Preparing a suitable foundation is the most essential part in preparing the ground for composite decking. Without it, the decking will encounter many problems like instability and unsafety. Most importantly, it can damage the integrity of the decking. The decking won’t last as long as it should. If you plan to build a plastic decking, you’ll have to prepare the ground. But the question is, how can you do it? Here are some tips and guides on how to do it.
Preparing The Dirt
One way to build a composite decking is to lay it directly on the ground. However, before you can do it, there are some preparations you need to make.
- First, measure the ground according to the measurements of your planned composite decking. You can use some stakes, strings, and paint to mark the location.
- Next, remove any plants, rocks, and other debris from the installation area. If necessary, you can use a weed killer to remove any grass and weeds in the area.
- After clearing the ground, dig the entire area around 50 mm deep. Make sure to uproot any leftover weeds or grass and remove rocks and stones.
- After digging, you will need to make sure that the area is level. You can use a piece of wooden board and a spirit level to check it. You may need to dig more soil to flatten the area.
- Next, you will have to cover the area with landscaping fabric. It will prevent the growth of grass and weed, which can be damaging to your decking.
- For the next step, you will need to consider how you’ll want to build your decking. One of the options is to lay the composite decking on top of the ground. For this, you will need to fill the area with gravel. Once filled, you will need to make sure that the installation area is still level. You can use a hand tamper to make the surface flat.
- Another option is to use concrete slabs instead of gravel. All you will need to do is place the concrete slabs according to the plans of the decking frame. It’s a better choice if you want your decking to be elevated.
- Lastly, proceed to install your decking boards according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Preparing A Concrete Slab
Another common foundation for composite decking is a concrete slab. Many people have it and are considering adding a decking. While it does make a good foundation, there are still some preparations that you need to do for it to be a suitable ground for your composite decking.
- First, you will need to make sure that the concrete slab is in excellent condition. Poorly made concrete slabs tend to sink, along with anything you install on top of it. For this reason, you have to inspect the concrete for cracks and water problems.
- For water-related problems, you will need to use a self-levelling compound. Alternatively, you can use a concrete topping mix, but it usually takes more time. These fixes will level out the concrete. If you’re finding it difficult to level out your concrete slabs, you can use adjustable pedestals.
- Third, pre-drill the screws that you will use for the sleeper system. Most experts recommend that the screws you should use must penetrate at least 25mm deep into the concrete. When pre-drilling, you’ll also want to drill 6mm to 12mm deeper than the screws can reach.
- Lastly, install the sleeper system and lay down the composite decking boards.