We all want to spend more time out of doors, and for those of us lucky enough to keep working from home after the pandemic, it would be great to be able to take the laptop outside now and then. So it might be time to add a deck to your home or replace an old one that may have become unsafe. There are lots of great options to choose from, and companies like Decking Central Coast can even bring you into the design process, so you can collaborate to create the deck of your dreams.
But, of course, you want to make your home as safe as possible, especially from the dangers of brushfires and barbeque mishaps. Keep reading to learn more about what types of wood to use for natural fire resistance.
Jarrah or Eucalyptus marginata is a type of wood that is widely distributed in Western Australia. It is solid and durable and quite resistant to rot and insects. It has an interlocked or wavy grain and coarse to medium texture. In addition to decking, it is often used for outdoor furniture, though it can be challenging to work because of its high density and interlocked grain. Jarrah is prized among woodworkers for its beautiful, swirling grain and tight knots. It has a vibrant red colour and takes stains and oils well, though it may not be as long-lasting as other woods.
Spotted gum or Corymbia maculata (or Eucalyptus maculata) is a premium hardwood because of its strength, durability, and attractive wavy grain that can produce a fiddle-back figure. Pieces over 18mm thick don’t require fire-retardant treatment. Its colour varies from a light brown to a warm dark brown. There are four species commonly referred to as spotted gum. They all have slender and straight trunks and bark that sheds in patches, creating the spotted appearance. Spotted gum is so strong it is often used for railroad ties and mine supports.
Merbau or Intsia bijuga or palembanica is a durable wood that is highly in demand. It is reddish when it is new and dries to an attractive reddish-brown, with pockets of a yellow mineral deposit that set it apart. It has natural fire-retardant properties and is resistant to insect attack and rot. Merbau is not listed in the CITES appendices, but it is included in the IUCN Red List because of exploitation and habitat loss. If you decide it is suitable for your deck, make sure your supplier is using sustainable sources.
These great fire-resistant woods are far from your only options for natural flame-unfriendly decking woods. You might also look into Ipe, Batu, and Ironbark for durable, strong, and beautiful options. Or check out the wood database to find articles on many different options. As always, look for sustainable sources for your decking needs. And, like any other parts of your home, remember that your deck will need regular maintenance to stay beautiful and safe for decades to come.