Stand on Quality Assurance
Decks built around pools or patios to beautify living spaces are very popular home improvements in South Africa and these are technically regulated by South African National Standards relating to flooring. However, such constructions and the building materials used are seldom checked over by a relevant authority, which is a major cause for concern given the possibly fatal risks associated with non-compliant materials.
SANS10400-J is the set of regulations applying to flooring in South Africa. Although these standards have recently been improved to ensure that flooring must be able to support its own weight as well as any load to which it may be subjected, as well as being either fire-retardant or non-combustible, assessment of installations and materials used by a local authority is often dispensed with.
Modern Composite Decking
Modern decks are seldom pure wood any more – composite materials and modified timber products can outperform wood and the market for these new-age products has expanded rapidly. But the South African building regulations have not kept pace with technological developments and the gap has allowed unscrupulous manufacturers and installers to flourish as most deck structures are being built without building instructor approval.
The result is twofold: manufacturers and installers of inferior products can avoid meeting any safety or durability standards, and when a deck fails it is up to the homeowner to take action against the installer.
This is a complicated and difficult way to remedy the situation, compounded by the fleeting business operations of many of the manufacturers and installers of inferior decking products.