Frequently Asked Questions
The technology of wood plastic composite (WPC) has been around for many years. However, it is in recent years that this material has become especially popular in the manufacturing of decking planks. WPC is a combination of waste sawdust and wood shavings compounded with polymers and additives. In this process the polymer is melted and blended with the wood fibres to coat the wood fibres and form a homogeneous material. The end result is a product that retains the benefits of wood and polymer without the negative characteristics of both materials.
Wood Composites are manufactured with a blend of wood and polymer. Most common polymers used are Polypropylene, Polyethylene and Polyvinylchloride (PVC). In the building industry PVC has been used for decades to manufacture piping, gutters and windows. PVC has stood the test of time. Of the three polymers used PVC is a substantially harder material.
ECOWood is the only locally manufactured composite decking with PVC as a base. All imported Wood Composite Decking is either manufactured with Polypropylene (PP) or High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). Decking made from these materials normally contain a maximum polymer load of 30% as opposed to ECOWood decking which contains 45% PVC. A higher polymer load gives higher encapsulation (coating) of the wood fibers, which leads to lower water absorption and weathering.
- No Maintenance, other than normal cleaning
- No Splitting or Splintering
- Environmentally Friendly
- No Screws on the Surface
- Minimal Fading and UV Stabilised for the African Sun
- A Proudly South African Product
- Local Factory Support
Our Composite Wood Decking is manufactured in South Africa and has been improved continually to stand up to the harsh South African Climate.
Unlike competing imported products, our decking is made with a 45% PVC base, as opposed to High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) in overseas planks that contain a maximum 30% polymer load. More polymer means that the wood fibres are better encapsulated resulting in lower water absorption and better weathering performance.
PVC is approved by the Green Building Council, and is a proven polymer for use in the building industry.
Traditionally, wood composite decking is available in both hollow and solid profiles.
In the last number of years, importers of Polyethylene (HDPE) based decking have switched to solid decking profiles, mainly due to the failure of hollow HDPE based decking profiles in the African environment.
The fact that the ECOWood decking range is manufactured with a PVC base,which is about 4 times stronger than HDPE, means that the reasons for using solid planks by importers, are not applicable to ECOWood decking.
The original Pioneer ECOWood plank has been, and still is, a hollow plank, which has proven itself in the market place as an affordable product with adequate strength.
We do, however, offer solid planks as well for customers that feel they want a plank with a solid look, and for certain public space applications where the higher strength of a solid plank is required.
The decking planks are held together using a plastic injection moulded clip, which is fitted below the surface of the decking planks. This means that there are no surface mounted screws holding the decking planks together. This clip has been designed in such a way that it allows although it is minimal the plank to expand and contract without it putting any pressure on the decking plank.
This system makes DYI installation very easy, and allows professional installers to install the decking planks almost twice as fast as wooden decking.
The success of any Wood Composite deck depends on the proper installation of the deck. What makes this especially important is the fact that deck failure due to improper decking installation void the guarantee given by decking manufacturers, including ECOWood.
The most important aspects to comply with are the following:
- NO NAILS OR SCREWS ARE TO BE USED THROUGH THE PLANKS, as this could lead to splitting of the ECOWOOD® decking planks.
- The MAXIMUM SPAN WIDTH is 400mm centre-to-centre.
- EXPANSION GAPS MUST BE PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS:
(if not open ended deck)
- DOUBLE JOISTING must be done where planks are joined together and planks must be fixed with an EcoClip for each end with its 5mm spacing.
- DECKING CORNERS must be GLUED on with ECOFLEX and NOT SCREWED on.
When exposed to the full sun, the wood component in the ECOWood decking ensures that the planks will not become warmer than a comparable wooden deck. ECOWood decking will not lead to burns as is the case with some recycled plastic decking.
ECOWood planks are 100% insect proof and will not be attacked by termites, ants etc.
The PVC base used in our ECOWood planks, means that the planks are self-exstinguishing. The planks will therefore only burn for so long as an external flame source is present.
ECOWood comes with a limited 10 Year Warranty that decking materials will be free from material defects in workmanship and materials, and will not check, split, splinter, rot or suffer structural damage from termites, fungal decay or as a result of exposure to ocean air (salt spray).
Please note that for the Warranty to be valid, the deck must be installed according to the Decking Installation Specifications (see at top of page) of ECOWood.