recycled plastics.

Rated for BAL 29 Areas – If you live in a bush fire area, you can take comfort in knowing that your timber composite deck is rated for BAL 29 areas.

25 Years Worry-Free – If you go with NewTechWood composite decking, you it will come with a 25-year warranty. This is an incredible guarantee.

Your deck or fresco area is meant to be for enjoying, not spending hours on end maintaining. So before you decide to put a coat of paint on your worn or chipping deck, take a look at timber composite decking. As with other products, seeing is believing and these are worth seeing!

If you’re interested in upgrading your decking for the coming summer, you can also avail of our Spring/Summer 2016 decking offer – where you’ll receive a free grow wall or outdoor umbrella voucher depending on your project size. For more information, or to find a supplier near you, just get in touch with us!

Composite vs. Timber Decking and Fencing – Is Timber Worth It?

Image Credit

If you’re planning on installing a deck or fence in the near future, or if it is time to upgrade your current installation, you’ve got a decision to make. Will you go with traditional timber, or will you choose composite materials? Both of these options have their share of benefits and drawbacks. Read on to learn what you need to know to make an educated decision for your property.

Timber Decking & Fencing: The Benefits

There are plenty of reasons to choose timber as your decking or fencing material –

  • It’s an extremely versatile material – you can give your deck or fence a traditional and rustic look when stained or painted a certain way (think white picket fence or deck with lightly stained rustic timber beams), or a luxurious and slick look using a different stain or paint (think smooth buffed dark stained timber)
  • You can easily strip one stain or colour and change it up if you get tired of your first choice
  • Timber is easy to work with – cut, shape, sand, stain or paint – and is readily available, making it a relatively inexpensive option
  • If you’re looking to save money (at least in the short term – more on this later) it can be a good choice.

Timber Decking & Fencing: The Drawbacks

While timber has a lot of draws, it also has a lot of drawbacks –

  • While timber looks great to begin with, it requires a lot of maintenance to keep it in good condition. Annual painting and staining adds to the cost of the deck or fence each year – both in terms of the money spent on materials and the labour or time spent by yourself
  • Even with annual maintenance, timber is prone to weathering easily. It will begin to break down, warp, weaken and rot in the elements and boards will likely still need to be replaced every few years to extend the life of your deck or fence – more additional cost
  • For the environmentally conscious, producing timber does require the cutting down of trees, and not all manufacturers practice sustainable methods. Be sure to research the organisation before making a decision to ensure that their practices align with your values.

Composite Decking & Fencing: The Benefits

Composite with real look and feel of timber
Composite with real look and feel of timber

While composite is a newer material, it is gaining in popularity and has become a popular choice because:

  • If you choose the right composite you essentially get all the aesthetic benefits of timber, with none of the maintenance drawbacks. Some lower quality composites don’t have this feature down quite yet – they can look more like plastic boards with the ‘wood-look’ essentially printed on, so make sure to see and feel the composite before you buy. Higher quality composite boards (like NewTechWood UltraShield Decking and Fencing) look and feel almost indistinguishable from real timber with tangible and visible grooves, knots and colour variations in the grain
  • Composite is highly durable and maintenance free – no annual staining or maintenance required. High-end composites, (again, like the ones used by NewTechWood), come fully capped, meaning that they have a protective layer around all four sides. This added layer of protection makes composite decks and fences UV-resistant, fade-resistant, and aging-resistant. Basically, composite material is immune to all of the hazards that can break down timber over time, making it a durable, low-maintenance choice that can stand up to the elements throughout the years
  • Like timber, composite decking and fencing materials are also relatively inexpensive. But unlike timber, as we mentioned, there is no maintenance needed, meaning no additional costs added to the initial cost, making composite even more economical in the long-term

Composite Decking & Fencing: The Drawbacks

There really aren’t many drawbacks to composite, but there are a few to mention –

  • Composite materials tend to be more expensive than cheaper timber, but are on par with better quality timber fencing or decking boards
  • Composite fencing and decking materials can’t be stripped and re-stained or painted like timber can, so make sure to make the right choice of colour or stain to begin with
  • At the lower end, composite materials cannot closely replicate the look of timber, resulting in an appearance that does not quite look natural. But as we mentioned above, this isn’t an issue with better quality composite products like our UltraShield decking and fencing

Who comes out on top?

Composite timber and natural timber have their own unique selling points. However, many people would be of the opinion that the drawbacks of timber outweigh the benefits, and in the end it’s just not worth the effort and cost of upkeep.

Composite on the other hand has far more benefits than it has drawbacks. It’s both relatively inexpensive in the short-term and completely inexpensive in the long-term. And it won’t cost you time or labour to maintain. We even offer a 25-year warranty on our composite decking and fencing!

If you’d like to find out more about NewTechWood’s quality composite fences, decks, wall cladding, and screening, visit our Perth showrooms, give us a call or use our online contact form and we’ll be in touch!

Hollow Boards vs Solid Boards – what are the pros and cons?

Many composite deck board manufacturers offer only solid core boards.  The main reason is due to the speed and ease in manufacturing those boards versus hollow boards.  It is much easier and faster to extrude solid composite boards than it is hollow.  Most manufacturers don’t want to deal with the difficulty or expend the extra time to manufacture hollow boards.

But what is the difference to you – the customer? Which choice offers the greatest benefit in terms of durability and cost?

Benefits of Hollow Composite Deck Boards:

1. More lightweight: Better for retrofitting older decks

Hollow board cuts down the weight of 4.8m board by as much as 32% or 4.5kgs when compared to a solid board.  This makes them easier to work with, so if you’re retrofitting an older deck where the structure is sound and you just want to replace the surface boards, the hollow boards create less stress on that older substructure than do solid boards.

2. Equal Strength

Many people think that because the board is hollow it must be significantly weaker than a solid board.  The fact is the arch structure of the voids in our NewTechWood hollow boards makes up for the use of less material in the core.

The industry standard for maximum span as set by the International Code Council (ICC) for the US is 400mm on centre.  That means each joist in the substructure must measure 400mm from the centre of one joist to the centre of the adjacent joist.  Most installation guides for manufacturers of solid boards require a span of 400mm on centre or less.  The hollow boards offered by NewTechWood are also rated by the ICC at 400mm on centre*, which means our NewTechWood’s UltraShield hollow boards will hold your spa just the same as the solid boards.

3. Lower Cost

Price is perhaps the most attractive reason for using hollow boards over solid.  Because the board is hollow, less material is used in the manufacturing process.  This enables providers like us to pass the savings along to the consumer.  The cost savings can be huge, as much as 22%!

In what situations are solid core boards a better choice?

Don’t get us wrong, there is still a time and place when solid core boards are the right choice, and NewTechWood also offers solid core boards.  We recommend solid core boards for stairs and other installations where you don’t want the grooves for hidden fasteners to show, or if you’re not installing a fascia board. We also recommend them for commercial installations.

NewTechWood is one of the only companies that offers hollow boards, and our UltraShield hollow or solid boards are a great choice for your new or retrofitted outdoor space.  Contact us today for a free sample.

*For Australian conditions we recommend 350mm centre joist for hollow boards.