Frequently Asked Questions: Hardwood and Pine Decking

UPKEEP OF HARDWOOD DECKING

Does Deckscapes oil my hardwood deck?

Hardwoods such as Balau, Massaranduba, Garappa and Purple Heart benefit from being oiled once a year. This nourishes the timber and keeps it from cracking. It also helps to maintain the colour – but all timber will silver over time as a result of oxidisation. SInce hardwoods have their own natural oils and therefore do not need oiling straight away.

We can arrange to oil your deck at an additional price. Ask us about the cost of oiling your new deck

I’m going to oil it myself, what oil should I use? 

We suggest that you use LOBA Clear Teak and Hardwood Oil OR ProNature. LOBA is only available from Zimbo’s Trading. We can purchase these oils for you and have them delivered. Just ask us about the current pricing. 

What happens if I don’t apply enough oil? 

The timber will fade and drying cracks will start to show.

What is your opinion regarding varnishes and sealers? 

The use of varnishes and heavy sealers is NOT recommended. These products prevent the timber from releasing rain water & natural oils. Over time this causes cracking and over drying of the timber.

UPKEEP OF PINE DECKING

Does Deckscapes oil my Pine Deck? 

After installation, a treatment should be done to feed oil back into the timber. Please note this is not part of our quote as it is always a lot cheaper to have a painter or gardener do this than have a carpenter do the painting.

Remember that the CCA treatment of pine does not protect against drying out, cracking or UV degradation. This is a common misconception. Timber decking needs to be protected from the elements by feeding oil back into the timber at regular periods.

We suggest you use:

Galseal: This can be applied when the timber is dry and then a 2nd coat reapplied after 6 months. Thereafter it can be oiled yearly.

Alternatively, Boiled linseed oil thinned with turpentine can also be used.

ProNature (which we can purchase for you or you can purchase from Organic Zone) 

What type of pine wood does Deckscapes use? 

The timber we use is treated with CCA to H3 exterior specifications ensuring guaranteed protection against timber rot and termite attack. This treatment is the recommended protection as per the Building Guidelines of the ITCSA (Institute of Timber Construction South Africa)

What is your opinion regarding varnishes and sealers? 

The use of surface sealers and varnishes is NOT recommended as this causes the timber to heat up excessively in hot conditions and does not allow the timber to breathe.

How long will pine decking last? 

South African Pine decking is an excellent exterior decking. If installed and screwed correctly, and maintained regularly, there is little reason that your pine decking should not last for15 years.  

What happens if I don’t apply enough oil? 

As with hardwood, the timber will fade and drying cracks will start to show

Contact us should you have any further questions regarding all things decking.

Embracing Bamboo as a Decking alternative

Choosing a decking material can be a tough task. Especially with a rise in alternative decking solutions, such as bamboo, which has been increasing in popularity over the last few years.

Bamboo deck

The new generation in decking

Did you know that bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the entire world! With certain species growing up to a meter per day in favourable conditions.  It’s because of this rapid growth that it’s become a viable replacement to wooden decking. It can be harvested in 3-5 years versus 10-20 years for most softwoods and up to 100 years for some hardwoods. That’s a substantial difference in sustainability. 

Deckscapes loves using solid bamboo decking boards. We use MOSO® Bamboo X-treme which is made from compressed, thermally treated bamboo strips. After processing, it becomes even more hard and durable, making it a suitable choice for high-traffic areas.

Come rain, come shine, it is suitable for the outdoors and makes a great decking material for Cape Town’s weather conditions. Another plus is that the supplier MOSO, offers a 25 year guarantee on the product. 

Bamboo products have a natural beauty to them and vary in colour, grain and appearance. It will however weather overtime and the colour will change to a grey if it the boards are not maintained.

Whatever your choice, Deckscapes is here to assist you with your build. Just contact us here…

DECKSCAPES USES RHINO WOOD – HERE’S WHY

First off, what is Rhino Wood?

Rhino Wood is sustainably grown soft wood that has been converted into a hardwood equivalent. This is done through thermal heat treatment and cell permeation with a non-toxic compound.  This treatment results in an abundance of benefits….

What are these benefits? 

  • No plastics or harmful chemicals are used in its production, meaning that it really is kinder to the earth and environment
  • The modification process increases the strength of the soft wood by up to 60%. This increases its load bearing capacity substantially, making it a really strong timber. This also means fewer scratches, dents and less surface damage.
  • It has a class 1 durability rating. This is because the wood is filled with an aqua-phobic substance, making the timber water resistant. Therefore it doesn’t rot, even after years outdoors.
  •  It is pest resistant, and doesn’t attract wood borer or termites. This means it won’t be susceptible to damage from insects and pests.
  • It doesn’t need any special disposal method. You can simply dispose of it like any other natural untreated wood.
  • It smells gorgeous. The heat treatment applied keeps on giving off beautiful burnt pines smells in the heat and when it’s wet.
  • As it is treated to the core, you don’t need to treat it again to keep it strong and waterproof (unless you want to maintain its dark colour.)

The thought of cutting down 100-year-old hardwoods is very difficult for us. But since Rhino Wood is sustainably-farmed, no natural forests are required to be cut down.   This is part of the reason we find Rhino Wood such an appealing product to use. 

If you would like for your own deck to be built from Rhino Wood, let us know by contacting us here….. If you would like to learn more, you can do so by clicking here.

