How much can composite decking boards shrink?
As temperatures go up and down, composite decking boards will naturally expand and contract. Because of this, the ends of the boards should never be put close together. So, how much can a composite deck shrink? That will depend on how warm the air is when the unit is put in.
When you build a deck outside, One of the things you should think about is how the materials will grow and shrink. But you might wonder if composite decking grows or shrinks. Why do things behave this way? And why do you need to know this?
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What are decking materials doing when they grow and shrink?
When building a deck, you should think about how the boards will move as the weather changes. Most of these changes happen to traditional wooden decks. Other kinds of surfaces will also grow and shrink. So, when installing them, it’s important to leave some room for them to grow.
Humidity is one of the main reasons why this happens. When wooden boards are in places with a lot of humidity, they soak up water. Because of this, the wood gets bigger. It also happens when wet weather gets on the decking boards. On the other hand, when wood doesn’t have enough water, the boards shrink. Because of this, dry climates are more likely to cause decking materials to shrink.
But here’s the question: since composites or wood-plastic composites, are partly made of wood, do they expand and contract?
Do composite deck boards get bigger or smaller?
Most composite decking doesn’t change much in size across the width of the board when it gets hot or cold. The composite decking board, on the other hand, grows and shrinks along its length. If it is made right, good composite decking should not shrink much at all.
As temperatures go up and down, composite deck boards will naturally expand and contract. Because of this, the ends of the boards should never be put close together. Then, put a fastener in the middle of each board length to keep it from moving when the temperature rises and falls.
Do EVODEK deck boards get smaller? When it gets hot and cold, composite decking tends to expand and contract along the length of the boards. With the right spacing, the pieces can move without buckling.
How much does EVODEK composite decking shrink and how much does it grow? People know that composite decking shrinks and grow along its length, not across its width. Or at most just a little bit across the width. Carpenters who have worked with wood before will know that this is the opposite of what wood does. Wood only grows about 2% along its length, but it can grow between 6-8% across its width.
There are many reasons why it’s important to think about how the composite boards will grow and shrink. Some of the reasons are how easy it is to install, how safe it is, and how far apart the decks are.
Makes it easier to install.
Composites are easy to work with when they are the right size. But as the temperature rises, the boards of composite decking expand and become more flexible. This change can make it hard to cut and put things together. The boards getting smaller is also a problem because you might not be able to put them upright.
For places where there are big changes in temperature. We suggest using surface fasteners to put down your deck boards. First, make sure the deck boards are in the right place. Then, put a fastener in the middle of each board length to keep it from moving when the temperature rises and falls.
How does knowing this help? When installing composites, it is best to do so early in the morning. When it’s too hot, it’s best to stop for the day and try again the next day.
Reasons for Safety
Another reason to worry about how the outdoor boards shrink and grow is safety, especially when you are using nails and screws. When the boards get smaller and bigger, the nails and screws might move back up. Not only could this hurt the deck, but it could also be dangerous.
How will knowing this help? If you choose a composite, you might want to use decking boards with grooves. The surface of these boards doesn’t need to be drilled or nailed. Instead, they use clips and fasteners to keep the boards in place. If you’re still using boards without grooves, you need to make sure the nails and screws are still in place to avoid accidents.
How to Space Deck Boards
Deck board spacing is probably the most important reason you should know about contraction and expansion. The space between the boards is what is meant by “deck board spacing.”
Since the materials that make up composite decking can grow and shrink. So putting them too close together can cause the boards to rub against each other. On the other hand, if you put them too far apart, big gaps can form when the boards expand. Then what do you do?
In general, you should leave between 5 and 8 mm between each board. You also need to think about where you are. If you live in a hot area, the boards are more likely to get smaller. In this case, you want to make the gap a little bit smaller. On the other hand, if you live in a place where it’s always wet and humid, you might want to put more space between your decking boards.