Questions and Answers on ModWood

What is ModWood

ModWood is an Australian made and owned composite product made essentially from a mixture of ground sustainable wood waste and plastic (we actually use recycled plastic milk bottles). ModWood products contain no formaldehydes.

Where is ModWood made?

Melbourne, Australia

Is ModWood moisture resistant?

ModWood has excellent moisture resistance, however it should be noted that ModWood is not designed to "live in moisture" - this will eventually cause swelling, and affect physical properties.

Does ModWood need ventilation?

Yes, like timber, it is important to provide adequate ventilation to ensure ModWood is able to dry out after being wet. For this reason it is very important to pay attention to clearance on butt joins (end to end), spacing between boards (side by side), and minimum ground clearances. Lack of ventilation will cause the product to swell and fail over time. Check product fixing instructions for information on ventilation requirements. Boxing in the deck will reduce cross flow ventilation and therefore must be avoided. ModWood is not suited for cladding applications due to the need for spacing between boards.

Will it warp?

ModWood decking will not warp provided it is used and fixed in accordance with fixing instructions. ModWood mini board can in some circumstances, show some deflection between uprights.

Does it splinter?

The composition of ModWood products means that they will not splinter. This makes them ideal for small children.

How do I fix ModWood?

Whilst ModWood has many fixing similarities to natural timber, there are a few subtle differences that must be observed. Please check Installation on our website.

Does ModWood fade?

Yes; ModWood will undergo some colour change and a softening of the colour when exposed to the elements and this will primarily happen during the first couple of months.
When deciding which side of the ModWood decking boards to use you should refer to the the section below; "Brushed or Smooth".

Is it UV Protected?

Yes ModWood products are highly protected against UV radiation. Please note however UV stabilisation is of the plastic component of the product and does not have a great affect on the fading characteristics. For information on fading see above.

Can ModWood be used in bushfire prone areas?

Yes, Flame Shield&reg can be used in bushfire prone areas that have a bushfire attack level (BAL) up to and including BAL-40 (AS3959-2009). Flame Shield® can be used in BAL-12.5, BAL-19, BAL-29.5, and BAL-40 rated areas. Flame Shield Instructions

How does ModWood compare with timber in terms of surface temperature?

Tests have shown ModWood has a similar surface temperature to timber of similar colours and finishes. Please note because Black Bean and Jarrah are darker colours, they can get quite hot under foot, especially when new (similar to a dark painted timber decking board). Refer to technical sheet on our website for more details.

Can ModWood be used for joists?

No, ModWood has been designed for use as decking and screening products only and cannot be classed as a "load bearing" product.

Is joist size important?

Yes, when butt joining top fix boards it is recommended to have 45 mm joist to enable the fixings to be located a minimum 15mm from the end of the board.

Brushed or Smooth? Which surface to face upwards?

Brushed

Pro's

  • A more "timber-like" surface feel.
  • Better non-slip feel in wet areas (e.g. around pools).
  • Does not show scratches easily.
  • More suitable for decks under roof/cover.
  • Heavy scratches can be wire-brushed out.
  • Will appear lighter in initial colour.
  • Little colour shift/fade over time - apart from embossing lines fading.
  • A more durable finish.
  • Surface temperature of brushed feels cooler than smooth.
  • Can more easily take oil based paint or stain.

Con's

  • Susceptible to "fatty" stains due to the exposed wood fibre.
  • Will pick up dirt/stains/mould more easily due to wood fibres exposed (these can usually be cleaned).
Smooth

Pro's

  • More "plastic" at the surface gives better resistance to dirt and grime (stays cleaner).
  • A more solid colour.

Cons

  • Will show a higher degree of fade over the first few months.
  • Smoother surface may feel a bit more plastic.
  • Surface temperature will get hotter - especially when new.
  • Smoother surface not quite as good for grip.
  • Cannot simply give a wire-brushing "touch-up" for scratches.
  • Needs to be well weathered before paint or stain will adhere properly.

Care and Maintanence

ModWood undergoes some fading when exposed to the elements. ModWood generally comes in "smooth" or "brushed" options for each colour.  This will primarily happen during the first couple of months. The brushed surface shows less change. See our Care and Maintance for further details.

Is it scratch resistant?

No - ModWood can show scuffs and scratches, especially when new, and especially on the "smooth surface". By rubbing on light decking oil with a clean rag the marks will be less noticeable. Exposure to the weather will see the board revert to its natural colour, thus hiding scuff and scratch marks. It is strongly recommended that all furniture on a ModWood deck has protective feet e.g. rubber stoppers applied to the legs to help prevent scuffing or scratching of the deck surface. Please note, ModWood is a finished product-take care! See our Care and Maintance for further details.

Important- the brushed surface (lighter side) does not easily show scuffs and scratches. This is recommended if the product is intended for use under 100% shade/cover. The brushed surface can be wire brushed. The area you brush will quickly fade out and hide your repair.

