Frequently Asked Questions

We answer your questions about our company, NATURinFORM’s wood composite material, and sustainability, as well as, of course, about laying and maintenance. Read our answers here and let yourself be convinced of our high-quality product.

Material

What exactly is WPC?

WPC stands for Wood Polymer Composite and is a combination of materials that has been produced and used in North America for more than 20 years – especially in outdoor areas. It consists of a combination of wooden fibres with an environmentally friendly, thermoplastic binding agent.

What is the material composition of WPC?

The special feature of our products manufactured in Germany is the combination of approx. 70% domestic wood with an environmentally friendly polymer.

What are the most important advantages in comparison to traditional wood?

With its many good properties, the wood-polymer material (WPC) will enhance your patio, facade or privacy shield and noise protection fence in the long term. An even, beautiful, wooden look that is very low on maintenance is what makes it special. You don’t even have to paint or varnish it. Of course, we produce all our profiles and accessories with wood fibres from sustainable forestry (certified wood suppliers according to pefc – www.pefc.de)

Feel comfort with our wood composite material (WPC):

  • Barefoot-friendly and splinter-free
  • Beautiful with an elegant wooden look
  • Non-slippery, even when wet
  • Easy to lay and look after (no painting or oiling), saving you time and money
  • Wood from sustainable forestry
  • No tropical woods (certified wood suppliers according to pefc)

How is a WPC product manufactured?

WPC products are extruded, i.e. both components are melted together (wooden fibres and thermoplastic binding agent) and drawn into an infinite strand using pressure and temperature.

Features and Benefits

How does the colour change?

In general, all our products go through a maturation process that is induced by light, air, sun and humidity. This change in colour continues depending on weather conditions and the place of assembly. The alternation of sunlight, shade and humidity can lead to a change in the colour, for example, so that the WPC profile decks become lighter, depending on the exact utilisation and set up of the product. These colour changes due to weathering are typical for the product, as for the natural product wood, and are not a defect, but a normal product feature due to the high percentage of wood. The same applies to the decks of our colour edition, which are characterised by special colouring. Different kinds of weather impacts, i.e. partial roofing of the surface, can lead to different colour developments.
During production we take care to process a quality that is as even as possible. However, fluctuations in the high-quality raw material may nevertheless result in differences in colour when different batches are installed. This does not affect the durability and is therefore not a reason for complaint.

How do you achieve the different colours of decks?

The different colours are created by adding environmentally friendly colour pigments to the mixture. This leads to a durable and even colour. Colour changes and shades are deliberate, and emphasise the natural wooden look. The surfaces change through weathering influences, such as the sun and rain.

What are fibre inclusions and how do they occur?

NATURinFORM products consist of approx. 70% wood fibres, which are specially treated, dried and fed into the manufacturing process. In this raw material there may be low inclusions of other natural fibres, such as bast (the transition layer from bark to wood), for example. As a result of weathering and humidity, these particles can become visible on the surface.

Quality and Certificates

Have any features been tested?

As a member of the Qualitätsgemeinschaft Holzwerkstoffe e.V. Gießen, the quality group of wood composite materials, NATURinFORM GmbH is a driver for secured quality production. The high demands resulting thereof are tested by us internally on a daily basis, and regularly also at external testing institutions with very good results. Our WPC quality is made up to 100 % of German wood fibres with the PEFC certification and the binding agent we use is freshly produced PE.

Click here to download the certificates

What results do the decks have in slip resistance tests?

Slip resistance test – DIN 51130 and DIN 51097

Our brushed deck surfaces are especially non-slippery – even when wet – and therefore very suitable for public areas (swimming pools, kindergardens, hotel patios, etc.). The following test results were achieved at the TÜV Rheinland / LGA:

COMPACT Blockstripes R13 (highest level) / finely striated R12;
ROBUST / NATURELINE finely striated R11 / wood grain R12
POPULAR select finely striated R10 / wavy wood grain R11
RATIONAL select wavy wood grain R11 / Blockstripes R13
STRONG one-sided embossed R10
SMART wood grain / finely striated R12
EXCLUSIVE embossed on one side, matte R11

Does WPC meet the requirements regarding children?

