Images courtesy dassoXTR

Images courtesy dassoXTR

You may have been hearing about bamboo as a decking material lately. Are you curious about it? Several of our clients have chosen bamboo for their decks or porches instead of traditional wood or composite materials. We have done the research and can recommend using bamboo for several  reasons: strength, resiliency, appearance and environmental sustainability.

Strength

The bamboo we use for building decks is stronger than most hardwoods. We buy high-quality bamboo decking boards from Dasso, a company that specializes in carbonized, fused bamboo decking. If you have heard that bamboo building material is heated, and that heating makes it fragile, don’t worry! Dasso uses a patented process to heat the bamboo a second time and returns it to its natural strength. Dasso’s bamboo boards are extremely strong and durable, even denser than Ipe’, a popular hardwood for building decks. What’s more, bamboo boards do not contain the rays or knots commonly found in wood. Therefore, stress applied to bamboo is evenly distributed across the surface of each board.

Images courtesy dassoXTR

Images courtesy dassoXTR

Resiliency

Bamboo decking is very resistant to the effects of weather. In contrast, most wooden deck boards will show the effects of weather over a period of time. For example, after each rain shower, wood can swell because it absorbs water, and then it shrinks as it dries out. If you’ve had a wooden deck, you know that those boards can eventually warp and twist. Some types of wood stand up to weather better than others, but bamboo beats them all. Bamboo does not swell or contract in response to moisture. Bamboo decking has a hard exterior, and its cellular interior is flexible and elastic. As a homeowner, you can rest easy knowing your bamboo deck will stand up to whatever Mother Nature throws at it.

Images courtesy dassoXTR

Images courtesy dassoXTR

Appearance

Bamboo lends an exotic flair to your outdoor living project, yet it will look “right at home” in Guilford, Madison, Cheshire or wherever in Central Connecticut you are located. Because it can be stained in a wide range of shades from light natural to dark chocolate, bamboo is a versatile design element. You will be able to coordinate the new bamboo addition with your home’s exterior color palette. As for maintenance to keep its exotic appeal over the years, bamboo requires no more work than you would need to do for a hardwood deck; the actual maintenance is very similar.

Do you bamboo?

Do you bamboo?

Environmental sustainability

Bamboo is environmentally friendly, so in that regard it is the best choice for your deck or porch.

  • Bamboo matures in five to seven years, so the bamboo crop is replenished constantly. Most hardwood used in the U.S. these days comes from South America, where deforestation is a severe problem. It takes at least 50 years to grow hardwood trees.
  • In terms of a carbon footprint, although we think of bamboo as mainly growing in Asia, it is also grown in the United States and South America.
  • Bamboo is resistant to insects and doesn’t require pesticides or other harmful chemicals for protection as it grows.
  • Bamboo absorbs 35% more carbon dioxide per acre than trees. (Bamboo is not a tree; it is a grass!)

What else do you need to know about bamboo? Here are some fun facts:

  • Bamboo is the Chinese symbol of longevity.
  • Bamboo has been used to create everyday objects for over 4000 years.
  • Many bamboo structures withstood the Colombia earthquake of 1999 while nearby concrete structures crumbled.
  • Bamboo can withstand hurricane-force winds.

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All of these desirable features, combined with bamboo’s amazing longevity, quite simply make it an ideal building material for outdoor living spaces such as decks and porches. It’s easy to see why bamboo decking has become so popular in recent years.

Archadeck of Central CTIf you are considering bamboo for your new Avon, Farmington, Cheshire or Guilford CT area deck or porch, contact us to learn more about this amazing material by calling (203) 793-7142 or email us at centralct@archadeck.net.