WPC balcony decking - The practical benefit outweighs
When choosing the right balcony decking, it always depends on it which properties are preferred. Different coverings have practical or rather optical advantages. Wooden coverings are particularly convincing due to their appearance, while plastic coverings are particularly practical. WPC combines the properties of both linings and thus offers the best properties of several linings.
What is WPC and what matters when laying WPC as a balcony covering is the subject of the following text.
That's it at WPC
WPC stands for the building material "Wood Plastic Composite" as an abbreviation. and is thus an artificially produced building material, which consists of the basic components wood and plastic. The proportion of wood is in the vast majority of cases between 50 and 90%. The wood can theoretically also be replaced by other vegetable fibers without altering the actual properties. The remaining part is made up of polypropylene.
In principle, small amounts of additives can be mixed in addition. These are substances that significantly change the material properties.
The origin of the WPC decisively determines what the actual proportion of wood and artificial parts is. In Europe, the proportion of wood is significantly higher, compared to commercial WPC from the American continent.
Special requirements for balcony coverings
As flooring, WPC can be used in many outdoor areas. However, balconies have special properties, which is why not every building material is suitable for it. Balconies are usually carried as far as possible by buttresses. However, this is more of an exception, which is why balcony coverings should be fairly light.
In addition, balconies - depending on their orientation and other development - suffer from constant sunlight. The result is that the materials must be resistant to UV radiation. Problems can arise when the material expands, heats or gets damaged by the radiation. In addition, the ingress of moisture on balconies plays a role.
Benefits of WPC
The biggest advantage of WPC is that it combines the positive qualities of wood and plastic. This results in a result in which the optics are particularly convincing. Thus, wood optics can be created without relying on the static and immutable properties of wood. Thus, WPC can be shaped as desired by manufacturers and can be perfectly combined with the created wood look.
Another advantage lies in the material properties. It does not stretch as much as rubbers that are completely made of plastic. In addition, the material is also more weather-resistant than conventional wood due to the mixed plastic components and is therefore particularly well suited for use on the balcony. Overall, WPC is considered stable and durable, if not too much strain. Also, splintering or cracking, as is often the case with conventional wood, is not one of WPC's problems.
A final set of advantages lies in the ease of use of the building material. Most WPC coverings are provided in the form of planks and planks. These are usually hollow and thus save weight. In addition, the pads are relatively easy to relocate, which will be shown later. After installation, handling is still easy as the floor can be maintained without major effort.
Note when using WPC
The hollow design of WPC presents problems with water penetration if the seals are not are completely tight. This leads to problems in the long run, because the water can collect unhindered and attacks the WPC from the inside out. In addition, caution should be exercised when purchasing the WPC for a particular product characteristic. These vary when the proportions of wood and plastic fluctuate and make the comparison of several branded products difficult.
The only inevitable disadvantage of WPC over other comparable products is that the WPC is quite expensive. Especially low-priced wood or pure plastic versions are often priced lower.
Preparations before laying WPC
Before laying the boards from WPC, there are similar preparations to be followed with other materials. Measuring the balcony is a first important step. Not only the total area should be considered, but also the actual width and length should be determined. Thus, with the fixed widths of the WPC better care must be taken that as little effort as possible is incurred for cutting. Even special features, such as drainage pipes, can be taken into consideration right from the start.
The next step is to lay a substructure. This ensures that water is not accumulated, but can drain off specifically. Especially balconies with corresponding exterior walls require such a construction. In addition, the substructure brings a certain stability. By this hard loads for the construction are somewhat cushioned. Also tensions within the planks are intercepted.
The substructure should never prevent the natural water drainage from the balcony, but always ensure that the water can flow through unhindered.
Laying WPC as a balcony covering
Installation is similar the procedure for laying other planks. For this, the planks must usually be bolted to the substructure. The planks are hollow, but only at the ends. The side walls are not open. Thus, a small distance between the floorboards can be left, so that the water can flow away there. Parallel laying of WPC is the most common option. A big advantage of WPC comes after installation, because impregnation is not necessary. For the care the cleaning with the water pressure cleaner suffices.
WPC is an artificial building material, which consists of wood and plastic and combines many positive characteristics of both basic materials. For laying, a substructure is first required, which allows the flow of water. This can be covered with the WPC planks to create a flat balcony.
Artikelbild: fotoknips / Bigstock.com