NATURinFORM decking boards are designed to be safe to play on. The decks tested according to DIN EN 71 Part 3 meet the requirements of the “European Standard for Toy Safety”, which are placed on children’s toys available on the European market. All materials with which children may come into contact must not impair their health and should be environmentally friendly. Therefore, in addition to the play value, the safety aspect is also important. The standard specifies whether a toy is safe and harmless. This is based on the assumption, that children may lick and gnaw at toys, so that certain quantities of material could get into their stomachs.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut WKI, Braunschweig, tested COMPACT for “toy safety” in February 2013. The test report confirms that the tested material complies with the limit according to DIN EN 71-3:1994 “Safety of toys – Part 3: Migration of certain elements”.

How do WPC decks behave in case of fire?

The ift Rosenheim GmbH tested POPULAR for its fire behaviour according to DIN EN 13501-1 with the result Class E. This is quite comparable to wood.

Guarantee

Is there a guarantee for Naturinform products?

A 5-year guarantee on the material properties of NATURinFORM WPC products will be given to you at your request on delivery in written form as a guarantee certificate.

Recycling and Disposal

Does NATURinFORM produce ecologically responsibly?

Sustainable and environmentally friendly production is our highest priority. NATURinFORM uses only wooden fibres – so-called biocomposites- that are a byproduct in the wood-processing industry and thereby protects resources during production. Additionally, we only use wooden fibres from suppliers that have been awarded the PEFC hallmark (www.pefc.de). Because it is permanently striving for highest quality, NATURinFORM was awarded the hallmark of excellence from the Qualitätsgemeinschaft Holzwerkstoffe e.V. and with its voluntary return option and guarantee to recycle its own WPC products, NATURinFORM is actively encouraging sustainable and ecological production. NATURinFORM also offers a 100% return option. We are proud to be able to offer you an environmentally sustainable quality product. Only wood fibres from suppliers certified with the PEFC seal are used in our production process. These are wood products from sustainable forestry that meet ecological standards. The certification of our NATURinFORM WPC Decking Profiles, which goes along with meeting the high quality standards of the Quality Association for Wood-Based Panels, confirms not only the technical safety and the harmlessness to health, but also the environmental compatibility of our products. As part of our manufacturing process, we are also able to recycle our WPC products, reintroduce them into our manufacturing process and recycle them there in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner. We therefore gladly take back our original NATURinFORM WPC products free of charge upon delivery to our factory Redwitz an der Rodach, Flurstr. 7, after checking the product-cleanliness. Since this take-back is not a legally enforceable obligation, but a voluntary and non-binding possibility of taking back used WPC products, we recommend that, in case you wish to return used WPC products to us, you coordinate the possibility of taking them back with us in advance in order to ensure smooth processing. With the return of used NATURinFORM WPC products you support our manufacturing process through the use of sustainable materials. Through your ecologically conscious actions you contribute to an environmentally friendly production cycle.

What about sustainability at NATURinFORM?

“Together with VHI, we are committed to sustainable construction via EPDs for WPC decking boards and WPC facade elements at IBU.” (Association of the German Wood-Based Panel Industry e.V.). Environmental product declaration according to ISO 14025 and EN 15804 EPD from the Institut Bauern und Umwelt e.V. (Institute for Farmers and the Environment). (IBU).

What is the return option to NATURinFORM?

We at NATURinFORM offer a return option. We are proud to be able to present you a quality product that is fully ecological and sustainable. In our production process we only use wooden fibres from suppliers that have been awarded the PEFC certification. These are wooden products from sustainable forestry that meet ecological standards. The certification acknowledging that our NATURinFORM WPC Decking Profiles meet the high quality standards of the Qualitätsgemeinschaft Holzwerk confirms not only the technical and health safety of our products, but also their environmental compatibility.  We are also able to recycle our WPC products by feeding them back into our production procedure to reuse them in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way. Therefore we are happy to take back our original NATURinFORM WPC products if you deliver them to our factory Redwitz an der Rodach, Flurstrasse 7, after we have checked that the product is clean, free of charge.
As there is no legal liability for us to do so, and this is a voluntary and non-binding take-back option, we recommend you get in touch with us before returning your used WPC products to guarantee a smooth procedure. By acting with an ecological conscience you are contributing to an environmentally-friendly production cycle.

