Firstly, do you have an existing deck? If so, find out if it is treated wood – often this is Copper Chrome Arsenic (CCA) treated Pine in NZ. Be very careful about disposal of this product – it is hazardous, especially when burnt. Our suggestion is contact Green Gorilla and order a skip bin, so that the wood waste can be disposed of in the best possible manner. Always wear gloves while handling this material.
Secondly, look at your new deck options. Many imported tropical species are from non-sustainable sources, or from dubious supply sources. We recommend Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certified wood products, and of course we suggest our own Abodo Decking Timber range – which is FSC® certified, locally made and utilises arsenic and chrome free preservatives. You can also have them pre-finished or pre-oiled in natural plant based oils.
We’d suggest you stay away from CCA treated wood for decking applications. Although it’s not proven that CCA is dangerous to humans in these uses, its better to err on the side of caution when chemicals are involved.
The next question is fixing
Should you nail or screw your deck down? We always recommend screw. Screws have better hold down, and can be removed and re-fixed easily without damage to decking boards. However you should be pretty specific about the type of screw you use. We’s suggest a stainless steel screw, like the Abodo Decking Screw or the German Spax brand, these are quality products specifically designed for decking.
Yes, screw are more expensive than nails but give you a better deck for longer. And less nail popping!
Finally, think about the finishing on your deck.
Leaving the wood to “silver off” is a favoured, low maintenance option, however your decking timber will age faster, develop more cracks, and ultimately have a shorter life span. A better option is to choose a penetrating oil – such as Abodo Protector. This kind of oil penetrates into the wood, nourishing it and extending the lifespan and appearance of the wood. Steer clear of film forming decking coatings, they will crack and flake.
Building a deck should be fun! The right choices in materials and tools will ensure you get a great result.