Thursday, July 25, 2013

Wildfires and Home Design: Decks and Patios

Materials for outdoor decks need to be considered when designing for protection, as decks are usually where fires originate. Before a product for the deck is even picked, it is smart to consider a concrete patio underneath the deck and possibly even a concrete wall along the side and then install mesh around any opening, in order to stop embers from igniting your deck from underneath. Products like Fire-Retardant Treated (FRT) Wood can provide protection from flames and smoke while still having the natural wood look. Composite decking is another option for protection and is usually made from a mixture of pvc and wood fibers. If a natural wood deck is what you are looking for, there is a product, TimberSIL, which is a lumber that is baked after being soaked in liquid glass. Want to see how their product holds up compared to the typical deck and wall? Watch this video. Finally, there are wood products that have been soaked in fire-retardant chemicals, providing robust fire protection, but may require more maintenance.

In the first post of the series we mentioned the maintenance of the site and the different offsets of the trees and vegetation from the house. The same thing applies to the deck, making sure that dead leaves and trash don’t collect in the corners or under your deck. Trees shouldn’t hang over the deck in order to protect it, which should include any steps or railings that are attached to the deck which in turn attaches to the house, making it more vulnerable.  

Ultimately, no home is fireproof, but there are many different design decisions you can make to help protect your home from potential fires, while still achieving the look you desire. Designing a new home should be an amazing opportunity to make a house fit your needs and desires, even if you are reconstructing upon an existing foundation.

No comments:

Post a Comment