An outdoor deck is a welcome addition to any backyard, providing amenity and a place for the family to gather and enjoy warm weather. While walking barefoot outside on a hot summer day is one of life's pleasures, without the correct material underfoot this can quickly become uncomfortable. The material selection for a backyard deck is fundamental in ensuring that it is both attractive and comfortable to use in any weather. Understanding the material options and the associated thermal transmission and heat dissipation will allow architects, designers, and home-owners to make an informed decision that will keep the whole family comfortable even on the hottest days.
There are three main decking materials for consideration: timber, composites, and powder-coated solid aluminium.
Timber - Timber is a traditional decking material and has been used extensively in outdoor entertaining areas. While timber is a beautiful material, it has two main drawbacks that must be considered. Firstly, as a natural material timber is subject to the ravages of the climate and requires regular maintenance to retain its appearance and integrity over time. Secondly, timber is a poor heat transmitter which means that timber decking that is exposed to the sun will build and store heat over the day resulting in a surface that is much hotter than the ambient temperature. This attribute is pronounced on extreme heat days but will also impact one's ability to walk barefoot over the surface even on a pleasantly warm day.
Composites - Composite materials are typically comprised of a mix of plastics, resin, woodchips and sawdust and are extruded into decking planks that imitate the look of a timber deck. Composite decking materials are gaining popularity as they are extremely durable and do not require much maintenance to preserve their appearance. The drawback to this product, however, is that like timber, it is also a poor heat transmitter and can be extremely hot underfoot.
Powder-Coated Solid Aluminum - Aluminium is an extremely efficient heat conductor which means that a solid aluminium deck will dissipate the heat collected on the surface, resulting in a deck that does not exceed the ambient air temperature. This means that even on an extremely hot day with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees celsius, the deck will still be comfortable to walk on barefoot. Of course, powder-coated solid aluminium decking is also durable with a maintenance-free timber-look finish which allows more time for long summer days simply enjoying the great outdoors.
DecoDeck is a powder-coated solid aluminium decking material from DECO Australia that has been specifically designed for hot climates. With a range of timber-look hardwood finishes available, architects, designers, and home-owners can specify DecoDeck with confidence that it will complement a range of design visions for the ideal outdoor experience. DecoDeck is a smart and sustainable choice of exterior decking material. More information to assist in the evaluation of decking materials from DECO Australia can be found here.