An outdoor deck is a very useful and lovely addition to any house, but it's easy for homeowners to worry about the cost of its upkeep. After all, your client's deck is going to be exposed to the elements 24/7 and their worries about rain, ice, snow, sun and mold are fully justified.
Fortunately, with the right techniques, materials and tools, such as BECK's SCRAIL® InvisiDeck® Hidden Fastening System, you can create an outdoor structure that lasts through many seasons of even the harshest weather extremes. Here are some things to keep in mind before you get started.
Durable Materials for Long Deck Life
You can easily create a deck that mimics the look and charm of wood, while being stronger against the elements. The ideal material for this is called composite decking—but a couple of other options are also available. Let's cover each.
Composite deck boards and beams are made from a super-compressed blend of pulped wood fibers and plastic binding materials. Furthermore, they can be manufactured right in a factory in nearly any color and with full anti-weather treatment integrated right into their material. Because of this, composite decking literally requires no varnishing, post-installation treatment or even painting to be ready for client use.
What's more, composite decks are formulated to not expand or contract as the weather becomes colder or hotter, or more and less humid. This lets them avoid the splitting, warping and other related long-term damage common to ordinary wood decks.
You should also bear in mind that composite deck boards, railings, and beams are designed to look almost identical to natural wood.
On a final note, composite decking is extremely dense. This means a more labor-intensive installation process and to consider the area’s load tolerance for where the deck will integrate with the rest of the house or the ground.
When it comes to vinyl, you won't be able to fully reproduce the rustic charm of wood in the way that composite boards can, but you can still create a beautiful, easy to clean deck that lasts for decades. Vinyl deck materials are light-weight, long lasting and because of the material's surface properties, dirt and grime can be cleaned off with little more than water.
Vinyl decks can also be ordered in a multitude of colors and styles that simulate the look of natural wood as well.
Aluminum is one of the best materials for fences, railings, and decks available today. The specially treated alloy aluminum used for deck installation is very light, extremely durable, and fully weather resistant like few other materials. It also can be made available in a multitude of colors and styles.
With aluminum decks, you can enjoy decades of longevity at a reasonable cost without worrying about mold, humidity or warping caused by sunlight and water. Aluminum is also highly solar-reflective, meaning that decks made from it can stay cooler even on hot days.
Using the Right Tools for Truly Robust Decking Installations
When installing a low-maintenance deck that needs to last for years, the fastening tools you use are also important. With the right tools, you can not only ensure a clean professional look to your decking, but you can also save yourself hours of work. The SCRAIL® InvisiDeck® Hidden Fastning System by BECK offers the ideal solution. This combination of heavy-gauge stainless steel clips and sturdy 33° plastic strip SCRAIL® fasteners can be used to lay down composite or other types of decks through a simple three-step system. This system can help your job move 3 to 5 times faster while maintaining sturdiness and precision.