How do I dispose of NATURinFORM products?

It is recommended to dispose of WPC-leftovers in bulk rubbish collectors or waste facilities, this may be subject to a charge.

Waste code: 170201

Classification and normal case:
Depending on the polymer used, a classification in the waste wood categories A II or A III is possible. The wood content should be over 50%, which is ensured with all German manufacturers. Waste wood category A II when the polymer consists of polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP).

Is there any waste during production?

Any waste resulting during production is ground, prepared, and put back into the production process, used, for example, to make a new deck, facade, privacy shield and noise protection fence or substructure. In addition, NATURinFORM offers its customers a voluntary and non-binding return option for used NATURinFORM WPC products in order to reuse them through sustainable recycling in an environmentally friendly product cycle.

Laying

How are the individual decks attached to each other to create a patio surface?

The individual decks are laid and connected using specially created and adapted mounting brackets made of stainless steel; in wet and salty areas made of stainless steel V4A; and are practically invisible. These mounting brackets additionally give the patio deck the flexibility that they can expand and shrink depending on the weather, without putting a further strain on the connections.

How are the patio decks assembled? What does the underlying surface have to be like?

You can find all the information you need on our internet page at “Service“ “Laying videos.“ Alternatively, there is a PDF document with extensive information which you can download here:

WPC laying manual

Who can lay WPC decks expertly, what kind of tools do they need?

WPC decks need to be expertly laid according to our given guidelines. Our WPC can be processed using all standard wood-processing tools. (Saws, mills, drills.)

Can individual decks be exchanged from a patio surface if necessary?

Individual decks can be exchanged thanks to the innovative connection system. Download tip laying direction:

WPC laying manual

Can NATURinFORM decks be used as supporting beams or load-bearing structures?

If the deck is to be mounted in an area where building inspectorate approval is required, then it is necessary to have a statically sufficiently calculated load-bearing underlying construction as a surface for the decks. The NATURinFORM deck POPULAR massive has building authority approval. For an application that requires building authority approval, a statically adequate load-bearing underlying flooring is required as support for the decks. Other NATURinFORM decks do not have building authority approval and must not be used as load-bearing structural elements, or as balcony flooring on a beam layer without underlying structure. The material is not approved for this application. A statically dimensioned, closed and supported substructure is required as a support.

Where can I find laying manuals for NATURinFORM products? (selbst übersetzt)

These can be found at www.naturinform.de in the download area. The advice in the laying manual must be adhered to. Here you will be forwarded directly:

WPC Patio Decks – Laying Manual

WPC privacy shield and noise protection fence – Assembly Manual FLEXIBLE

WPC privacy shield and noise protection fence – Assembly Manual EFFECTIVE

Cleaning and Care

How are such surfaces cleaned?

NATURinFORM products can be cleaned easily using water. If there is severe soiling, it is possible to use a high-pressure cleaner (not a steam cleaner) with a maximum of 80 bar, from a distance of at least 20 cm to the deck. Please do not use cleaning agents containing solvents. Additionally, NATURinFORM has a WPC special cleaning agent on offer to clean persistent stains.

The prerequisite for a permanent patio, facade or privacy shield and noise protection fence is compliance with the corresponding installation regulations, which you can download from www.www.naturinform.co.uk .

The decks should be cleaned at least once a year, in the shade or under trees more frequently. You can clean NATURinFORM’s products easily just by using water.

Traces of being used or weathering can simply be brushed off with a hose and broom or mop. If there is more persistent soiling you can use a high-pressure cleaner (not a steam cleaner) with a maximum of 80 bar, from a distance of at least 20 cm to the deck. Thanks to the polymer percentage, our WPC products are low on maintenance.

