MILBOARD COMPOSITE DECKING
Do decking areas need planning permission?
Timber decks differ from conventional patios and terraces most significantly in their elevation and general height of construction.
For all but the simplest low-level garden decks, property owners should satisfy themselves that planning regulations do not apply to their proposed structure. Generally any structure above door threshold level may require you to contact the Local Authority, we strongly recommend that you talk to your neighbours about your plans as neighbours are the most usual reason for objections and enforcement notices being issued.
Can I install my own decking?
Yes of course it is possible to install your own decking and create your own area, providing you have reasonable knowledge of what is involved and the right equipment. You may however benefit from using a professional service such as ourselves, we are here to offer you not only the installation but we have years of design experience (standard and bespoke projects), top advice on finishes and maintenance procedures.
What’s the difference between Hardwood & Softwood?
Hardwood and softwood are broad biological terms used to describe species of wood. The terms have nothing to do with the physical hardness. Hardwoods come from broadleaved trees and softwood species from coniferous, evergreen trees. There is a wide range of species of wood within each category that are highly suitable for decking. The important factors for wood used outdoors is that it is durable and stable enough to resist fungal decay and not twist and warp. This means using a hardwood classified as naturally durable (some are not) or a softwood given extended durability through treatment. New technologies like ThermoWood
(heat treated timber) provide the ideal stability.
How do I maintain my decking area?
All timber decking areas will benefit from regular brushing with a stiff broom throughout the year however we recommend that every 6 months to a year you give the area a more thorough clean using a pressure sprayer and a purpose made product like Prepdeck Cleaner. This product is formulated to remove layers of build up and discolouration, restoring the look of the timber. It also reduces the conditions that’s cause any surface to be slippery when wet. Unless you use pigmented/natural UV plus oil, the timber will gradually fade to grey. If this is not your desired look then we recommend oiling the area after you have let the area dry after cleaning to maintain the colour. Beware of using paints and stains because these will chip and flake off giving you even more maintenance and the deck will look a mess if the surface you are applying it to is not properly prepared.
How to avoid slippery when wet boards?
For many years grooved boards have been sold as a prevention to slippery surfaces. However this is not the case as layers of dirt build up in the grooves which then trap the water which then deteriorates the board and creating a slippery surface. As you can imagine this is difficult to clean out of the grooves so the problem is never solved. Timber is a natural product and will never come with a natural anti slip guarantee. We would recommend choosing a smooth surface profile as this will not be difficult to clean and will stay cleaner for longer. Yes there will still be a build up over time but this can be cleaned right off the surface and you won’t have the issue of trying to get into nooks and cranny’s of the board. If you desire the appearance of a grooved board, choose a shallow V groove profile.
Can I use a pressure washer to clean my decking area?
Yes you can use a pressure washer, be careful not to spray too close to the surface as this could cause damage or bruising to the surface. We also recommend just using water and no additional chemicals that some pressure washers provide. If you are looking to give your decking area a brand new look then we recommend using our Prepdeck Cleaner before hand if you have timber. If you have composite decking use standard soap and water to clean the deck.
Nails or Screws when installing decking?
We would recommend that you always use a stainless steel fixings as this will be corrosion resistant to prevent rusting. Screw fixing is the best method, we never use nails in any of our projects due to the natural movement of timber outdoors in a UK environment. Screws will be more secure and the structure will last longer. If you are using the face fixings method (Screw straight through the board into the sub frame) it is good practise to pre-drill holes to prevent splitting particularly at the ends of the boards.
How long will a timber deck last?
A timber deck should give you many years of pleasure providing that you have chosen a naturally durable timber species or a treated wood and taken the correct caring procedures. Structures cannot be installed and then ignored for years, you need to make sure you maintain it correctly if you want it to last. (Just as you would service and clean your car). We would recommend you clean the area every 6 months to a year depending on the surrounding areas (Moss, leaves, pets etc.) Also make sure to check the structure, especially if its elevated for signs of anything loose or general wear and tear. Don’t wait until something breaks or worse it collapses.
Will my timber sample be the same as the product?
Remember, timber is a natural product and variations in character are to be expected from tree to tree. Timber is not factory made and this cannot be controlled. Timber will have variations in colour between one piece and another. Composite materials however are manufactured. We recommend that you go and see an outdoor show area that allows you to view the materials in the environment that you are considering rather than rely solely on samples. If you are looking for decking or cladding then viewing the materials under spotlights in a showroom is not going to be helpful in the medium to long term. However flooring and other internal products will be fine. Here at QTD we have an outdoor show area so that our clients can come and see what the materials look like, feel like and weather like in a natural environment.
How much space should I leave between the boards?
