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A Flower Garden of Your Own

I absolutely adore flower gardens. Whenever I want to relax and view nature in one of its most beautiful forms, I sit in or near a flower garden. Smelling the aromatic fragrances of roses always instantly improves my mood. Do you have a flower garden on your property? If you don’t currently have a flower garden, consider starting one this summer. If your knowledge about flowers is limited, visiting a local home and garden center is a great idea. An expert at this kind of business establishment can help you pick the varieties of flowers that grow best in your part of the country. On this blog, I hope you will discover the easiest types of flowers to grow in a backyard flower garden. Enjoy!


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A Flower Garden of Your Own

The Flame-Spread Rating And Why It Should Influence Your New Wooden Decking

by Amelia Sutton

The devastation caused by wildfires isn't a secret. All you have to do is watch the news during wildfire season (and this season is increasing in length and intensity across much of the US). It makes sense to plan for this worst-case scenario when considering any changes or improvements to your home, such as installing new decking. When it comes to decking supplies, which materials will offer some protection against fire while also looking great?

Flame-Spread Rating

The flammability (or preferably, the lack thereof) of building materials is classified using a flame-spread rating. The highest possible category (with the maximum level of fire retardation) is Class A, with a flame-spread rating of 0-25. The spread rating reflects the speed at which fire spreads across the surface of any given material during testing, meaning a lower index is better. Does this mean that those in fire-prone areas should construct decking from synthetic materials that have a low flame-spread rating built into them?

The Look and Feel of Wood

The ultimate choice in decking materials comes down to personal taste and budget. Wooden decking supplies may be the goal, yet you may prefer an alternative material for maximum flame retardation in the event of a fire. There are some perfectly agreeable compromises. PVC decking is completely synthetic, yet can be engineered to mimic the look of wood, with a Class A flame-spread rating integrated into its construction. It does not have the same physical feeling as wood, which could be a deterrent. You may prefer composite decking, which is a combination of natural wood and plastic fibers. This replicates both the look and feel of natural wood while also being engineered using flame-retardant synthetic materials to achieve a Class A rating.

Density of Wood

Certain woods carry an organic method of flame retardation. Many particularly dense hardwoods lack the flammability of their lighter, drier counterparts. It's certainly possible to obtain hardwoods with built-in flame retardants due to the dense nature of their natural composition. These woods may smolder but are less prone to burning. A less dense (and generally less expensive) option is also available by using woods with a lower flame-spread rating and treating them with a chemical flame retardant. Any type of chemical additive must generally be occasionally reapplied, so this is something to be mindful of.

Wildfires may strike where they're not expected, so any type of home construction work should pay attention to the flammability of the required materials. And when it comes to new decking, the flame-spread rating should certainly be consulted.

Visit a supply shop to buy decking supplies today.