Composite decking is a popular option for decking and one that we use regularly here at Elevate Decking, but is composite decking slippery?
Composite decking can become slippery if it isn’t maintained correctly, but if it is looked after it shouldn’t be slippery at all, even when wet.
Below, we will explain what composite decking is, why composite decking can get slippery, and how you can prevent your composite deck from being slippery.
What Is Composite Decking?
When searching for materials for a deck, composite decking is a common choice. It is inexpensive and looks great. It is also an eco-friendly alternative to wood decking and requires less maintenance. Due to the fibres used to construct the composite boards, they won’t shift or warp due to temperature changes.
Despite the numerous benefits of composite decking (such as lifespan among many others), some people deter from it and opt for wood due to the slipperiness of this type of decking. There are options to combat this.
Why Composite Decking Can Get Slippery
Overall, composite decking isn’t slippery even when it is wet. However, over time, dirt, leaves, and other debris can accumulate on your deck.
If this debris is left unattended on your deck for an extended period of time, it can create a safety hazard for anyone who steps foot onto the deck. It is a breeding ground for mould, not to mention the fact that it is just unattractive.
One of the main reasons composite decking becomes slippery is due to the growth of mildew, mould, algae, and fungus. These do not grow on your composite decking naturally (they can’t!), but they do grow on the debris that falls and sits on the deck.
Another reason composite decking can get slippery is the winter weather. Of course, the winter can cause any material to become slippery.
Generally, water doesn’t make composite decking slippery. Instead, it is the accumulation of water and ice on the decking boards.
Modern composite decking boards are designed better than boards years ago. So, if you have an older deck, there is a good chance that you will experience a slippery deck quite often. These older forms of composite decking absorb moisture quicker, which can lead to the growth of mould and algae.
How to Prevent a Slippery Composite Deck
The good news is that you can take certain preventative measures that will help prevent your composite decking from being slippery.
Keep the Composite Decking Clean and Dry
As previously mentioned, the composite decking itself doesn’t absorb actual moisture, but surface water can serve as the perfect breeding ground for algae and mould. Therefore, the most important thing you can do is keep the decking clean and dry.
This means removing fallen leaves, dirt, pollen, and debris from the deck, as they can hold moisture and cause mould and fungi to grow.
Throughout the winter, the decking needs to be kept as dry as possible. This will prevent someone from slipping and falling while also protecting the decking boards. Non-abrasive methods of removal should be used when snow or ice accumulates.
Ensure Proper Drainage of the Deck
When composite decking is installed, it needs to be installed in such a way that rain can be properly drained. The spaces or gaps between each board need to remain clean so that water can flow through with ease. If water pools on the surface of the deck, mould and fungi are likely to grow.
Opt for Grooved Decking Boards
If you intend to replace your old decking or build a brand-new deck, consider using textured composite boards. Boards with grooved surfaces or grains can help improve friction, thereby reducing the risk of slips and falls.
Apply Extra Protective Coating to the Boards
An additional layer of protection on top of your composite decking can also help prevent it from becoming slippery. There are numerous ways you can do this. You could choose to apply non-slip paint, which is great if you’re looking to give your deck a facelift.
Just make sure the deck is spotless and dry before applying the paint. Otherwise, it may not stick properly. Once applied, the textured finish that the non-slip paint provides to the deck will prevent slipperiness.
If you aren’t interested in changing the colour and appearance of your deck, you can apply a special sealer that has been made with sand. This type of sealer is great for underfoot traction. Apply a second coat of this sealer once the first has completely dried.
Add Slip-Resistant Mats or Rugs
If a permanent change to your deck doesn’t sound interesting, consider slip-resistant mats or rugs. These are simply placed on top of the surface of your deck and will help in the prevention of slips and trips, even when the surface is slick.
The mats/rugs can be removed during the summer, allowing you to continue showing off the beauty of your deck.
Safety must always be taken into consideration when building a deck, especially if you plan on using it for an extended outdoor living or entertainment space. Composite decking is a very popular choice of material for decks.
Even though this type of deck can become slippery under the right circumstances, proper maintenance can keep the composite decking from becoming a slip hazard. If you have any questions about composite decking maintenance, don’t hesitate to get in touch.