Benefits of Limestone and Travertine decking material (#1)
Recently I took a call from a prospective pool decking customer that was wondering if maybe he bought the wrong material when he had just placed an order for slate from a competitor.
I felt terrible explaining how and why slate was such a weak choice. First of all, due to it’s high metal content, slate acts like a “heat sink” storing the heat radiating from the sun and making it very uncomfortable to walk barefoot on during hot summer days. Unlike slate, travertine and limestone are formed from calcium carbonate sediment and therefore have virtually no metal content. Sadly, most end-user customers think that the heat building up in the stone decks is due to the color of the stone. That’s not the case, it’s the composition of the stone. The lack of metal content actually makes travertine and limestone a thermal insulator rather than a thermal conductor, trapping the natural coolness radiating from below the deck and keeping it much cooler than concretes (even “cool deck” types), concrete paving stones, and all other stones.
Additionally, since the trend is going towards salt water pools (as this customer was implementing), the metals in the stone will also react with the salt. The calcium carbonate in limestone and travertine composition is not reactive with salt (or chlorine, for that matter), therefore making it even more of an appropriate choice for this client.
Needless to say he called the decking supplier he had just ordered the slate from and cancelled his order. Nobody likes to “steal” customers from other suppliers like this situation turned out to be, but since he called me after reading up on the issue on my website I had to be straight with him and give him the low-down on why slate was not a good choice for his application!
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