If you are tired of constantly maintaining your timber decking, or are worried about it being unsafe, you may be looking at replacing your wooden deck with a new, easy-to-maintain composite decking board.
Composite decking has many benefits over timber decking, like the fact you wont have to worry about rot again, maintenance will be a breeze, and it is also slip resistant – this is especially the case for Ovaeda’s Luxxe Composite Decking, which is encapsulated to even further protect it from the elements.
There are 4 main steps when replacing your timber decking with composite decking:
- Remove existing timber decking
- Inspect existing substructure
- Repair and replace subframe as necessary
- Install new composite decking
#1 – Remove Existing Timber Decking
Begin by removing all existing wooden decking, and all fixings and hardware that is going to need replaced. Ensure that all wooden decking is disposed of correctly and that all nails, screws and rusty hardware are removed to avoid any injury. Also, ensure that adequate safety gear is being worn.
Begin at one end of the decking area. Start by identifying whether the decking is fixed down with screws or nails. If it is with screws, a power drill can be used to remove each screw, and therefore the plank from the subframe.
If it is constructed with Nails, a crowbar, hammer, and a bit of brute force is going to be required! Using a leverage bar of some kind between the deckboard and the subframe will help to force it out of place. Note that if you are considering keeping the subframe, you will want to take extra care as to not damage the subframe and preserve its condition.
Tools that may be required for this include:
- Crowbar/ Demolition Bar
- Power drill
#2 – Inspect the existing subframe
For this article, we will assume it is a timber subframe that has been used. Depending on the age and quality of the timber used in your subframe, the condition of it will vary dramatically.
Check carefully for rot on each joist and support. There is a strong likelihood that if the deck area is over 5 years old, the subframe and supports will have rot of some kind. The extent of the rot will depend on what timber is used. You will find that untreated timber will be much, much weaker and more susceptible to rot that a pressure treated timber joist.
Also look for any damaged or rusty hardware on the subframe – we’d recommend that this is also replaced.
#3 – Repair/ Replace Subframe as required
If there is any rot or weakness in any of the joists or supports, we’d strongly recommend replacing the whole subframe. The reason for this is that if some parts of it have started to weaken, it will not be long before the rest of the subframe is in similar condition.
There are a few different materials to change the existing subframe out for. For a start, you could replace it with timber again, however this will mean you will be back in the same position again in a few years time! The best option is to replace it with another material that is sure to last much longer, like our aluminium joist and subframe systems, that carries a warranty of 25 years to give you absolute peace of mind!
However, if you decide to just replace the damaged timber joists, we’d recommend that the same size and type of timber is used as the existing joists, and that they are protected to help delay any rotting in the future.
Also, you will want to check the composite decking suppliers recommendations as to the spacing of the joists, as to ensure that you are not voiding any warranties or guarantees. Most composite decking is rated to around 400mm spacing centre-to-centre, so see what your current joists are and make amends to the spacing as necessary.
Finally, ensure that the joists are all adequately supported. One great way of easily supporting joists, is to use adjustable decking support pedestals. These will make your decking a lot firmer underfoot and will increase the longevity and strength of your composite decking area.
#4 – Install your new composite decking
Once you have your subframe installed, with correct spans and adequate support in place, you can begin installing your new composite deck.
Most composite decking boards are fixed using hidden fasteners, which are a great way of securing the boards, whilst not showing any fixings.
Begin installation of your deck boards at one side, and work your way throughout the area, ensuring that all spacing is kept consistent. Following the composite decking suppliers installation guidelines will ensure that your board is installed correctly and will maximise its life span.
In summary, its important to consider all of the above steps, to ensure that the finished result is as amazing as you want it to be. Making the decision to replace timber decking with composite decking is always a good decision, and at Ovaeda, we’d love to help you through the process!
Why not start by ordering some decking samples? Having actual decking samples to look at can really help you to select the perfect colour and finish for your garden project.
Contact us on +44 (0)208 159 2999 or email us at email@example.com for all the help and inspiration that you’ll need to transform your old wooden decking area!