We would recommend that you leave at least a 5mm gap between the boards, however if you are using a hidden clip system this gap will be automatically added because of the hidden clip.
What is ThermoWood?
ThermoWood is the thermal modification of timber with pressure, high heat treatment and steam. During the process, controlled heat in the ThermoWood chambers goes up to 320°C while controlled internal heat of the timber reaches between 180°-220°C depending on variables of the species. Negative characteristics of the wood in external use such as rotting, fungal growth, insect formation, swelling and bending is minimized and abolished.
What types of timber can be thermally treated?
In principle Thermal modification process can be performed to each type of wood. Some of them are ”Pine, Spruce, Ash, Oak, Beech and Iroko”. However, best efficiency may not be obtained from each tree. Considering best colour, texture, price and customer appreciation we perform the ThermoWood process to most suitable materials. 95% of our production constitutes of ThermoWood Pine, ThermoWood Ash and ThermoWood Iroko.
Do I need to maintain ThermoWood?
Any products used in External space are in need of care and maintenance. Maintenance period for the ThermoWood treated materials are much longer than the regular wood. Regular untreated wood will face problems such as rotting, fungal growth, insect holes, bending, etc. and therefore will require more frequent maintenance. ThermoWood products will not face the same problems above and therefore the maintenance period is much longer.
Why use a thermally treated board?
We would recommend using a thermally treated deckboard or cladding board due to its behaviour. Twisting, bending and warping has been minimalised in the process. Decay and infestation has been prevented. The board now has long lasting durability as well as protection against weather conditions. Other reasons may be that the timber is 100% natural, sourced from sustainable forests and preserved without any chemicals.
How old is the ThermoWood technology?
Actually, heat treatment is a method used since the Vikings. First heat treatment studies were made by German scientists in 1930’s and ThermoWood technology was introduced in the 90’s. Then heavily used and further perfected by the Scandinavians. Nowadays leading European companies like Novawood apply this technology to non tropical Hardwoods to allow specific timber species to be used externally aswell as internally.
What is Millboard?
Millboard composite decking is made up with Polyurethane Resin, fibreglass strands & mineral composite with a Lastane® surface.
The Lastane® finish is highly resistant to scratches and food and drink stains, and everyday wear and tear. Sharp objects such as unprotected table or chair legs, spiked shoes or metal planter bases can leave marks if dragged across the surface, so take care when moving these items around. All styles of Millboard achieve one of the highest anti-slip ratings, even in wet conditions.
Do I need to seal Millboard?
No, all Millboards are surface sealed in the factory to ensure they arrive in premium condition. In the first few weeks of use, rainwater will sit on the surface in globules, but don’t worry – this is normal and will stop once the temporary surface seal breaks down.
Does Millboard mark?
The Lastane® finish is highly resistant to scratches and food and drink stains, and everyday wear and tear. Sharp objects such as unprotected table or chair legs, spiked shoes or metal planter bases can leave marks if dragged across the surface, so take care when moving these items around.
How do I clean Millboard?
Because Millboard is made of non-porous composite, it resists mossy build-up and stains, so needs very little maintenance. To remove spills and marks, simply use a mild detergent and a cloth. Just steer clear of solvents, chemicals and abrasive cleaners that could damage your Millboard, there’s normally no need for pressure washing.
What if it snows or is icy?
A small amount of granulated white salt can be used to keep your millboard ice-free. Please don’t use rock salt, as this contains clay and grit and can be abrasive. When winter’s over, clean the surface with soapy water and a soft broom.
Is Millboard anti-slip?
Yes, in BS79.76 slip resistance tests, all styles of Millboard achieve one of the highest anti-slip ratings, even in wet conditions.
Are Millboard colours consistent?
As with all flooring, we advise buying all the Millboard you need at the same time to help ensure that the colour is as consistent as possible. If you don’t order all your Millboard at once, you can blend different batches to create only subtle variation throughout your space.
Can Millboard be cut just like wood?
Millboard can be cut with standard saw blades, although we recommend a carbon-tipped, multi-purposed chop saw. As the formed end of the board is lost when cut, these can be placed in less visible areas against a wall or edging profile. Matching Touch-up Coating for exposed ends is available to buy separately.
What fixings should be used to fix Millboard?
Following extensive trials, we recommend and supply Durafix self-drilling stainless steel screws, designed specifically for Millboard. There’s no need to pre-drill or countersink Millboard and the unique Lastane® material self-heals, leaving a virtually indistinguishable mark on the surface.
Does Millboard come with a Warranty?
Yes, a 25 Year Residential limited warranty and 5 year commercial warranty gives you peace of mind against fungal and mildew decay, splitting and twisting. For more information go to millboard.co.uk/warranty