Metal decking is widely used in modern construction projects both for flooring as well as roofing. That is mainly because it is less time consuming and easy to install, while at the same time strong and comparably light.
If you are going to be using metal decking in a construction project, there are a few tips that you should know:
Talk to the manufacturer
In most cases, metal decking manufacturers are more than willing to talk to design engineers about their products. It is always a good idea to take advantage of that, as they are the perfect resource for information regarding coatings, fire ratings, shoring, design economics, and the limitations of the metal decking.
Additionally the manufacturer can also help to clear up any questions you may have regarding the installation and fastening of the metal deck.
Store the decking properly
Ideally the metal decking should be secured into bundles so that they don’t end up being accidentally lifted by strong winds. They should be wrapped in tarp or some other plastic covering to avoid water getting in and prevent rust.
It is best to store the decks off the ground, and away from any area where there may be condensation or the risk of them being splashed with water.
Factor in construction loads
The metal decking that you use in your project needs to be selected based on the construction loads it will have to bear – and the time it will have to bear them. Be sure to factor that in when choosing the type of metal decking, and its thickness.
Of course the metal decking will have to be properly fastened (and checked) before it can bear any construction loads.
Avoid using sealants on the ends of the decking
Keep in mind that metal decking is not meant to be a completely water-tight membrane, so there is no need to use sealants on the ends or side laps of the deck. If you do use sealants you run the risk of making it more difficult to properly fasten the deck, and that can lead to other structural issues.
Do not vent composite decking to dry concrete more quickly
Some people feel that venting can help when using composite concrete metal decking, and will make the concrete dry faster. Unfortunately there is no evidence that this claim is true.
As a general rule, haste makes waste. It is recommended to wait until the concrete is fully dry before placing any floor covering materials over it.
Make no mistake there are lots of things that you need to consider when you use metal decking in a construction project. The tips listed above should help you start off on the right foot, but there are many other areas that you need to look at too.
On the bright side if you are able to properly install metal decking, it is definitely going to last a long time and will really go the distance.