Balcony decking replacement provides long-lasting and safe solution
With remedial works being a constant pressure for property managers, it is essential to understand new materials solutions to ensure the best outcomes. Aluminium decking presents an array of benefits in comparison to more traditional materials, so we spoke to Richard Izzard of AliDeck to find out more about a recent balcony deck replacement project in High Wycombe.
Traditionally, balcony decking has been manufactured from timber. Wood requires regular maintenance, though, and will decay and degrade in a relatively short period of time. Rotten, warped and worn timber decks are unsightly, unsanitary, and unsafe, creating multiple issues for property managers and their tenants.
A recent balcony decking replacement project in High Wycombe underlines these points. The existing timber decks were very tired and, indeed, rotten in places.
The building in question is below 11m in height, so is currently outside the scope of fire safety recommendations. However, the building owner understood this could be likely to change in the coming years. This prompted them to take the pro-active decision to secure a fire-safe alternative now rather than simply using new timber decking, future-proofing the balconies to prevent further remediation being required.
Richard Izzard, managing director of AliDeck, said “Our non-combustible range of aluminium decking provides the ideal solution for any deck scenario, on balconies, terraces, or walkways. Our products deliver a sustainable, safe outcome with a life-expectancy of 60 years.”
The AliDeck Senior Decking Board used on this project provides off-the-shelf compliance with all fire regulations. Its 30mm profile depth also provides a high level of strength that ensures spanning capabilities of up to 1200mm.
This factor allowed for significant streamlining of the underside support material required. Only a single AliDeck Low Joist was required in the steel framework to support the new aluminium deck, replacing approximately a dozen timber joists in each balcony.
The installation itself went smoothly, completed by an AliDeck approved Installer, Unique Outdoor Living Group, with the existing decking and joists being removed and replaced quickly and without incident.
“Our team worked closely with Unique to carefully plan the materials in order to allow for maximised efficiency on site,” said Richard. “As Approved Installers, they have completed our training programme and are experts with our products. Their work is absolutely first-rate and this project is another great result.”
With the decking finished in RAL 7016 Anthracite Grey powder-coat, the completed balconies are a significant aesthetic improvement. The addition of colour-matched aluminium trims was used to provide a neat finish to the board ends, for an attractive result.
In terms of practical considerations, drainage channels were sited between each new decking board in order to effectively capture rainwater and divert it to the balcony edges, to prevent water dripping to balconies beneath and causing a nuisance.
The shift towards using non-combustible materials in recent years has created a pressing need to remediate many housing developments across the country, along with future new-build developments needing to conform to new standards, such as BS8579:2020, the guide to the design of balconies and terraces, and the updated Approved Document B.
“A-Rated for fire performance, aluminium decking is a guarantee for compliance with these new requirements. But even putting aside its clear safety advantages, aluminium decking is an ideal replacement material for timber,” concludes Richard.
"Stronger and more durable, cost-effective and versatile, aluminium is lightweight and easy to work with, resulting in quick installation times. Requiring minimal maintenance other than simple cleaning from time to time, aluminium decking is a solution that will perform flawlessly for many decades.”
If you would like to find out more about how aluminium decking can provide the decking replacement solution you need, call the AliDeck team on 01622 534 032.