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Decking by the sea

Decking has long been a favourite for outdoor design in the UK. However, its track record against the British weather has been somewhat...mixed. Wood is a very absorbent material, and this can cause problems for a hardwood deck over time.

Luckily, composite decking tends to be far more water resistant.

Why choose composite decking?

Composite decking from TimberTech is made from a combination of natural hardwood and synthetic materials.

The resulting product is a deck board that offers all the beauty of natural wood, but with added durability.

These hard-wearing characteristics allow composite deck boards to maintain their aesthetic appeal long into the future, requiring minimal maintenance along the way.

And the semi-synthetic nature of these board can also be especially useful when it comes to resisting moisture.

Is composite decking more water resistant than wood?

Standard wooden decking may be susceptible to rot if repeatedly exposed to heavy moisture, and if the boards get wet during a period of cold weather, the liquid that enters the wood can freeze and expand, causing the boards to crack.

Traditional timber deck boards also have a high risk of warping, leaving you with a deformed surface that's uneven, misshapen, and structurally unstable.

Composite decking, on the other hand, is far more resistant to these kinds of issues. With an absorption rate of less than 1.2%, each board is specifically designed to withstand the demands of the notoriously damp British climate.

TimberTech's composite deck boards never need to be sealed or treated for weather protection, making them the perfect flooring option for your outdoor living space.

Slippery when wet?

Not only is our composite decking extremely water resistant, it's also slip resistant, making it ideal for use alongside hot tubs and swimming pools.

With a textured finish, these moisture-resistant boards provide better traction and grip than their solid wood counterparts.

This is especially true of TimberTech's capped composite decking range, which boasts a protective polymer sleeve for additional anti-moisture attributes. Any spills can simply be wiped away!

Any water spilled on the surface remains on the surface, preventing board damage. The surface water simply evaporates and is usually completely dry within 30 minutes.

Not only does this add to the safety of your outdoor enjoyment, it also inhibits the growth of unsightly mould and mildew on the deck itself.

Functional fashion

With a wide range of colours, designs and finishes available, you can personalise your outdoor aesthetic without having to choose between fashion and functionality.

TimberTech decking boards also feature reflective, inorganic pigments, dramatically reducing heat build-up, making them notably cooler and more comfortable to walk on in the sunny weather.

If you need a stylish, water-resistant solution for your hot tub surround or poolside area, capped composite decking from TimberTech is the ultimate solution that won't leave your deck in hot water.

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Cedar wood decking has long been hailed as the king of decking materials. Sturdy, reliable and long-lasting, it’s been the material of choice for many a garden for many a decade.

However, the meteoric rise of composite decking since its introduction in the late ‘90s has seen its popularity soar to unprecedented heights in recent years, challenging the Cedar King’s crown.

It appears there’s a new sheriff in Timber Town and this town ain’t big enough for two. Let’s see who will reign supreme when the smoke clears as we go full board with this cedar/composite head to head.

 

composite decking vs cedar decking,composite vs cedar,composite decking, cedar decking

 

Durability

One of the most important aspects of any decking project is durability. After all, who wants to spend a hefty chunk of savings on a deck that won’t last?

Both cedar and composite have built a solid reputation as a sturdy surface – but which one has the ability to outlast the other?

 

Cedar

Cedar wood has often been heralded as naturally durable, with organic resistance to rot, decay and pests. It’s also said that cedar doesn’t easily warp or split, making it a great natural option – in theory.

However, this viewpoint is conveniently overlooking the fact that, in order for a cedar deck to boast these qualities, it will require extensive (and repeated) treatment and maintenance throughout its lifetime.

The truth is that, when it comes to hard-wearing wood, cedar is unlikely to win gold. Cedar has even been known to dry out if kept in areas of shade, leading to issues both practically and aesthetically.

While it can be long-lasting with the right conditions, maintenance and care, it’s an inherently soft wood that can be easily scratched or dented. If you have pets, kids or are generally a clumsy oaf, cedar won’t be very forgiving.

