Building an outdoor decking area is a great way to add some extra space to your home. If you decide to swap a lawn that needs a lot of water to maintain, you are already doing your part to protect the environment.
However, there is a lot more that homeowners can do to ensure their outdoor decking is as eco-friendly as possible. Here are some essential tips that can help you reduce your outdoor deck’s impact on the environment, during construction as well as through its life.
Consider Sourcing Locally-manufactured Building Materials
The construction industry is one of the most harmful industries to the environment. The main reason for this is the transportation of building materials over long distances. The trucks and ships used to transport these materials consume fossil fuels that pollute the environment.
If you want to do your part in helping reduce the number of pollutants released into the environment during the building process, consider sourcing locally-manufactured supplies. Doing so helps you reduce your impact on the environment and proper benefits can start to be seen once enough people start doing this.
Think About the Manufacturing Process
Although the finished decking material you choose might not be harmful to the environment, you need to think about how it was manufactured to properly evaluate how eco-friendly it is. Some decking materials are created using finite natural resources that can get depleted, thereby having a massive impact on the environment.
For example, timber is an eco-friendly building material but the process of sourcing the amount of wood we need for construction is leading to the cutting down of lots of trees. This can have massive environmental and ecological impacts in areas where lumbering are big businesses.
PVC decking is made out of fossil fuel products which means their production process is already harmful to the environment. Additionally, some of the PVC decking materials that are on the market release harmful toxins into the environment throughout their lifespans. Although they may not be dangerous now, PVC decking materials are harmful to the environment in the long term.
Composite decks are considered eco-friendly not only because of the few effects they have on the environment; considering how composite decks are manufactured sheds more light as to why they are so environmentally friendly.
Although they are made out of plastic and wood fibres, companies like Ecoscape ensure that their composite decking boards contain no PVC or toxic chemicals that leak into the soil and harm the environment. Ecoscape also uses high-quality bonding and colour pigments to ensure their finished products last for more than 20 years.
Consider How You Maintain the Decking
Preserving the decking means that you have to carry out maintenance from time to time. The paints, oils and stains you use to ensure the longevity of timber decking, for example, can be very harmful to the environment. Also, using harsh chemicals to clean the decking is bad for the environment.
Researching a variety of products before using them on your decking is an important step in protecting the environment. For cleaning materials, there is a huge selecting of natural cleaners, chemical-free products and home-made solutions to consider. Also, if you live in an area where there is a water shortage, try using recycled water to clean the decking or clean it only when it is necessary.
Materials like timber can be used to construct the decking or repair non-load bearing parts of it instead of being thrown away. Doing so helps ensure that instead of sourcing for new materials, you use what you already have and save a manufacturer from cutting down another tree.
If you cannot use the materials you already have, try using those that have been recycled for you. For example, reclaimed timber is timber that has been collected from a demolition site and up-cycled to create new construction materials. There is little to no processing or harvesting done to create reclaimed lumber.
The lumber to be reclaimed only needs minimal processing and transportation compared to timber that has to be harvested afresh, processed and transported to a construction site.
Consider Alternative Materials
Apart from timber, composites and PVC, homeowners can also use aluminium to construct their decking. Aluminium is strong, fire-resistant, does not rust, is recyclable and has so many other benefits.
It is also very light, easy to install and does not require too much maintenance. As a green decking material, it is a great option. However, it is also more expensive than other materials, with the initial cost offset by how long it lasts and how little maintenance it needs.
A lot of homeowners do not think about the environmental impact an addition such as an outdoor deck can have. However, if having an eco-friendly deck is something you care about, the solutions above should work great for you.