How to Keep Your Timber Deck Fire Safe
Timber decking makes for a great addition to the home and it creates a space outside the property which can offer a wonderful place for al fresco dining and lapping up the sun. If however you live in a region which is prone to bushfires, you need to ensure that the decking is fully protected. It is commonly advised in these areas that you should ensure that debris and timber is kept away from the property, but with decking that of course isn’t possible.
It is therefore important that you have taken steps to make sure that your timber won’t act as a fire bridge between the bush and your home, and here is how to do it.
Using The Best Timber
The best way to avoid a timber deck which could catch on fire is to try and buy the most fireproof timber you can. When it comes to timber prices however, these hardwoods which are naturally resistant to fire are often the costliest. Try to stretch your budget to buy some timber that is the most fire resistant. All timber can catch fire of course, but there are a number of options which are more resistant than others.
Filling The Gaps
More often than not, the deck catches fire once a branch lands on it which is on fire. The fire can very quickly spread to the timber decking if there are large gaps between the slats. This happens because fires need oxygen, and those gaps will create airflow which helps the fire spread. If you have large gaps between the slats on the decking then be sure to get those fixed to avoid this from happening.
Flame Retardant Spray
There are a number of products on the market which you can use to spray your deck, in order to make it more flame retardant. Be aware that these products will not protect your deck forever, which is why you should always check the instructions and be sure that you have a clear idea as to when you will have to re-spray the deck, so that it is always protected from fire.
Adding Metal To Your Base Timber
To avoid any fires hitting the timber decking from below, you could consider adding one metal to the base timbers. This may take a little away from the overall look of the decking, but a touch of metal will look a great deal better than a charred mess where your deck once was.
Decaying timber catches fire much quicker than good quality timber, and flame retardant sprays are also far less effective on this kind of timber. This is why you should always ensure that your deck is well maintained and that you have removed any timber which is decaying and replaced it with good quality timber.
These steps may cost a little bit of money, but they are well worth the investment given the great damage which a fire could potentially cause to the deck and to your home should it spread.