 

Composite

By contrast, composite is built specifically with durability in mind. Each individual deck board is designed to last and maintain its stellar appearance year-round for years to come.

We use the highest quality materials to ensure your deck is up for the task at hand, however you want to enjoy it. Capable of withstanding sunshine, spills and seasonal soaks, as well as scratches and abrasions, our composite decking is engineered for longevity.

At TimberTech, most of our products come with a 30-year warranty with fade and stain cover included in that protection. We’re confident in our materials and their reliability, and are happy to offer an extensive guarantee to back it up.

 

Sustainability

As we head deeper into the 21st century, environmental impact is a topic that has become an increasingly important part of the public consciousness.

From recycling to renewable energy, green solutions are a big point of discussion. How do cedar and composite decking fair in this eco-friendly equation?

 

Cedar

Manufacturing methods of wood-products produce fewer toxins and greenhouse gases than most traditional man-made materials, such as steel and concrete. Cedar is also biodegradable and said to have a negative greenhouse effect, removing harmful gases from the atmosphere.

In addition to that, it’s often pointed out that cedar wood is a renewable material. However, while it’s true that cedar trees are renewable, many pro-cedar deck specialists like to gloss over the fact that it takes literally decades for these trees to mature. Felling a tree for deck timber could potentially require half a century of time to provide a substitute.

 

Composite

Deforestation has had a two-fold effect on cedar trees internationally, particularly in Lebanon – a country that bears the cedar tree on its national flag. The widespread felling of trees has contributed to global warming and the subsequent climate change has now hindered the cedar trees ability to regenerate.

Fortunately, we take environmental health very seriously at TimberTech and strive to maintain an eco-friendly process across the board, from our waste management plan to the composition of the boards themselves, all the way to our product packaging.

Each composite decking board is made of up to 73% recycled materials, reducing the amount of rubbish sent to landfills by 90%. Better still, 99% of waste material created during the manufacturing process is reclaimed – we even recycle the water used with a closed-loop water system.

While composite decking can be more expensive, it’s a real investment in a product that not only lasts a lifetime without the need for replacement, but it’s also an investment in the environment around you as well.

 

Maintenance

While the rest of this comparison may be somewhat neck and neck, with measurable benefits to each, the topic of maintenance is far more cut and dry. When it comes to maintenance, composite is king – all hail the king!

 

Cedar

As a natural wood, cedar will age organically over time unless properly maintained. In order to keep your deck looking in tip-top shape, it’s going to require a lot of TLC. Worse still, this process is one that will need to be done repeatedly throughout its lifetime.

Failure to treat your cedar could result in premature ageing that can even lead it to deteriorate to the point of requiring replacement. This is particularly applicable when used for ground-level decking where cedar tends to degrade more rapidly.

From seasonal care for weather-proof protection to aesthetic care like staining and sealing, cedar decking is only as good as your maintenance. Lack of attention shows and ultimately can leave your deck unfit for purpose.

 

Composite

Unlike cedar wood, composite decking is specifically designed to maintain its looks long into the future with virtually no maintenance required.

Engineered to last without consistent upkeep from the owner, composite decking from TimberTech is designed to resist fading, staining and abrasions, ensuring it keeps its fresh look and functionality from day 1 onwards.

Our composite decking boards will never require sealing, staining or painting. Once your deck is down, your worries are literally laid to rest.

 

So, there you have it: plenty of information to help you cedar wood through the trees and cap off your composite comparison. To learn more about composite decking, call TimberTech today on 029 2080 3756 or drop us a message online using the button below.

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Whether it’s the wear and tear of age rearing its ugly head or signs of shoddy workmanship coming back to bite with a vengeance, warning signs of unsafe decking can come in a variety of forms.

Keep you and your loved ones safe by getting clued up on these cautionary cues with this insightful look into signs of unsafe decking.

