Eco deck

There are a num­ber of sus­tain­able op­tions for your deck this sum­mer.

Element - - Contents - By Steve Hart

With warmer days on the hori­zon the time is ripe to start think­ing about hav­ing a deck built or up­grad­ing your cur­rent one.

Do­ing the right thing when it comes to se­lect­ing ma­te­ri­als for deck­ing is eas­ier than it once was. To­day, op­tions in­clude com­pos­ite decks made of re­cy­cled plas­tic and saw­dust mixed with sus­tain­able hard­wood tim­bers, bam­boo, and soft­woods with a non-toxic treat­ment.

The golden rule is to avoid buy­ing tim­ber that started life in any kind of nat­u­ral for­est – de­for­esta­tion is a ma­jor en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sue that is partly blamed for al­ter­ing the earth’s cli­mate and se­verely re­duc­ing the nat­u­ral habi­tat of hun­dreds of birds and an­i­mals, as well as peo­ple – par­tic­u­larly in In­done­sia. So look for wood sourced from forests planted by peo­ple or so-called eco-tim­ber.

When it comes to deck­ing look for non-ar­senic, some­thing that comes with a war­ranty against de­cay and ter­mite at­tack, and is splin­ter free – so ideal for bare feet and chil­dren.

Prod­ucts such as Abodo eco wood are cre­ated from re­new­able, cer­ti­fied wood, and can be de­liv­ered in the colour of your choice. It is pro­duced here in New Zealand and has no toxic treat­ment chem­i­cals.

Else­where, Ac­coya (sold in NZ by Tim­spec) man­u­fac­tures deck­ing from sus­tain­able sources that “match or ex­ceed those of the best trop­i­cal hard­woods and treated woods.” In­ter­est­ingly, Ac­coya tim­ber be­gins life as New Zealand pine, and un­der­goes a rev­o­lu­tion­ary process which gives it a life of 70 years out­side.

Both Abodo and Ac­coya tim­bers are great deck­ing ma­te­ri­als, be­ing in­cred­i­bly sta­ble prod­ucts (won’t warp or shrink over time or through ex­po­sure to the el­e­ments).

For some­thing a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent, con­sider a plas­tic-wood com­pos­ite, such as that of­fered by Out­dure. In short, its deck­ing ma­te­rial is made of re­claimed hard­wood mixed with tough plas­tic. It means there is a range of colours to choose from and the UV resistant plas­tic pre­vents dam­age caused by mois­ture and in­sects. It is also slip resistant.

It’s a low-main­te­nance op­tion that helps stop tonnes of wood and plas­tic be­ing dumped in land­fills ev­ery year.

Bam­boo is another deck­ing op­tion, with Aus­tralian sup­pli­ers such as Ekologix of­fer­ing a range of op­tions us­ing the fast­grow­ing ma­te­rial. The firm claims ben­e­fits in­clude not need­ing pro­tec­tive oil or paint­ing, and slip re­sis­tance.

So if your cur­rent deck is past its best, or you want to add some ex­tra out­door space to your home, there are plenty of eco-friendly op­tions to make it a great sum­mer.

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