Every deck that is exposed to the elements will need some level of moisture-resistance, but certain situations require a more secure design than most decking can provide. Piers and docks will certainly need to have waterproof decking, but even residential homes can benefit from a waterproof deck if they are in a wet climate or border a pool.
The materials you select for your deck will have the most significant impact on how water-resistant it will be. When building a waterproof deck your options for materials will be more limited. Manufacturers often push composites and vinyl decking as the ultimate waterproof decking, but don't let this convince you that these are your only options.
Modified wood is a real wood material that offers extreme water-resistance with the beauty of natural wood. When designing a waterproof deck, using modified wood provides a stunning balance between aesthetics and functionality.
Here are the four main reasons why modified wood ranks so highly in this category.
1. Permanent water-resistance without surface treatments
(303 Second Street Park, by Gensler, photo by Dennis Mayer Photography)
Traditional wood can reach a rudimentary level of water-resistance, but at the cost of consistent applications of surface treatments. These surface treatments can be quite expensive and a hassle to apply. Not to mention if you don't reapply on schedule a wood deck can quickly experience damage due to prolonged water exposure.
The enhancement process of modified wood is permanent and won't wear off over time. Surface treatments aren't a requirement but rather an option for those that want to maintain the original brown color, rather than allow it to weather to a classic silver-gray. General care requirements of a modified wood deck are limited to very basic cleaning as needed.
Overall the density and durability of modified wood help it withstand wet climates and environments without any structural degradation. This is why modified wood, like Kebony, can be backed by such a strong warranty of up to 30 years; something that is not found with pressure treated decking or even many hardwood decking options.
2. Wet environments require reliable slip-resistance
(Private condo in Puerto Rico, by hacedor/maker: arquitectos, photo by hacedor/maker: arquitectos)
What’s more than performing well overtime, to be considered a water capable decking option slip-resistance remains an important factor.
This test doesn’t bode well for composite, vinyl and aluminum decking, which can be very slippery when wet. Because of the plastic surface coating used to protect the water-vulnerable core, composite decking requires careful attention when walking on its wet surface. Many aluminum decking options will have grooves or grating on the surface to help with slip-resistance, however that only does so much to combat the issue.
Real wood, like modified wood, tends to have better surface grit which helps it outperform as far as slip risk goes.
3. Natural appearance of a real wood deck
(Sound of Music, by Mareiner Holz)
There are plenty of fake wood decking materials on the market and most of them are hardly passable as real wood, even though they try to mimic the look. Modified wood is a true wood product with all the beauty of natural wood planking.
Kebony creates modified wood in both Clear and Character options. Kebony Clear has a more uniform appearance, with a more subtle grain. Kebony Character has bolder grain and knots, making it a bit more on the rustic side.
Kebony modified wood has a rich finish that's more on the chocolate side. Over time it will take on a silver-gray patina as it ages, similarly to how tropical hardwood does.
Modified wood gives real wood lovers who need a moisture-resistant deck a great solution.
4. Provides a comfortable surface for leisure activities
(The Apollo, by Landscape Architect Bureau [LAB] LLC, photo by Sean O'Rourke Photography)
A common issue of many types of plastic- and metal-based decking is how poorly it performs in temperature extremes, especially hot weather. They tend to absorb a lot of heat and end up uncomfortably hot to walk on barefoot, let alone lay or lounge on. And since many areas that have a high moisture environment are also subject to sun and heat, this can also be a big factor in material selection.
Modified wood doesn't absorb heat like plastic and metal do and therefore will remain comfortable to walk on barefoot.
Additionally, Kebony uses non-toxic liquids in their modification process which means direct contact with skin, water, and earth won't transfer or leach harmful chemicals, unlike pressure treated would can.
Modified wood has a lot of advantages and relatively few issues. When a natural looking deck with low-care needs and impressive water-resistance is desired, it's hard to beat modified wood. For more information on modified wood and ideas on how it can be utilized as decking, contact a Kebony representative.