How to stop decking being slippery?

rain on composite decking

As we head into the winter months, temperatures will drop, leaves will collect on the deck, and the amount of sunlight decreases, which may cause decking to become slippery!

And while there’s not much anyone can do about the sun or the temperature, there’s a lot you can do to protect your decking any time of the year. We’ll discuss common reasons your deck may become slippery in the winter and what you can do to protect it.

How does decking become slippery?

There’s lots of reasons why decking can become slippery, particularly in winter. The most obvious reason timber decking can become slippery is because it’s porous — this means water can collect in between the wood fibres. Water in heavy doses can harm the integrity of wood which is why it usually needs to be treated either at the mill during production or once you’ve completed your project. This is why standing water can further increase the chances of other issues forming as we’ll outline.

Algae and Moss

One of the most common reasons your deck may become slippery is algae and moss growth. As we’ve previously discussed, your decking is outside and exposed to the elements which can lead to moisture, collecting on your deck. This moisture when combined with temperatures and lack of sunlight create the perfect conditions for algae and moss to grow.

wet decking boards

Debris

Another common cause of slippery decking is debris — particularly as the leaves begin to fall during autumn. The collection of leaves can be unsafe if they are allowed collect on walkways or stairs. Once the rain falls the leaves can become slippery and cause a potential hazard. In addition the decay of leaves can help speed up the growth of bacteria, fungus, mould, algae, or moss on your deck.

Clean your deck regularly

The best way to help maintain your deck during winter is to clean it regularly. We aren’t talking about the full pressure washing — more of clearing debris with a broom or sweeping standing water off your deck once the rain has stopped.

You may find it helpful to use a trowel or other thin tool to remove stuck leaves from in-between your decking boards. The most important thing to remember is if snow is predicted that you clear your deck prior to the snow falling. As debris when covered by snow can cause growth and can increase the weight of your decking — which may not be able to handle the extra weight.

Use algae and moss killers

Another way to improve the health of your deck is to observe for moss or algae on a regular basis. You’ll notice green spots or streaks in your decking boards that may not be present elsewhere.

You can reduce the need to use algae and moss cleaners by purchasing grooved decking boards. Though in places where it rains a lot you may need to invest in a good moss and algae killing product if you start to see it appear!

Consider a slip-resistant coating

If you’ve tried all of our suggestions and are still experiencing getting lots of algae and moss every year it may be time to consider slip-resistant coating.

There are some types of slip-resistant coating that can fit in between your grooved decking boards. This method can be applied retroactively and doesn’t always need to be done with the installation of your deck. We recommend you use slip resistant coating if you have continued slippery spots on high traffic walkways or steps on your deck.

non slip decking strips

We know the value of making your timber deck last as long as possible! And in the North of England this can be especially tricky — but the good news is no matter what, we’re here to help! At Savoy Timber, we stock a range of decking boards to suit all budgets and projects.

If you need help or advice on your timber deck drop by any of our stores in Blackpool, Preston, or Wigan and speak to one of our experts!

Or, you could pick a new or replacement decking boards right here on our website! And if you have any questions or still need help on deciding what to do about your slippery deck, please feel free to give us a call on 0345 0268 799.