Unsafe deck

How to spot signs of an unsafe deck

Unsafe decking can turn a chilled afternoon in the sun into a stressful afternoon in A&E instantly. As such, knowing how to spot the warning signs of a dodgy deck can be tremendously important.

Luckily, that’s where we come in! Here are two easy ways to spot an unsafe deck and prevent any decking disasters before they occur.

 

Get connected

When building a deck, metal connectors are required in key areas to keep your decking securely in place; e.g. post to beam, joist to beam, etc. Loose and corroded connectors can be a warning of bad things to come and a tell-tale sign that needs your attention ASAP.

Similarly, missing connectors can be a sign that metal connectors haven’t been used at all and connections have been made by simply nailing the wood together. If the wood rots, these nailed connections likely won’t hold and could turn your decking into a danger fast.

 

Touch wood

If you own traditional wooden decking, you can naturally expect your deck surface to show signs of age as the years progress and wear and tear takes its toll.

While treating the wood can help hold back the hands of time, it will merely be delaying the inevitable. Chances are, you will have to deal with one of these wood-related issues sooner or later.

 

Rotting wood

Rotting wood can see your once beautiful deck change colour, lose it’s looks and become dangerous all in one fell swoop. For instances like this, it can be easily detectable, characterised by softness, with surface wood capable of being scratched with a nail.

However, wood rot can also effect select areas of your boards that aren’t as easy to detect. Rotten wood within the framework – e.g. the posts, joists, etc. – can make your entire deck unstable, so be sure to check these areas particularly closely.

 

Cracked wood

Similarly, cracked wood can be just as dangerous, if not more so, depending on the extent of the crack. Splits can weaken the structure significantly and act as the literal chink in the armour of your decking.

Cracks are common in natural wood as it begins to age, making older decking a prime candidate for cracked woodwork. Worse still, numerous cracks can cause serious structural damage, presenting a veritable timebomb for the inevitable structural failure.

 

Slippery when wet

Slippery decking can turn your outdoor space into a scene from Home Alone in the time it take for a single shower to fall. However, it’s not actually the rain alone that makes the deck slippery. The slip/slide-factor is actually down to a form of fungus and mould that grows on the wood when its wet.

Characterised by a black staining, this fearsome fungus can form on traditional wood no matter what season it is, making wood decking a slip-hazard year-round if not properly cared for and maintained. Worse still, it can ruin your deck complete, damaging it beyond repair.

 

Why choose TimberTech?

One of the best ways to ensure your deck is safe and sound is to opt for composite decking over traditional wood. The state-of-the-art composite decking from TimberTech is designed for durability and safety, and is superior to standard wood decking in virtually every way.

Unlike the real-wood decking of yesteryear, TimberTech composite decking is extremely durable and resistant to a number of challenges that both the elements and life throw at it, from spills and scratches to sun and snow.

With slip-resistance and split-resistance as two of the main product features, you’re instantly protected from two of the main hazards related to decking. Meanwhile, the expert fitters at TimberTech can assure your deck will be firmly installed and well-connected from pillar to post.

 

timbertech decking

 

How long does composite decking last?

Axl Rose once said, nothing lasts forever… even cold November Rain. Sadly, this line also applies to composite decking and even the extremely long-lasting materials of TimberTech can’t quite claim to last forever.

Nevertheless, while our decking won’t last forever, they do last a considerably long time; most TimberTech decking ranges come with an impressively colossal 30-year warranty. With that kind of assurance, you can rest easy knowing that your decking is durable enough to withstand copious amounts of rain, be it November rain or otherwise!

 

For more information on TimberTech products and guarantees, call today on 029 2080 3756 and speak to one of our team personally. Alternatively, feel free to get in touch online using the button below.

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When it comes to garden revamps, the prospect of an outdoor overhaul can be an exciting scenario.

In fact, the mere addition of decking to your outdoor space can completely transform the way it looks and the way you enjoy your garden.

However, while it can be all too easy to get swept up in the delirium of deck-based dreams, there are a few important factors to mull over before you lay down the boards.

