Having a deck not only adds to the aesthetics of your home, it also adds to its value should you sell it in the future. Experts at Floor know decks well and impart their knowledge in this article about the five things you need to know about decks in Brisbane considering such factors as climate, size, typical decking wood types, finishes, and maintenance (sanding).
Pine – This is possibly one of the most popular chosen for decking. In Australia, most of the pine trees cut for lumber are grown in plantations. Pine is a sustainable form of wood as it is one of the faster-maturing trees available for decking material.
Intsia bijuga or merbau – This species is great to use for decking as it is a hardwood and is resistant to termite attacks. Though it is a classified as a hardwood, it has the workability of a softwood. It’s also more fire-resistant than other timber out there. Its colour is a natural reddish-brown.
Eucalyptus marginata or jarrah – This is one of the more desirable hardwoods as it doesn’t rot easily like other timber. It’s solid and durable with a gorgeous colour of deep red and brown. It is water resistant making it perfect for rainy seasons. This timber is so durable that wood that had been used for old houses or old buildings that have been demolished can be used again for other purposes. If you want a long-lasting deck, this is the timber of choice for you.
Corymbia maculata or spotted gum – This is another durable and strong Australian timber well-suited for decking. This light-brown timber is perfect if you don’t want to do a lot of staining as it holds its colour well and doesn’t bleed its colour. Some have wavy grain that can be very attractive.
Eucalyptus paniculata or grey ironbark – This is high-quality timber. It’s resistant to the lyctus planicollis which is a beetle that can seriously damage timber. Its colours range from light brown to dark and can sometimes be a rich red. However, its hardness can make it difficult to work with.
Eucalyptus obliqua or Messmate stringybark – The light brown and red oak variety is the most suitable for decking. It is moderately hard making it easy to work with but it’s not as durable as other timber and will likely need more maintenance. It is relatively more budget-friendly than the other timber types.
Eucalyptus pilularis or blackbutt – This sustainable timber grows fast and is resistant to borer beetles. Its colour can range from yellow brown to just light brown. It is easy to stain and is termite-resistant as well. This hardwood can be easily obtained as material for decking.
The size of your deck really depends on the size of your home and property and your budget. The sky is the limit when it comes to the size of deck you want. Of course, it must meet all the legal size, structural, and building code requirements in your area.
The climate in Brisbane is subtropical and having a deck gives you the ability to enjoy the beautiful weather year-round. To have your deck looking great throughout the year, it must be built using materials that can withstand the special climate of areas in and around Brisbane. You can’t go wrong with choosing timber decking material from wood that’s native to Australia as they’re already resistant to common insects and termites found in the region as well as naturally grow in Brisbane climate. For more information see our Deck Sanding Brisbane page.
The mostly hot and sunny weather in Brisbane can take a toll on decks making deck colour fade over time. Frequent use of the deck with heavy traffic can also wear the stain or protective coatings off making the wood exposed to the elements even more.
Once your deck is built, you don’t leave it unprotected. Even though wood used to build a deck may have been chemical and pressure treated or are naturally resistant to insects, weather elements can quickly damage wood. Another invisible force that can affect beautiful timber is ultraviolet radiation which can make the natural colour of wood to fade (though sometimes people prefer this). Anyway, finishes are as important as the choice of timber you build with. Here are the general classifications of stains:
Water based – easy clean up, less smell
Oil based – better at covering the wood and offering skin protection
Burnishing Oil – more natural look, penetrates the timber, easier to maintain
Because of volatile organic compound regulations getting stricter, oil-based finishes are getting manufactured with lower VOCs making them less toxic.
Decks also need to be maintained to keep them durable and looking brand-new. A good wash-down of your deck once a week or when it starts to collect dust and leaves is necessary. It would be a good idea to keep a bucket or two of the finish you used for your deck for maintenance. Replace broken or rotted boards regularly as you don’t want to increase the likelihood of falling through your decking or tripping when you walk over those damaged areas.
Once the timber decking shows wear, it will be a good idea to sand and re-stain the timber to get rid of the rough and worn look of the timber and have it look brand new again. Sanding the wood again and refinishing it every few years depending on the extent of damage removes loose fibers and the faded part of the wood. After sanding, the fresh wood exposed will be better able to absorb the finish. The new finish can provide maximum protection once again against the elements and UV rays.
If you don’t have time or the tools to do the maintenance yourself, have it done by professionals like us – Floor – with our division of deck sanding in Brisbane.
Ultimately, it is your choice when it comes to the look and quality of the wood you choose for your decking. Our decking experts at Floor can help you make the right choice and give great advice and services for maintaining your deck to keep its structure and looks long-lasting.