Fire-Protection for Wooden Decks

Wooden decks need to be protected from fire, especially if they are attached to or near your house, or if you live in an area prone to bushfires.

 Decks are very susceptible to fire, so protecting them from fire is essential. If the deck catches fire, this will quickly spread to nearby doors, windows, and siding, and ultimately into the house.

Decks should be constructed from fire-retardant materials, such as wood, or fire-retardant spray should be applied. This will reduce the deck’s vulnerability while creating a non-combustible area beneath the deck and around the house.

Solid wood and wood-plastic composites are usually the materials used for building decks.

Deck boards are generally used to make the walking surfaces of decks, with spaces between one board and the next. They are made of hardwood or vinyl planks, on the other hand, are generally covered with tiles or lightweight concrete.

In addition, metal and fiber cementite are recommended as alternatives for deck boards as these materials are practical and non-combustible.

Tests on embers have been conducted by IBHS Research Center recently. Findings found that embers get lodged in gaps between deck boards, and in the points where the deck boards rest on the joists.

It is crucial to remove any potentially combustible materials from beneath the deck because embers tend to accumulate in these areas as well as rest on anything stored underneath the deck, which results in the entire deck igniting.

According to the tests conducted by IBHS, even when there was no vegetation present between deck gaps, decks could still burn if there was a spark between them.

Among these materials are medium-density softwoods such as western red cedar and redwood, which are commonly used for decks.

For decking, wood-plastic composites and hardwoods with a high density are preferable. The reason for this is that they are fire retardant and are less prone to embers.

The application of Flamex PF-2 fire retardant spray prevents fires on decks and other exterior wood construction

In addition, IBHS tests indicated that medium-density softwood decking products such as redwood and western red cedar, even without vegetative debris in between deck gaps, are susceptible to ember ignitions.

Decking made from wood-plastic composites or fire-resistant treated products is generally less susceptible to ember damage. It is recommended that you spray an exterior tested fire retardant spray onto the exposed sides of your natural wood deck. This can decrease the chances of combustion caused by pre-ignition sources like flying embers.