Thermally modified wood is a traditional wood alternative that is incredibly long-lasting and can withstand harsh weather, bugs, fungi, and bacteria year after year. It is a natural, non-toxic alternative to other chemically treated wood decking options.
Thermally modified wood is 75- 85% more stable than regular wood and is one of the most sustainable, high-performance options to consider for decking. Due to the increasing environmental crisis, thermally modified wood decking is becoming popular by the day.
A thermally modified wood might cost you a bit more than other regular decking options, but it definitely has its perks that outweigh the regular chemical-infused woods.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits of using thermally modified wood for decking and why is it a good option?
What`s a thermally modified wood?
A thermally modified wood goes through a variety of processes at the cellular level to alter the wood`s characteristics, chemistry, and performance. The life expectancy of this wood is 25-30 years, much more than regular wood used for decking.
Unlike kiln drying, this wood is heated at an extremely high temperature, over 400 degrees Fahrenheit, in a controlled environment with no oxygen to prevent combustion. This process removes hemicelluloses and carbohydrates in the cell walls, modifying wood on a cellular level to prevent bacterial or fungal decay.
Thermally modified woods have a deep brown color due to the caramelization of sugars in the wood during the baking process.
Thermally modified wood is normally:
- More stable
- Relatively brittle than non-modified woods (20% more brittle)
- Rot-resistant because the high temperatures alter the sugar content within woods
Moreover, a thermally modified wood becomes water resistant, meaning it neither expands nor contracts when it comes in contact with water. Also, the absence of cellulose helps protect it from fungi, bugs, and decay for enhanced durability.
What are the benefits of thermally modified wood decking?
If you are planning on installing a deck that will survive the test of time, then check out the following benefits of thermally modified wood decking to know your options.
When wood is thermally modified, it instantly becomes sturdier and rot-resistant. Thermal modification acts as a natural seal for the wood and makes it resistant to water and moisture deformity.
Since traditional wood is quick to absorb water, it is also easily subjected to warping, discoloration, and bacterial and fungal growth. However, a thermally modified wood decking will keep this problem at bay.
Thermal modification of wood uses renewable resources like wood and heat only to help increase its life span. Regular uncured wood decking is susceptible to decay, fungi, and harsh weather and is chemically treated with pesticides that are harmful to the environment.
It’s a clean decking procedure that uses much less energy than traditional wood treatment procedures. Thermally modified wood will help sustain the environment because you won`t need to replace your deck for decades.
Thermally modified wood decks have a natural wood finish to them. The intense temperatures intensify the natural wood color that needs no staining. However, getting your deck waterproofed would still be a good investment to make. If you want to waterproof your patio this summer, contact Capital Deck & Stair and get a free quote on the cost and services.
The thermal modification only uses heat to cure wood and no harmful chemicals or pesticides like regular woods. Moreover, sourcing thermally modified wood from sustainably managed forests will also help you curb the environmental impact if that`s one of your concerns.
Chemically treated woods contain:
- Chromated copper arsenate (CCA)
- Ammoniacal copper (ACA)
- Copper sulfate
- Tributyl-tin oxide
- Zinc naphthenates
Chemically treated woods also contain a variety of pesticides that pose several health and environmental concerns. Thermally treated wood decking is a harmless option for families with sensitivities and toddlers.
From its resistance to weather and insects to its cost-effectiveness, thermally modified wood decking outweighs traditional wood decking. When you factor in the list of benefits of thermal wood decking, you will find it a much more cost-effective and safe option than the rest.
What`s the best thermal modification process?
The thermal wood modification process varies significantly, and not all yield the same results. Some procedures only include heat,
while others use other materials like oil and water to retain the strength of the wood. Heating the wood alone can make it brittle and lead to split ends. Also, cooking the wood speedily can significantly lower its durability and quality. This is why the most effective way to modify a wood thermally is ThermoWood.
ThermoWood process is the most renowned way of thermally modifying soft and hardwoods. It was developed 30 years ago in Finland, and today we use its most refined and improved form.
In this process, the wood is modified by using only heat and steam, with no chemicals or toxins whatsoever. The water keeps the wood from drying out too quickly and yields a higher-quality finished product. ThermoWood is the most effective procedure for hardwoods like alder, oak, teak, etc.
Thermal modification of wood is a well-established wood decking technique for improving the stability and durability of the wood. Thermally treated woods have immense benefits in terms of being resistant to weather and fungal rot. It is one of the most cost-effective and environmentally stable procedures that only uses heat and water, unlike regular chemically treated decking woods.
