A slippery deck is a danger for everyone! Summer or winter, it’s important to ensure that your deck provides all users with adequate traction.
What causes a deck to be slippery?
Most people think that moisture makes their deck slippery but precipitation is not the complete picture. Debris (leaves, twigs, dirt) holds moisture against your deck creating an environment perfect for the formation of algae, fungus, moss and mold. These mini plants and organisms are what make the surface of your deck so slippery. Covering this growth with the snow and ice of winter only makes it worse!
How can I make my deck a no-slip zone?
- The easiest way to ensure you have a no-slip deck is to build one!
- Composite is a good material for this goal. The latest composite planks provide grip, resist peeling, reduce the risk of absorbing moisture, are resistant to gouging, and discourage the growth of mold and moss.
- Build with anti-slip decking boards that have abrasive strips embedded in them. These bands are made of a specially formulated mixture of resin and aggregate. Sitting just a little higher than the plank, the strips add texture to the deck surface providing traction for users. Anti-slip decking planks come in softwood, hardwood and composite.
- What if you have an existing wood deck and a problem with slipperiness? There are many “fixes” to choose from.
- Keep your deck clean: To reduce the chance of growing mold, moss and fungus, frequently use a stiff broom to remove any organic matter. Keep your deck clear of snow and ice in the winter. Use a salt-free melting product to help maintain safe winter footing.
- Use anti–slip mats: Made of rubber or similar synthetic and boasting a textured surface, anti-slip mats can be placed in frequently used areas; the top of the steps, in front of the door, and next to the hot tub or pool.
- Add non-slip strips: Place these abrasive strips in high-risk areas of your deck. Choose strips that are attached to the deck with screws as they are secure and long lasting.
- Try slip-resistant inserts: These inlays are coated with a coarse and durable substance, fit into the gaps between your deck planks and offer excellent traction.
- Add traction tape: Not as durable as strips or inserts, traction tape is inexpensive and easy to install, and can be placed in locations where slips are likely to occur.
- Add an anti-slip coating: Choose from anti-slip paint, varnish, oil or sealer. All contain suspended organic particles and deliver a reliable anti-slip surface. Some even contain ingredients designed to discourage the growth of mold, algae and fungus.
Whether you are building new or retrofitting an existing deck, make sure that your deck surface provides grip and is safe for all users. With so many solutions to choose from you are sure to find one that meets your needs and is within your abilities.
If you have questions regarding no-slip decking or you’re looking for deck building advice, contact the Calgary based decking experts; Econo Decks at 403-768-0151 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com