What is the Best Decking to Use in High Exposure Areas, Such as Swimming Pools?

Selecting the Best Decking for High-Exposure Areas

In Hamilton, where the sun shines generously and backyard pools are a staple in suburbs like Te Kowhai and St Andrews, selecting the right decking is more than a matter of aesthetics; it’s about durability, safety, and long-term enjoyment. Here’s a guide to choosing the best decking for areas with high exposure, such as around swimming pools.

Concrete: The Classic Choice
Concrete has long been a staple for pool decking, appreciated for its durability and versatility. It can be poured in large sections and swept to create a non-slip texture, crucial for wet feet around pools. While concrete is robust against cracking and offers a variety of finishes, it may feel rough underfoot, a factor to consider for those who love barefoot strolls around the pool​​.

Artificial Turf: A Soft Alternative
For those seeking a touch of green without the maintenance of natural grass, artificial turf is an appealing option. It’s especially popular in areas prone to drought, offering a lush look without the need for constant watering. While it won’t heat up like some hard surfaces, it doesn’t offer the same durability as other decking materials and may not suit those looking for a traditional deck feel​​.

SUNDEK: The Designer’s Dream
SUNDEK, a spray texture deck coating, has gained popularity for its range of colors, designs, and cost-effectiveness. It’s particularly favored for its ability to absorb less heat, making it a comfortable option even on the hottest Hamilton days. The added texture also provides excellent grip, reducing slip hazards around splash-prone areas​​.

Composite Decking: The All-Rounder
Composite decking emerges as a frontrunner in the race for the best poolside companion. It’s designed to be barefoot friendly, slip-resistant, and has a low water absorption rate, making it resistant to pool chemicals, mould, and algae. This type of decking combines durability with minimal maintenance, a winning combination for any high-exposure area​​.

Concrete Pool Deck: The Safety Champion
Safety is paramount in areas like swimming pools, and concrete pool decks are specifically designed to meet these needs. They’re crafted to resist constant exposure to water and harsh pool chemicals. Moreover, they’re easy on bare feet, splinter-proof, and slip-resistant, making them a safe choice for families and frequent entertainers​​.

Considerations and Recommendations
When selecting decking for high-exposure areas:

  • Safety: Look for slip-resistant and splinter-proof options.
  • Durability: Consider materials that resist water, chemicals, and the harsh Hamilton sun.
  • Comfort: Choose surfaces that are comfortable to walk on, even barefoot.
  • Aesthetics: Match the decking to your home’s style and your personal taste.
  • Maintenance: Opt for materials that require minimal upkeep for a worry-free outdoor space.

For Hamiltonians embarking on a decking project, consulting with deck builder experts like Quality Fencing Hamilton ensures a blend of local knowledge, technical expertise, and a wide range of options tailored to your specific needs. Whether you’re soaking up the sun in Te Kowhai or hosting pool parties in St Andrews, the right decking will enhance your outdoor space’s beauty, safety, and functionality.

Decking in High Exposure Areas: Your Questions Answered

How does the Hamilton climate affect my decking choice?
The sunny and sometimes wet climate of Hamilton means your decking needs to withstand constant exposure to sun and moisture. Choose materials that are durable, UV resistant, and can handle the occasional downpour.

What’s the safest decking material for pool areas?
Concrete and textured coatings like SUNDEK offer slip-resistant surfaces, crucial for wet areas. Composite decking is also a popular choice due to its slip-resistant and splinter-proof properties.

How long does each decking type last?
Concrete can last for decades with proper care. Composite decking typically offers long-term durability, often backed by warranties of 25 years or more. Artificial turf and SUNDEK coatings have varied lifespans depending on usage and maintenance.

Is artificial turf a practical choice for pool areas?
While it provides a soft, green look and doesn’t heat up like hard surfaces, it may not be as durable as traditional decking materials and can be less resistant to chlorinated water.

Can I install decking by myself, or should I hire professionals?
While some decking types can be a DIY project, professional installation ensures longevity and safety, particularly for complex areas like pools. Experts like Quality Fencing Hamilton can provide tailored solutions and installation.

How does composite decking handle pool chemicals?
High-quality composite decking is designed to resist damage from pool chemicals, as well as mould and algae growth, making it an ideal choice for poolside areas.

What maintenance is required for different decking types?
Concrete may require sealing and occasional cleaning. Composite decking needs basic cleaning and is generally low maintenance. Artificial turf should be rinsed and brushed, while SUNDEK coatings might need reapplication over time.

Does the colour of my decking affect its temperature?
Yes, darker colours absorb more heat. If your deck is in direct sunlight, consider lighter shades to keep the surface cooler underfoot.

Are there eco-friendly decking options?
Many composite decking products are made from recycled materials, offering an eco-friendly choice. Concrete and artificial turf can also be environmentally friendly, depending on the products used.

What should I consider when choosing decking for shaded areas?
In shaded areas, look for decking materials resistant to mould and mildew, as these areas can retain moisture longer than sun-exposed spots.

Can I change the colour or finish of my decking later?
Concrete can be stained or painted, and some composite decking can be painted or sealed with a new colour. However, changing the colour of artificial turf or SUNDEK coatings is not typically feasible.

What’s the cost comparison between different decking materials?
Concrete is often the most cost-effective, while composite decking is a mid-range option. Artificial turf and specialty coatings like SUNDEK can vary in price based on quality and design.

How do I prepare my pool area for new decking?
Ensure the area is clear of debris and level. Consider drainage and access points. Professional installers can assess and prepare the site as part of the installation process.

Is decking around my pool a good investment?
Quality decking not only enhances the beauty and functionality of your pool area but also adds value to your property, making it a wise investment for Hamilton homeowners.

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