Painting or oiling to support durability is not necessary. With difficult stains, such as fat or soot, please use our specially developed biologically degradable cleaning agent. With light surfaces, such as the URBANS or the colour edition, you must reckon with an increased care and cleaning effort.

Do WPC decks need to be painted and/or oiled?

WPC decks on principle need not be painted or oiled. If this should nevertheless be desired, please make sure the deck has weathered completely.

External Influences

Which impact does the sun have on the heat production of WPC?

On hot days, and in areas sheltered from wind, it may not be possible to use with direct skin contact, due to high surface temperatures.

What impact does chlorine or salt water have on NATURinFORM products?

Chlorine and salt water have no negative effect on the characteristics of NATURinFORM’s patio decks, facades and privacy shields. When laying a patio, stainless steel V4A mounting brackets must be used, instead of standard stainless steel brackets.

How is the high weatherproof durability of the decks achieved?

Can water seep into the decks and damage them?
Because we have very precise material requirements for the wood shavings and the thermoplastic binding agent, we can ensure the material’s high stability against weathering. Water can (if the decks are laid according to our guidelines) seep into the decks and is dried out of the decks in dry periods. This does not damage the decks at all. To ensure the patio remains durable, you need to keep to the laying manual for the decks, and privacy shields and noise protection fences, which you can download below:

WPC Patio Decks – Laying Manual

Can water stains develop?

On partially roofed terraces, water stains may form in the transition area between roofing and open space. Rainwater is flushed through the covering to the roofing and dries off later. Dust particles are thereby dampened and then dry out, remaining on the surface. On the open area, which is constantly exposed to sun and rain, this effect is not very strong and is due to the manner of construction. There is no impact on the quality and it is therefore not a reason for complaint. The water stains can usually be removed using clear water and standard cleaning tools. This effect will decrease as time goes by, but cannot be completely avoided.

Can an electrostatic charge occur?

An electrostatic charge can occur when relative humidity is low and there has been a longer period of aridity. By using a ground cable between the surface and a balustrade, wall, or anything equivalent, it is possible to avoid electrostatic charges.

Similar to the natural product wood, can there be curvature in fences?

As all NATURinFORM privacy shields and noise protection fences (EFFECTIVE, FLEXIBLE, as well as the Universal Slats) consist of high-quality WPC profiles which contain a high proportion of wood with 70 % of domestic woods, the WPC profiles weather similarly to the natural product wood. In individual cases, the interplay of sunlight, shading and the effects of moisture, depending on the specific application and installation situation, leads to a colour change, e.g. a lightening of the WPC profiles and, in some cases, to deformations, especially curvatures. These weather-induced deformations and colour changes are product-specific, as with the natural product wood, and do not represent a defect, but a natural, normal product characteristic due to the high wood content.

What impact do substances containing iron have on NATURinFORM products?

Watersolvent tanning agents can be in our raw material wood, which can react to minimum amounts of iron and lead to a grey-blue-black colouring. This can happen if plant or lawn fertilisers containing iron are used or if products containing iron weather on the decks’ surface.

What influence do wood-destroying fungi have on WPC decks?

In the process engineering wood materials department at the Fraunhofer-Institut for wood research Wilhelm-Klauditz- Institut WKI, Braunschweig, in February 2012 the resistancy of our wood composite decks was tested in accordance to DIN/TS 15534-1 (2007) or DIN ENV 12038 (2002) respectively. The evaluation took place according to testing wood (DIN CEN/TS 15083-1) with the result – Durability Class 1 – very durable.

Packaging Act

What will change as a result of the new German Packaging Act and how does NATURinFORM deal with packaging material?

The new Packaging Act (VerpackG) has been in force since 1 January 2019. It replaces the previous Packaging Regulation, consolidates, expands and concretises its contents in order to prevent loopholes. NATURinFORM supports the approach of taking responsibility and protecting the environment. Our company is registered with the ZSVR (Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister https://www.verpackungsregister.org) with the following number: DE5936395242201. NATURinFORM also holds a recycling certificate from intersoh for transport packaging and commercial sales packaging. NATURinFORM can also prove participation in the Dual System.

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