How to do Fiberglass Decks in Vancouver
APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS FOR FIBERGLASSING SUNDECKS AND PATIOS
Fiber-Tek fiberglass provides the toughest, longest lasting, totally waterproof coating possible. It is a coating that can easily be applied by professionals and amateurs alike. Because the adhesion of fiberglass to the deck is dependent on penetration of the resin into the wood, fiberglass is only recommended for covering clean dry plywood.
Handle all products with care. Keep out of reach of children. The most hazardous substance to work with in any fiberglass application is the resin catalyst (methyl-ethyl-ketone-peroxide or MEKP). This chemical is very harmful to the eyes and will cause blindness. Suitable eye protection when handling catalyst is recommended. Should eye contact occur, immediately flush with plenty of water and contact a physician. Other materials may contain chemicals detrimental to health. Avoid excessive exposure to vapors and wear skin protection.
As your fiberglass deck coating is going to last a long time it is important the the construction of the deck is structurally sound. The best deck are made of 5/8″ or 3/4″ T/G plywood. good one side. The joists must be of proper dimension and suitably spaced to provide good support for the deck. We refer the builder to municipal codes for specific lumber dimensions. Secure the plywood to the joists with 2″ – 2 1/2″ galvanized ring nails or screw nails. To prevent the seams from buckling due to expansion and contraction of the wood, a small gap (1/16″) is left between all sheets of plywood. Two moldings are generally used for the deck, a cant strip against the wall, nailed to the deck, to prevent water from going between the wall and the deck, and a drip cap around the outside to carry the water out past the fascia board and down below the plywood. the drip cap has a rounded top edge to allow the mat to form over easily, and a reverse angle cut on the bottom edge to prevent water from running back to the underside of the deck.
Make sure the deck is clean and dry. Fill all defects, knot holes, hammer dents, and gaps between the sheets of plywood with fiberglass filler leaving a totally flat surface. Catalyst must be added to the filler, mixing only as much as can be used in a 5 minute period. Add approximately 1/2″ – 3/4″ of cream catalyst to a heaping tablespoon of filler. Clean putty knife and any tools used with acetone.
APPLYING THE FIBERGLASS
Fiberglass should only be applied to a clean, dry surface; avoid working in direct hot sunlight if possible as this will drastically reduce the working time of the resin. Postpone the job if rain is expected. Before mixing any resin, roll the matting out and precut the lengths. Roll the mat back up and set aside. Start by mixing no more than 2 liters of resin at a time ( or only as much as can be used in approx. 15 minutes ). To catalyze ( mix ) the resin, use the catalyst chart on the can, and based on the temperature you are working at ( deck temperature ), add the amount required for a 2-3 hour cure. ( e.g. at 70°F use 1% or approx. 1 1/2 teaspoons per liter ) Mix thoroughly. NOTE: a 2 hour cure will give approximately 30 minutes working time. If the resin gels in your bucket, do not try to use. Discard it and mix more resin using less catalyst.
Working with one length of mat at a time, lay the mat in place on the deck and saturate the mat with the catalyzed resin using a short nap mohair roller. Brush up the cant strip and over the drip cap as you come to them. Use enough resin to turn the mat transparent, but avoid using so much that pools of resin form. A white-milky-hazy patch will be either not enough resin or an air pocket under the mat, apply more resin or roll out the air pocket with your mohair roller or an aluminum de-airing roller designed for use on fiberglass. Complete everything as you go along, rolling resin just off the edge of the mat strip so as not to leave any dry areas. Lay out subsequent strips overlapping the feathered edge on to the last strip( approx. 1 1/2 ” ) and proceed with the same saturation method until the whole deck is covered. Allow the mat to hang down past the drip edge and saturate in place. Trimming excess around the bottom of the drip cap is easily done with a razor knife after the resin has gelled but before the resin is fully cured. After it is fully cured, sand any rough spots and trimmed edges before proceeding with your color coats.
One method of putting a color coat on your deck is to use resin with color pigment added to it. ( 1 liter of pigmented resin will cover approx. 50 sq. ft. ) Color all the resin at one time to ensure color uniformity, especially when blending a custom color. Color pigment is added at a ratio of 60 ml. pigment to 1 liter of resin and has to be mixed in very thoroughly. The color coats are applied just like rolling on a coat of paint, again only catalyzing a maximum of 2 litres of resin at a time, using the same catalyst directions as before. Do not apply the color coats in the direct hot sunlight as the resin could cure too quickly and remain tacky, During hot weather apply the color coat in the early morning or when the deck is shaded. As soon as the first coat is dry enough to walk on, the second coat can be applied unless the weather is too warm.
Another method of color coating your deck is to use gelcoat. Gelcoat is a thickened, pre-colored resin that only requires one coat instead of using 2 coats of resin with pigment added. Coverage is approximately 40 sq. ft. per litre. Gelcoat is applied and catalyzed the same as the resin.
NON SKID SURFACE
Fiberglass can be slippery when wet, so a non-slip additive is generally used. For a light texture, mix in the non-slip in the first color coat when using the resin with color pigment method. For a heavier texture, add the non-slip to the second color coat. Non-slip is generally added at approximately 450 gr. to 10 liters of resin or gelcoat or 450 gm per 400 sq. ft. covered. Non-slip should be mixed in at one time to ensure uniformity and be continually stirred during application to prevent settling.|
NOTE: You must sand between coats if waxed resin is allowed to fully cure.
Just a simple wash with soap and water once or twice a year depending on use and exposure, rinse off with a hose and that’s all. If the deck has mold or mildew on it, you may need to scrub it with something stronger such as TSP. Now sit back and enjoy your long lasting, waterproof, virtually maintenance free Fiber-Tek fiberglass deck coating. For more information use the CONTACT US link and we will be happy to e-mail or fax you the information.