|Fence and Pergola with Chengal wood|
|Timber Decking with Chengal wood|
Wood decking has recently gained its popularity among Malaysians and developed countries in Asia; more and more people begin to decorate their balconies and patios with wooden decks. However, most consumers and commercial owners still do not have much information on the decking materials which they chosen for their homes and workplaces. Consumers need to have adequate information on the decking materials that they going to choose because they are going to live with it long term.
Here are some important information on the common decking materials used in Malaysia:
a) Chengal Wood Decking
The most common wood deck so far in Malaysia is Chengal wood. It gives the outdoor decks a wood feeling and a beautiful outlook. However, most consumers are still not aware that Chengal wood today is considered a protected species by Forest Stewardship Council. Many young chengal trees have been forced to cut down due to illegal logging. This explains why people who buy chengal today are faced with 2 extraordinary wide prices range. Matured chengal, due to its limited controlled resources, is very much expensive than young chengal trees. The consumer need to be alerted when the deck sales person sell chengal wood to him at very low prices. Young chengal timber sellers will usually tell the prospective buyers that they have a lot of supply in their warehouses.
Moreover, most young chengal timber are usually not been treated through the kiln drying process. Kiln drying is a process in which almost 100% of the moisture inside the wood has been extracted; thus making the wood resistant to weather. The water and moisture content inside the young chengal will cause the deck to deteriorate in the long run if it is not kiln dried. Even if young chengal wood has gone through the kiln drying process, it will still contain a certain high level of moisture inside the wood compare to matured chengal wood.
Chengal, similar to balau wood, needed to be sanded down and apply paint on it in order to enhance its natural colouring and protection. Hence, cost of maintenance in the long term will be quite high. The wood surfaces and paints will usually crack easily in a few years due to rain & shine if chengal decks are not properly maintained. (as seen from the reference picture below)
|Chengal Outdoor Deck, Paint Cracks After 2 years|
Yellow and red balau decks has been recently used in Malaysia as well. The consumer need to know whether the wood has gone through the kiln drying process too. The color tones of balau is much soothing and striking compare to other wood species. However for some balau deck, there will be leakage of a red coloured sapping from the wood after the deck have been exposed to outdoors within a few months time. This reddish coloured pigment will cause some colour disorientation of the decking in the long run.