We’ve mistreated Flexiteek 2G , here is what happened
Natural or synthetic teak? This question has become a part of everyday life in the minds of boat owners. If, initially, with the sale of the first synthetic materials designed for boat decks, the answer leaned towards natural wood, now, with the marketing of new technologies and cutting-edge products, the trend has completely changed direction.
On the one side, the ecological aspect ( deforestation has reached unacceptable levels); on the other side, considerations about product maintenance and durability is leading an increasing number of boat owners to choose synthetic teak for their own boats.
With the purpose of better understanding the reactions of synthetic teak to typical situations that can occur on board, such as dispersion of staining products on the surface and impact damage, we’ve decided to simulate such events and document them for you.
The product we chose for our tests is the new Flexiteek 2G, a real innovative product, highly appreciated by both customers and shipyards and that has progressively acquired a leading role on the market, establishing itself as the most widespread synthetic teak currently available.
We therefore visited Teknoteek, the Italian importer, near Bologna to strain this product.
The Synthetic Teak Test
The first question we asked ourselves was: how does Flexiteek 2G react to the “attacks” of the most common staining products that are more easily absorbed by traditional wood?
We therefore simulated some situations that, on natural teak decks, would require long cleaning operations and difficult maintenance to re-establish normal conditions or that, sometimes, would have irreparably compromised the material.
Our first test consisted in pouring on Flexiteek 2G all the liquids that are commonly, and distractedly, poured on boat decks.
As a result, to our great surprise, elements like coffee, red wine, hand lotion, cooking oil, fuel oil and grease, if immediately removed with a simple cloth or rinsed, leave no spot.
Then, we also considered the case where these products stay longer on the surface and get dry. What would have happened and what to do?
Well, we verified that, with Flexiteek 2G, you only need to clean the halo provoked by the drying product with a simple detergent ( in our case, a universal degreaser). With the help of a scourer or a gentle rubbing, the material will be brought back to its original condition.
A degreaser would have stained natural teak but, in our case, it was the “remedy”, without removing even an inch of the srface layer of the material.
Even though, in our case, no type of spot resisted, the importer has assured us that, in the event that a more aggressive product was poured, even a nail varnish remover can be used.
Without any hesitation, we tried that.
Fully aware of the possible effects of such an action on natural wood, that is the spot itself and the melting of seams, we poured the terrible liquid on our piece of Flexiteek 2G. As a result, the nail varnish remover removed the spot, leaving a light ring but without provoking any damage. At this point, with the help of some abrasive paper, the material was brought back to its initial condition and, above all, it recovered its original colour, preventing us from intervening on the neighboring areas in order to make the whole uniform.
Now, you’re probably wondering why we used a nail varnish remover instead of sanding. Well, we could have done that, considering the result but it is easier to remove dirty with a chemical product and, then, use some abrasive paper for a more precise, shorter and more efficient work.
Repairing scratches or damage provoked by object impacts
Other concerns of teak deck owners concern the eventual fall of sharp or heavy objects which might create holes or digs on the deck along with the event of objects dragged on the deck which might provoke real canyon-shaped grooves.
In order to simulate these situations, we pierced a lag of Flexiteek 2G with the tip of a screwdriver. During this operation, we realized how difficult it is to scratch the material and leave a visible trace if compared to natural teak.
The gummy composition of the material, in fact, absorbs and elastically distributes pressure on a wider surface.
On a deck made of natural wood, such a damage would require the complete replacement of the lag; with Flexiteek 2G, instead, this operation is quite easy. Indeed, you only need to fill the hole with some new material of the same colour.
The repair kit consist of a Flexiteek filament (with a diameter of about 4 mm) and a glue gun. You only have to heat the filament up, melt and apply it on the damaged surface; a gentle spatula treatment will be enough to level the surface ( in the event of more serious damage, the operation must be repeated more times with parallel applications).
Once the material you have added has got cold, you only need to sand gently, always in parallel to the lag.
In this case, too, we noticed that it was not necessary to sand the whole deck to make the colour uniform.
Sanding is recommended in case of lines or small grooves. Unlike natural wood, this material is not worn out by repeated cleaning operations or elements. This is very important because, unlike natural teak, this material allows not to reduce the width of the deck or even to replace it after some years.
Flexiteek 2G passed our tests with honours. In particular, there are two aspects to consider.
First of all, cleaning will be easier, faster and, above all, without any doubts about the detergent/soap to use, which translates into a considerable time and money saving.
Moreover, the material is plastic and therefore water-resistant and able to absorb dirty. This is a clear advantage for all those who, like me, know what it means to restore the original dark brown colour of a teak deck!
Secondly, thanks to Flexiteek 2G, costs will be undoubtedly lower in terms of ordinary and extraordinary deck maintenance. Finally, synthetic teak is a material whose life is potentially everlasting and this last consideration suggests that deck refitting will be never necessary, which translates into an additional remarkable saving.
Teaknotek Srl – Via Guidetti, 45 – Passo Segni (BO)
Tel. 388 3422028 – firstname.lastname@example.org