If you are an environmental enthusiast planning on getting a deck for your house, then thermally modified wood would be the safest option.
A pool deck lounge is a great amenity to have, but it’s not a passive feature; there are many ways to improve the look and function of your pool deck while increasing the value of your property. Here are some effective pool deck design ideas that can turn your lounge area into an oasis.
Whether you have a circular pool or a ground pool, you can turn it into something unique with these pool deck design ideas:
- Water Fountain: Even a simple fountain, waterfall, sconce, jet, or another water feature can breathe life into your lounge area. Visually, it creates a focal point. The sound of streaming water is peaceful and relaxing, while you can create a serene landscape with rocks, plants, sculptures, and other design elements.
- Lighting: Underwater pool lights are an easy addition and can create the desired ambiance, whether your goal is to make the area bright and cheerful, romantic, or soothing. Light creates great effects when it reflects off water. Adding lights to pathways, stairs, water features, and seating areas improves safety.
- Sound System: In addition to the sound of water, you can enjoy a surround sound system that lets you play relaxing music or liven up your entertainment areas. Use speakers that blend in with your landscaping. Play the sounds of nature if you want; there are endless possibilities when it comes to creating mood with sound.
- Fireplace/Fire Pit: An outdoor fireplace adds ambiance and provides heat during crisp Installing a fire pit gives you a versatile space to use for everything from roasting marshmallows to making a full barbecue, to setting up seating.
- Stone wall: Adding natural stones to the sides of the pool can give it a natural yet modern appearance.
Your pool house deck can be much more than a place to swim and catch some rays. You can make it a complete outdoor living space with:
- Gazebos: A gazebo, pergola, or covered patio provides shade and protects you from the sun or a rain shower. Yet, open sides allow a fresh breeze to pass through and offer an open view of your beautiful backyard. You can also add mosquito netting or PVC enclosures to keep the bugs out.
- Grilling Areas: Grilling features allow you to have a summer barbecue on any day, whether just for the family or for guests. A small barbecue area or standalone grill can suffice if your pool deck design covers a limited amount of space.
- Furniture: Lounge chairs are essential features for any pool deck. Umbrellas are useful for shade and comfort, while other ideas include built-in benches, tables, and seating with cozy cushions and covers. Outdoor sofas are great if you have the space.
- Bar/Kitchen Area: A swim-up bar helps when you’re hosting a pool party or hanging out with friends, or you can enjoy a cold drink solo on a hot afternoon. If you have enough space, you can even set up a full outdoor kitchen. Your swim-up bar can be attached to the kitchen area for even greater versatility.
- Hot tubs: Adding a hot tub to your pool deck can make all the difference on those cold winter days.
Landscaping adds character, can create zones within your lounge area, and connects your outdoor space with nature when you use:
- Flower Beds: These are perfect for creating colorful borders or adding potted plants around your deck or pool. Raised beds, planter boxes, and pots can be easy to install while choosing native plants makes it easier for your vegetation to grow and thrive.
- Trees: Trees and shrubs can be used on the perimeter to add privacy or you can build your lounge area around them. Large trees are also great for creating shade. Palm trees and other exotic plants can make your deck feel like a vacation spot.
Ensuring people and property are protected is critical. You can improve the safety of your pool design with:
- Shaded Areas to Avoid Heat: Canopies, trees, wall-mounted gazebos, covered patios, and other elements that provide shade can help keep you cool and prevent sunburn. Shading also reduces the risk of dehydration. It lets you enjoy the outdoors no matter how sunny and hot it is.
- Pool Cover: A cover makes your swimming pool more energy-efficient by limiting evaporation and managing water temperature. It also reduces the need for chemicals and cleaning out dirt and debris. Plus, it prevents anyone from falling in accidentally, especially if children wander onto the deck unattended.
- Waterproofing: A sealant prevents water from getting into cracks in concrete and further damaging pool surrounding surfaces. It can prevent chemicals from building up as well. Waterproofing your pool deck is thus essential for protecting your property and improving safety.
These are just some pool deck ideas that can give your backyard a makeover, modernize it, improve safety, and provide your family with a fully functional outdoor living space.
Create the Perfect Pool Area with Capital Deck & Stair
Our waterproofing and coating specialists can install protective, slip-resistant solutions for any pool lounge design. Available whether you’re constructing a pool or resurfacing the lounge area, we are always committed to high-quality results. Call (818) 697-6334 for a free estimate or on-site evaluation.