Posted on: 29 December 2016
When timber is used as a decking material, homeowners often have numerous concerns about the durability of the wooden deck. These concerns often relate to the possible undesirable qualities of timber as a construction material (e.g. fire resistance and vulnerability to moisture damage).
Even with these concerns, homeowners still opt to install a wooden deck thanks to the aesthetic appeal for which wooden decks are widely appreciated. Here's how to mitigate against some of the undesirable qualities when shopping for timber deck supplies.
You can find information on the type of treatment that timber has been subjected to by checking for treatment certification stamps. The timber supplier should be more than happy to help you identify and interpret certification stamps.
Kiln Dried And Heat Treated Timber
Kiln drying and heat treatment are both used to improve the structural qualities of timber. The two processes are often (mistakenly) thought to be the same. Kiln drying is a process used to reduce the moisture content of wood, thereby making it less vulnerable to moisture-related damage.
The wood is placed in a kiln/oven through which heated air circulates. Temperature and relative humidity inside the kiln/oven is manipulated in order to achieve equilibrium between relative humidity inside the kiln and the moisture content inside the wood.
Heat treatment exposes the internal structure of timber to high temperatures. This helps to kill living organisms that may have inhabited internal sections of the tree from which the timber was derived.
Getting rid of living organisms is just as important as getting rid of moisture from the internal structure of wood. Check that your chosen type of lumber has been dried and heat-treated.
Timber deck supplies can be highly/moderately refractory or they can be non-refractory. The term refractory describes the extent to which timber will resist the loss of moisture from its internal structure when being dried.
Wood that's considered to be highly refractory provides the greatest degree of resistance to moisture loss. That which is considered to be moderately refractory loses moisture more readily, while non-refractory wood provide the least resistance to moisture loss.
As a customer, you have no control over the process(es) used to dry the wood that will eventually build your deck. With this in mind and from the classification described above, you'd be right to conclude that moisture-related damage on the deck material is less likely to occur with non-refractory timber. For more information, contact a business such as Hayter's Timber & Paving.Share