Here’s our choice checklist of things to consider before building decking.

 

things to consider before building decking

 

Decking Dilemmas

So, where to begin?

If you’re reading this, chances are that you’ve at least considered the option of decking in your garden, if not gone a little further and begun browsing materials, styles and colour options.

If that sounds like you, great – that’s where this blog comes in!

Before you settle on the deck of your dreams, it’s important to remember these key points.

 

Soak up the sun

One of the many reasons people often opt for decking is so they can make the most of sunny weather. As such, knowing where to place your decking can be a pivotal point in the journey.

If you have a north-facing garden, a decking area directly outside your back door will likely find itself in a blanket of shade come 3:00 p.m. You can squeeze the most out of the sun by having your deck area further down your garden at the far end to avoid the shadow of your house.

On the other hand, if you have a south-facing garden, you may have the opposite problem and find that back door decking can become a sun-trap that’s uncomfortably hot during times of extreme heat. You may want to prepare for the heat by accessorising your deck with a parasol, awning or veranda.

 

Lighten up

When you’re ordering your decking, it’s easy to be overcome with images of sunny weather and cold drinks on summer days. As such, evening enjoyment can be commonly overlooked.

Try to keep in mind lighting before you build your decking. Most decking can be laid with built-in up-lighting within the deck itself.

If this is something you have your eye on as a potential lighting solution, it can be easier all round to arrange this fixture prior to building. Retroactive fitting could be troublesome.

 

Size matters

Depending on what you can afford in terms of both finances and space, the size of your decking area can have a profound effect on what you actually use your decking for.

If you can’t fit a dining table on your decking area, chances are that deck-top dining is literally off the table. Similarly, if you envision yourself using your deck for barbeques and cook outs, be sure your area is big enough to house your barbie and any associated equipment.

Naturally, not everyone will be able to afford a huge decking area, while others may have a smaller garden that simply can’t accommodate one. Meanwhile, some may not want a large deck in the first place.

Either way, the size of the surface can be determining factor in your outdoor enjoyment so keep that in mind to ensure its fit for purpose.

 

Dress code

Deciding how to dress your decking can be a big part of the overall presentation once you’re finished. While this can seem like a job for way down the line when the deck is done, how you plan to dress your decking can potentially influence the choice of boards.

For example, if you’re a huge fan of bright red flowers and know with a degree of absolute certainty you’re going to accessorise your deck with bright red flowers, it makes sense to choose a deck colour that complements this preference.

Similarly, if you plan on including additional features on your deck – such as railings, furniture, etc – opting for a decking style that fits your chosen outdoor features ahead of time can be a wise move.

 

The next step

Adding varying levels to your garden can be a great way to add another dimension to your outdoor living space, making it more aesthetically appealing while also making it seem larger from a visual perspective.

A raised deck area with steps leading up to it can be perfect for feature decking areas further down your garden, while steps down from a decking area immediately outside your back door can also have a similar effect.

For those looking to completely transform their outdoor space, varying levels in your garden can be the perfect way to do so. Meanwhile, it can also help to separate your garden into designated zones – e.g. the parents relaxing on the deck while the kids play on the grass – allowing you to truly make the most of your garden space.

 

Board games

Perhaps the most important decision you’re going to make when it comes to your decking is the actual boards you choose. After all, these are going to be a permanent fixture to your garden landscape for the foreseeable future and a rushed decision now could haunt you for years to come.

The phrase “fools rush in” is the perfect idiom for this scenario. If you’re torn between two or three materials, why not request a free sample of each and compare? This can help you get a feel for the look and texture of the board, allowing to fully visualise what a finished deck may look like.

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that there’s really no rush when it comes to decking deadlines. It’s your property, it’s your decking and, most importantly, it’s your money – make sure you get the deck that’s right not just the deck that’s right now.

 

So, there you have it: a hefty half a dozen things to keep in mind before making your decking decision. For more information on our various decking options, give us a call on 029 2080 3756 today or drop us a line now using the button below.

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