Rhino Wood uses sustainably sourced South African pine. Photo provided by Brave Media.

All Things Composite Decking

What exactly is composite decking?

Composite decking is made from reclaimed wood flower from the by-product of the timber industry. The composite nature (meaning made up of several parts) means that: 

  • No harmful sealants or treatments are required in the maintenance of its lifecycle. 
  • Notoxic chemicals are required to maintain the colour or quality of the deck boards.
  • The decks are low maintenance and can be easily cleaned with soap and water.
  • The water resistance of the products will prevent rotting. 
  • The textured surface of the boards prevents slipping. 
  • Both stain and mould resistant. 

One can enjoy the realistic looking textures and natural colour variations of wood without the accompanying issues. This is because the products do not attract problematic insects the way that wood does. Composite decking has also been tested in various weather conditions and has proven to be incredibly long lasting. All of the composite products that Deckscapes use are easy to install with a hidden clip system, which has a lovely finished look.

Composite decking is recognised by the Green Building Council of South Africa, which strives to achieve an environmentally sustainable building industry.

Over the next 50 years, the effective use of eco-friendly building products and replanting of trees will absorb up to 20% of man-made carbon emissions, providing long term solutions to protecting our fragile eco-systems. The product ranges that we use are far more sustainable than traditional harvested timber and directly focuses on green buildings and sustainable architecture.

Composite VS Timber

Timber, on the other hand, has a real and earthy feel underfoot. There are many sustainable timbers that can be used from South African forests. And if put down properly and well maintained, will last as long as the imported hardwood timbers.

Timber decks add value to your home, in addition to extending outdoor space. Timber is hardy and long suffering, and needn’t be excessive maintenance. 

A well-constructed timber deck could last between 10 and 25 years depending on the timber used and the maintenance. Other factors like sun, wind and shade, all contribute to the aging of the timber.

The saying “Touch Wood” comes from the Pagans who believed that you harnessed the power of the trees by standing on or touching wood – a saying we still use today. 

Contact us here to discuss your decking requirements.

Choosing your timber – a look at Massaranduba wood

A hardwood deck, if installed correctly, should last between 15 and 20 years. Thats why a durable hardwood, such as Massaranduba wood is a great choice of timber for your outdoor living space.

It’s safe to say that a wooden deck is a great long term investment to your property that will be enjoyed many years down the line.

There are many timbers available on the market and choosing which to go with can be a tough choice. We can make use of any of these timbers, it all comes down to your design preference and budget. 

What wood do you suggest?

One of our personal favourites is Massaranduba (pronounced ma-sa-ran-doo-bah). It is a highly popularized exotic wood in the exterior decking world. It goes by many other interesting names, including Brazilian Redwood (derived from its colouration) , Bulletwood (due to its hardiness) or Beefwood (not sure about the origin of this one?). 

Massaranduba wood is known as one of the hardest and most durable species available, besides Ipe and Tigerwood. It is exceptionally hardy, making it highly resistant to weather as well as wood boring insects and fungi. Interestingly, it is nearly 250% harder than Red Oak. This makes it a great choice for both residential and commercial installations.

It has a naturally warm red to reddish-brown tone with a straight to slightly wavy grain ( see the below swatch). Much like Ipe, Massaranduba wood can be left untreated and it will slowly age to a distinctive grayish-silver. To retain the rich red colouration, it can be oiled or stained using ultraviolet inhibitors along with regular cleanings and maintenance. 

Massaranduba colour and grain swatch

Whatever your choice, Deckscapes is here to assist you with the design and installation of your Deck in Cape Town and throughout the Western Cape.

Contact us today to get going with your build. 

At Least 3 Reasons you Should Invest in a Timber Pergola

Wooden pergola over patio

If you’re looking to add charm and character to your outdoor living space, a timber pergola is a great option worth considering. 

A pergola is an arched or flat lattice work structure that is flexible in terms of size, location and design. This is a big reason that they are such a popular choice amongst home owners. 

The good news is that Deckscapes builds timber pergolas all over Cape Town and the Western Cape for home owners as well as businesses. And our pergolas are custom designed to fit your outdoor space. 

Wooden Pergola

Why build a pergola?

Not only are pergolas a beautiful addition to your garden, they can also be built with a specific purpose in mind, such as: 

  • To provide shade to your outside seating area. A major benefit when you live in sunny South Africa.
  • To support a vine or a creeper. A naturally beautiful solution to enclose your patio or deck. 
  • To support roofing sheets, which is then known as a pavilion. 

They can also serve as an extension to your outside seating area or they can be located to be a standalone, eye-catching garden feature. It all depends on your design preference. 

Another reason that pergolas are so popular is because they are generally low maintenance and add value to your property. You never know, building a pergola on your deck or patio could entice a potential buyer into purchasing your home.

They can either be built from soft wood like SA Pine or Merranti, or they can be built from an imported hardwood like Balau, Teak or even Garappa. It all depends on the look & feel that you’re after. We can also construct what we refer to as a ‘rustic pergola’, which is when we use gum poles for the support and lathes for the sun slats. 

And just on the off chance this is something you’ve wondered, the origin of the word pergola comes from the Latin word ‘pergula’, which refers to a projecting eave.

Timber Pergola

The images above show off just a few timber pergola builds that Deckscapes have done in and around Cape Town over the years.

Contact us today to start your own build.