Although, Merbau has the highest stability rating, which refers to the swelling or shrinkage of decking boards, it is paramount that you treat your delivery of Merbau with the utmost care. (If you are storing other Australian hardwoods or decking timbers, it’s even more important that you handle them with caution). To take the guesswork out of how to properly care for your Merbau from delivery to installation, we have devised a handy checklist…
- When you receive your delivery of Merbau Decking boards, check to see if there are some lighter coloured boards in the load and if so, you can leave these particular boards out in the sun. The tannins will come out due to sun exposure and they will darken.
- Store Merbau boards flat and even, so that they stay straight and undercover and out of the sun.
- If you don’t have an undercover area to store the Merbau delivery, ensure that you put some battens down to lift the boards up and off any surface, so that the boards aren’t absorbing any moisture from the ground, as you stack them and store them. Also, cover the boards with plastic or tarp to further protect them from the elements. However, be aware when using tarps to cover Merbau, that the boards will sweat under the tarps, if left stored in the sun, which will make the boards shrink and swell. This is another reason why we recommend that the boards always be stored in the shade, if there is no undercover available.
- Never leave Merbau decking boards on concrete, whether they are off-cuts or full boards because if it rains, the Merbau will bleed and leave red marks on the concrete. You also need to be careful around pools that have sandstone or bluestone tiles and rendered walls. Plus, the dust from cutting from Merbau will also stain, if rained on. Take special note that the red stain is notoriously difficult to remove!
- Before installation, it is recommended that you pre-coat the Merbau boards approximately 24 hours prior (where possible), which minimises the decking board absorbing moisture and therefore making it more stable. If your deck is built less than 250mm above ground-level, it is absolutely essential to coat your boards before they are laid down.