Residential FRP Advantages
Fiberglass Decking adds a unique element of style and is being used more in residential applications. Low maintenance & durability also make it wise choice. It will not crack, split, or warp. Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) is designed to last, without the routine maintenance needed by many other decking materials. Traditional wood decking, both preservative-treated and naturally rot-resistant, have a realistic life expectancy ranging only 10 to 20 years, and only when maintained consistently with treatments such as chemical sealants. Fiberglass Grating Systems products need limited to no maintenance in maintaining their initial look and functionality.
Fiberglass Grating Systems manufactures both molded and pultruded grating systems to suit your unique applications. FRP grating is highly scratch and impact resistant and is colored throughout, which prevents fading and allows it to retain its looks for a much longer life span than traditional deck material. The decking material can be attached to an FRP, standard wood, or metal sub-frame.
The initial investment of an FRP deck can be higher than conventional alternatives, but in the long run offers significant savings from both a financial and labor standpoint. Lastly, similar to metal, darker plastic colors and woods will heat up in the midday sun unlike many of our options which naturally reflect heat resulting a much more comfortable walking surface.
Although composite decking (combination of wood and plastic fibers) is an attractive decking option, it is not necessarily the perfect deck as many manufacturers would like you to believe. Take time to consider both the positives and the negatives of each decking option. Be aware as to the source of your information, even the most helpful salespeople may be misinformed about their composite material’s capabilities. Many manufacturers will assert that their composite decking systems are “no maintenance”. A more realistic claim would be that they are "low maintenance." Because many are partially wood, they absorb grease and other liquids so any spills that could potentially stain must be cleaned up immediately or risk permanently tarnishing the deck. Our fiberglass decking is composed of only glass fibers and the binding resin material, neither of which are intrinsically absorptive. It is sealed to ensure that no foreign matter enters the grating causing discoloration or premature failure (e.g. dry rot in natural wood, cracks due to ice expansion in composites, etc.). Likewise, other composite materials may be susceptible to mold or mildew, which can appear as black spots or gray circles and can be very difficult to eradicate.
Wood and solid composite deck must be routed out to run utilities or any other subsurface lines. With the open area provided by FRP panels these lines can be run easily and quickly. Should service be necessary, rather than hundreds of screws, our panels are easily removable (with an average of only 6 hold downs per 4’x8’ panel) for fast and easy repairs to electrical, sewer, floatation, and other important components that may be contained below the deck. Additionally, panels damaged during service can be replaced in a matter of minutes. The open area also allows moisture and light to pass through the deck. In areas with high precipitation the accumulation of this moisture can create slippery and/or icy conditions increasing the chance of injury. The sunlight that is allowed to pass through to the sea floor, lake bed, or earth below promotes healthy growth of the area’s natural ecosystem.
With this in mind, once you decide on FRP decking, as you tally the price per square foot you can figure savings in maintenance over time. Items to consider that lead to these savings include but are not limited to the following:
1. Does Not Rot
2. Will Not Warp or Splinter
3. Never Needs Stripping, Staining, or Sealing
4. Reduced Labor for Installation and Repair