Backyard pools are central to Australian outdoor leisure culture. As their popularity endures, it is important to carefully consider the design of all aspects of the pool from the pool basin to surrounding decking. Below, we set out a number of key considerations that must be taken into account when specifying pool decking to ensure safe, lasting enjoyment of your pool.
Slip Resistance Decking
Safety is an important consideration in any context, but is particularly crucial in pool surrounds, where the constant presence of water must be appropriately managed. To prevent slips, trips, and falls, choose a slip-resistant surface: as a rule of thumb, the smoother the surface, the more slippery it will be when wet.
DecoDeck, for example, remains safe and stylish even when wet thanks to a high non-slip rating of P5 (R11) for pool and spa surrounds. DecoDeck’s Super Durable marine grade powder coating includes fine rubber particles that ensure a subtle, high performance non-slip surface finish.
Chemical Resistance Materials
Chemical resistance is a crucial characteristic that protects pool decks from damage and degradation caused by chlorine and other pool and spa chemicals. Materials selected for pool decking must also be resistant to corrosion caused by chlorine or high salinity beachfront environments.
In a similar vein, it is important to consider the overall durability of the pool decking material. As decks are constantly exposed to moisture, it is essential that the selected material is resistant to water damage and will not bloat or rot when exposed to moisture. Aluminium excels in this regard, as it is immune to twisting, warping, splintering, and rot.
Decking in a Bushfire Zone
When specifying pool decking in bushfire-prone areas, you may be required to select a decking material and substructure that is fire safe. Aluminium provides an alternative to timber in such cases, as it is non-combustible and will not ignite when exposed to flames or radiant heat.
Bushfire resistance must also be taken into account when designing the pool deck itself: AS 3959 – Construction of building in bushfire-prone areas sets forth the requirements for designing decks in high risk BAL 40 and BAL FZ environments, including the closure of all gaps between planks using a cover strip and the use of a steel or brick sub-structure. DecoDeck offers a BAL 40 and BAL FZ solution that combines the beauty of timber with the durability of fire safe aluminium.
READ MORE: Building a Deck in a Bushfire Zone: What You Need to Know
Pool Fencing Height
All Australian pools must be fenced. In NSW, all pools built after 1 July 2010 must be surrounded by a fence separating them from the main residence. The state government also mandates that pool fencing be at least 1.2m high, with a maximum 10cm gap between the bottom of the fence and the finished ground level. Vertical bars in the fence must be spaced no wider than 10cm, and horizontal climbable bars must be spaced at least 90cm apart. For more details, consult your local council.
DecoDeck combines the warmth and textural richness of natural timber with the strength and durability of aluminium to set a high bar for aluminium decking systems. DecoDeck closely replicates the look and feel of natural timber decking and is ideal for use as pool decking and in other outdoor living contexts. A finely detailed Super Durable DecoWood wood grain finish makes DecoDeck almost indistinguishable from natural timber, and is available in 24 DecoWood finishes including Silky Oak, Weathered Timber, and Casuarina.
Effortlessly pairing style with high performance, the 2.5mm thick DecoDeck is resistant to corrosion and is approved for use in bushfire prone areas rated up to BAL-FZ. All DecoDeck products are available Australia-wide and are supplied with a 12-year warranty in accordance with AS3715 Metal Finishing – Thermoset powder coating for architectural applications of aluminium and aluminium alloys.