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K~Decking 
The Farm Green Deck

 

TexDek Frequently Asked Questions

What is K~Decking?
It is a uniquely extruded lumber based primarily on farm-grown kenaf fiber supplemented by polypro-pylene. Kenaf, an annual hibiscus plant, is grown and processed by Kenaf Industries of South Texas L.P. near Raymondville, Texas. The kenaf fiber is well known for "high strength; low weight" in a wide range of industrial applications.

K~Decking is currently available as a 5/4 x 5 ¼ plank in varying lengths at your local McCoy's Building Supply Center. Other profiles are being designed for future availability.

What are the differences between K~Decking and other Decking Products?
There are several kinds of decking available: Untreated wood (varying species and densities); wood that has been pressure treated (generally with an arsenic based compound); vinyl; and extruded composites made from wood and a variety of polymers. Unlike the competition, K~Decking is primarily farm grown fiber that is combined with clean polymers to produce a top quality decking product that won't generate splinters or possibly harmful chemicals. It has the advantages of low thermal expan-sion/contraction, natural UV stability, good traction and easy to paint or stain (only if you want to!). Cleaner, safer, durable and easy to maintain.

Will the color of K~Decking change?
Currently, the product is offered in its natural greenish gold tint and will weather to a lighter shade over time. As a natural product, you should expect some slight variations.

Does K~Decking come with a warranty?
Yes, K~Decking has a fully transferable limited warranty, offering coverage against splintering, splitting, checking, rot, decay, and termite damage for a full 10 years. The total life expectancy is yet to be determined. Accelerated weathering tests are ongoing and to date we know of no environmental fac-tors that harm or cause significant deterioration to K~Decking.

Where can you purchase K~Decking and how much does it cost?
K~Decking is available at all McCoy's Building Supply Centers in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas as of October 2001. Plans are to enter other market areas based on demand. You should contact the Manager of your local McCoy's and ask about availability. The product lasts much longer than pres-sure-treated lumber without expensive maintenance or toxic preservatives. Your McCoy's manager will help you calculate cost comparisons over the life of your deck.

Do I need special tools to work with K~Decking?
No. Composite lumber with high natural fiber content such as K~Decking is as easy to work with as wood - in some ways easier. You'll never worry about splinters or knots. K~Decking can be cut, drilled, and routed using standard tools. Carbide blades are recommended for best performance.

What types of fasteners are recommended for K~Decking?
Do screws need to be pre-drilled?
Most deck fasteners will work well with K~Decking; however, we recommend that you use high quality screws to take full advantage of K~Decking's longevity. Pre-drilling helps with screws, however, pre-drilling is generally not required if you use self-tapping or deck screws.

Can K~Decking planks be used for deck posts or joists?
No. K~Decking is strong and durable. However, it does not have the same stiffness as wood and is not intended for use as a load bearing post, joist, or any other primary load-bearing member.

What joist spans should I use for my deck when using K~Decking?
The joist spacing should be no more than 16" on center for residential applications, which is the same span generally recommended for wood. When installing planks on a 45-degree diagonal to the joists, reduce spans by a minimum of 2 inches. Special applications/loading conditions will require engineering analysis and/or reduced spans.

Does K~Decking require gapping between boards?
Yes, in both directions. While composite decking like K~Decking will not noticeably shrink or swell due to changes in moisture, changes in temperature will cause slight expansion/contraction. Therefore, gapping is required both side-to-side and at the end joints to allow for thermal expansion/contraction. Rule of Thumb: For end joints for 16' boards and smaller, allow a minimum of 1/16" gap for every 20ºF of difference between installation temperature and the hottest temperature expected. For width to width joints, allow a 3/16" to 1/4" gap to allow for thermal expansion/contraction, water drainage, and cleaning.

Can K~Decking be painted or stained?
Yes, but only if you really want to. K~Decking readily accepts paint or stain though neither is required for protection. In general, paints or stains that adhere well to wood will adhere as well or better to K~Decking. Quality latex paints (water based) or solid color stains are recommended. Stain and paint applications should be applied according to the manufacturers instructions after K~Decking has weath-ered for a couple months.

What do I need to do to care for my K~Decking?
K~Decking does not require stains or sealants for protection. All you need to do to your K~Decking is to clean it periodically and keep the cows off of it.

How do you clean stains on K~Decking?
For stains caused by mold, mildew, berries and leaves, conventional deck washes containing sodium hypochlorite work well. For rust stains, ground-in dirt and grime, use cleaners containing phosphoric acid. For grease and oil stains, we recommend that you scrub with a detergent containing a degreasing agent as soon as the stain occurs. A light sanding with 80-grit sandpaper works well in removing grease stains that have been allowed to set. Cleaning out your expansion gaps with a flat tool should be done along with any periodic cleaning.

How should K~Decking composite lumber be handled?
K~Decking weighs more than most wood lumber and is slightly more flexible. Do not attempt to lift simi-lar volumes of K~Decking as you might with wood. When storing K~Decking at the job site for extended periods, be sure to keep the material flat.

Will K~Decking absorb moisture?
Because the polypropylene in K~Decking encapsulates the kenaf fiber, moisture absorption is extremely low.

Does K~Decking provide good traction?
K~Decking provides a stable, firm, slip-resistant surface - wet or dry.

What happens to K~Decking in cold weather?
While cold weather is admittedly a rare occurrence in South Texas, K~Decking performs well in extreme cold weather environments. However, because K~Decking contains polypropylene, it will be harder to nail or screw when very cold. Under such conditions, only pre-drilling is recommended.

What happens to K~Decking in hot weather?
The span charts and gapping procedures described in the installation are designed to ensure that K~Decking performs well in extreme hot weather. When the temperature increases, K~Decking could ex-pand slightly.

Can K~Decking be used in full ground contact? Is treating required?
K~Decking is ideal for ground contact applications such as landscaping timbers, walkways and in-ground pool surrounds. K~Decking is highly resistant to rot and insects, and absolutely no treatment with toxic preservatives is required.

Will insects damage K~Decking?
K~Decking is highly resistant to damage from termites, carpenter ants, and marine borers. These in-sects do not find kenaf attractive in its natural state and the addition of the polypropylene closes it off for them without the need for toxic chemicals.

What is the fire rating for K~Decking?
K~Decking like most composite wood/plastic lumber is rated as a Class C (or Class III) building material. It burns similarly to wood, but requires a much more intense source of heat.

How does the weight of K~Decking compare to forest-derived lumber?
Because of its density, K~Decking is comparable in weight to hardwoods. In comparison to softwoods such as redwood, cedar and treated southern pine, K~Decking can weigh up to twice as much.

How does one dispose of K~Decking decking? Can it be taken to a landfill?
First, we firmly believe that it's unlikely that you will need to remove your K~Decking decking. However, this is an important question that must be asked regarding all purchases. The board doesn't contain any toxic preservatives and certainly can be included and disposed of with normal construction de-bris. However, in South Texas you are also able to return the planking (without nails or screws) to the manufacturer's Lasara facility where they can be ground up and used in the manufacturer of new planks. Kenaf Industries will work with its distributors to ensure that such recycling is efficiently organized.

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Route 2, #50 Kenaf Road
Raymondville, Texas 78580
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