Is it termite resistant?

Termite resistance of ModWood has been tested by the CSIRO against two of the most common species in Australia. ModWood has been found to give superior termite resistance - enough to be classed as a "termite control" product.

Is ModWood slippery?

ModWood decking has very similar nonslip ratings to painted or coated timber decking products. Refer to technical sheet on our website for more details.

Is ModWood suitable for use around swimming pools?

Yes - ModWood is an ideal decking to be used in a pool and spa environment. Also, as there is no likelihood of splinters occurring, it protects your feet. Refer to fixing instructions with regards to ventilation requirements.

Can ModWood be used by the sea?

ModWood is ideal in a marine environment, being unaffected by the salt air.

How can I clean and maintain ModWood?

ModWood is relatively maintenance free, however, regular cleaning is important in keeping the deck to look great. Do not use high pressure cleaners on ModWood. Sweeping and cleaning with normal household cleaners is usually adequate to keep your deck looking great. "Sugar soap", mixed with water works particularly well. Stubborn (usually oil-based) stains can be difficult to remove - we find that water-diluted degreaser works well - scrub in and wash off after a few minutes. Periodic cleaning of expansion joints is also recommended. Refer to Care & Maintenance. Tests have shown that it is possible to remove graffiti paint by using paint stripper. Use strong chemicals with caution.

Can I paint or stain my ModWood?

Due to its wood-fibre base ModWood products; when fully weathered; will accept some decking oils. Product must be oil based and not water based decking oil! Products such as Sceneys, Feast Watson decking oils give a good result. Please note Feast Watson decking oil has a yellow tinge and is not suitable on our grey coloured boards. However, the plastic component of ModWood (especially the brushed and embossed finishes) can make good adherence of most coatings difficult, until it is fully weathered. Before painting ModWood, it should be given a coating of Taubmans Prep Right oil based tropical grade wood primer. Care and Maintanence

Can water stain marks appear on ModWood?

Yes, water stain marks can show on ModWood boards. There are two types of water stains; both of which will generally disappear with exposure to a reasonable soaking of rain and general weathering. Both can be cleaned fairly quickly with an application of diluted "Intergrain Reviva".

a) Water stains from wood tannins will occur in the early life of your deck as the natural tannins come out of the wood fibres at the surface of the ModWood. This will happen in the early weeks of your deck, and will depend on how exposed to the elements your deck is before the weathering process is complete.

b) Water stains from water pooling or dripping can happen with ModWood just like it can with many other materials/ surfaces such as timber flooring, glass, laminated tables etc.

The visibility of the stain will be governed by factors such as how dirty the deck is and how quickly the water dries from the water pooling. Where decks are only partially exposed to the elements, water stain marks are more prone in this situation. This is due to the inability of the boards to be exposed to the weather to receive a reasonable soaking of rain and general weathering. Clean as mentioned above. Care and Maintanence

Is ModWood mould resistant?

As ModWood has a woodfibre base, mould and mildew can grow on the deck in some circumstances and environments, or if it "sweats" under the plastic cover (especially in rain) before installation. Failure to keep packs dry in storage can lead to the growth of mould spores on boards. Clean as per directions under Care & Maintenance on our web site. We have also found a product known as "Wet & Forget" to work very well.

What joist span do I use?

Some ModWood products have different joist spans to similar timber products. Please check Fixing & Technical section for instructions for relevant products on our website.

Why does ModWood specify a bigger side by side gap than timber?

Timber boards will often shrink slightly in width once laid, however ModWood wood fibres have extremely low moisture content. After laying, the surface fibres will "normalise" with moisture and the boards will swell slightly. It is critical that the side by side minimum gapping specified (4mm) by ModWood is maintained when laying the deck.

What are the standard colours and sizes?

ModWood comes in a wide range of colours and sizes for residential and commercial applications. Check our web site for more details. Please note colours may vary from batch to batch, however different batches of the same colour will weather to within a commercially acceptable tolerance.

Can I use ModWood for screening?

ModWood has a specific product (68 x 17mm) for use as screening. Other ModWood solid boards may also be used for screening. Check fixing instructions for details.

Are there special tools required for working with ModWood?

With ModWood you can use standard power saws and drills. As with using any power tools, adequate personal protective equipment should be used when cutting or drilling ModWood. The ModWood "sawdust", is a coarse, heavy sawdust that doesn't tend to "float" in the air. This makes it safe for handling.

How should ModWood be stored and handled?

Whether at the timber merchant premises or at your own house awaiting installation, ModWood should be stored in a dry, flat area under roof and off the ground. Failure to keep packs dry in storage can lead to the growth of mould spores on boards. When moving product around, ModWood should be carried on its edge. ModWood is a finished product-take care!

Is ModWood guaranteed?

ModWood Technologies P/L offers a limited ten-year Residential and seven-year Commercial warranty.
Please visit our warranty information page.