My Deck is Slippy

My deck is Slippy

Help, I have just slipped on my decking… Slippery decking advice

I would perhaps suggest it is your dirty deck that has algae on the surface is slippery and not your timber. Any untreated or non-maintained surface that has poor maintenance is more than likely to be slippery. There are many factors effecting exactly how slippery your deck is, to reduce the slip factor the correct use of materials and sound design will reduce this.

A wet deck has a lower slip resistance and thus should factored in when designing. A suggested run off or falls of 1:80 may be considered but really not essential.

It is important to fully understand that a smooth board is by far more non slip than any grooved or ribbed profile. Ribbed profiles are intended to be used smooth (or other) side up and the ribbed surface used for the underside, this then acts a drip for the water to fall away from the joists.

A ribbed surface on a deck is not intended to be used with the ribbed face on the surface

If you consider the grooves in some decking installations, when your foot is in contact the reduced surface area equates to a reduced friction area and thus offers less slip than many assume. By having grooves in your deck the maintenance is far more complex than a smooth deck, you can only brush on one direction and of course how do you get a sander in these grooves? These grooves are far more likely to be trap for debris and cause an enhanced rate of growth of algae…

Anti-slip coatings are great and one hand and not so great on the other, what was the surface condition like prior to the product being applied? How much was applied and how? What is the foot traffic and wear rate? What’s the weather like and has been since the product was applied? Too many variables will affect the results of an anti-slip coating… Use with caution.

Anti-slip inserts are of some use in high foot traffic areas; these do eventually wear and also get clogged with foreign matter to require maintenance to keep them viable as an anti-slip material.

The main cause of a slippery deck is lack of maintenance. A clean deck will have no algal build up and thus have maximum anti-slip properties.

If your deck is in permanent shade, north facing or under a tree, be aware that the maintenance will be more than double to ensure a non-slip deck

Keep your deck smooth, clean and keep your deck safe.

Self Maintaining Timber Decking

There is no such thing as self-cleaning decking. Timber decking “WILL” change colour when left outside. If you think just because you paid a fortune for your rare hardwood timber decking it will look brand new for ever IT WILL NOT. 

If it is not cleaned it will stay dirty.

Timber left untreated will change colour, treated timber will still change colour.

Timber is not slippery; it is the algae on the dirt on your deck that is slippery.

The original colour of the timber can be returned.

Timber is an organic, neither the colour, texture, size nor shape will remain exact after installation it will check, warp, split and crack. This can never be avoided in full but simply kept to a minimum should a professional company install your deck with proper materials and provide regular maintenance.

If you are considering legal action because your timber decking has changed colour, don’t bother as the judge will dismiss your claim in a heartbeat and you will have wasted your time and money.

Decking maintenance products

Do consider Owatrol deck maintenance products if you think that “My Deck is Slippy”. Usually supplied the next day and they have a great website full of advice about decking maintenance too.

If you have any further questions about “my deck is slippy” contact us here [email protected] 

Owatrol UK on the decking network
Owatrol is the Uk’s leading decking maintenance brand

Leave a comment