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How to stop decking becoming slippery

Posted in: Ideas and Advice
14 September 2022

How to stop decking becoming slippery

Like it or not, summer is nearly over and cooler, damp weather is on the way so, what can you do to protect your deck?


As we move from Summer into Autumn, it’s more likely your decking area will become slippery. When you include ice and snow, slippery decking can pose a serious safety risk so its worth knowing how to prevent this..

Check out our list of eight easy tips on how to stop decking becoming slippery to help you prevent any tumbles this winter

1.Keep it clear of leaves, debris and fungus

If your decking has a covering of fallen, leaves, twigs or even fungus, your first step should be to remove this. For removal of any algae or fungus, use a stiff-bristle brush (to protect your timber or composite decking boards, always use a brush or a plastic scraper) Try getting into the routine of giving your decking a good brush down every two weeks to remove fresh fungal growth and stray leaves – the more regularly you do this, the less the chance of a build-up over winter.

2.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!

3.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.

4.Try using rubber mats

One way, possibly not the most attractive, would be to use some rubber matting as a quick and easy way to make decking non-slip. Although a temporary solution, they will get you safely through the winter months. Simply lay yourself a narrow walkway using the mats, which are designed to withstand all weather conditions, and then store them away for next year once the weather dries up again in the spring.

5.Safely remove any ice

In the depths of winter when the frost is biting and ice and snow hit, your deck boards can become extremely slippery. You might think of going in and hacking away the ice and shovelling away the snow with metal tools or even spreading some salt down, but, hold on, all of these will not be liked by either your timber or composite decking (although grit is fine to use on composite decking if lightly brushed off after the ice has melted).

Gripsure decking installed at BluebellsGripsure decking installed at Bluebells
©2021 Tom Nicholson. 12/04/2021. St Austell, UK. Gripsure decking installed at Bluebells, Boswinger, St Austell, Cornwall. Photo credit : Tom Nicholson
Gripsure DeckingGripsure Decking
Gripsure Decking lifestyle shots for Homebase at Bluebells, Boswinger, Cornwall, Britain on 8 August 2016.

Gripsure Decking lifestyle shots for Homebase at Bluebells, Boswinger, Cornwall, Britain on 8 August 2016.

Gripsure Decking lifestyle shots for Homebase at Bluebells, Boswinger, Cornwall, Britain on 8 August 2016.

6. Apply Non-Slip Decking Strips or Tape

If we assume that you don’t already have a non-slip decking option, another quick and easy method to make your decking non-slip is to apply specially made abrasive strips on non-slip decking tape.

Abrasive, non-slip decking strips are the more permanent solution, as they need to be screwed into the surface of your decking (this works best in decking with grooved boards, but check the dimensions and widths of all strips before you buy). Non-slip tape is a cheaper and much faster way to stop decking being slippery, but isn’t necessarily a long-term solution.

7.Apply Non-slip Decking Oil

If you have a little more time on your hands, you can apply various treatments to your decking timber to help prevent the surface from becoming slippery. While non-slip paints and varnishes work well in the short term, they tend to start flaking off before long. An anti-slip decking oil, on the other hand, will not crack or peel and is easy to replenish when needed. These oils are usually natural and contain compressed particles to create a rougher, non-slip surface. This option can be a little pricey, especially if you have a very large decking area, but it’s a worthwhile investment if you don’t want to change the appearance of your decking too much. And what about that bonus long-term option we promised … ?

8.Install a Non-slip Deck

This is an especially good option for those with existing decking that’s on its last legs, or those looking to install a brand new deck from scratch. Installing a specially-designed anti-slip deck will eliminate the need for all of the above preventative measures. Anti-slip decking is made with pre-treated timber that is resistant to fungal growth and insect attacks, and features built-in abrasive strip inserts that blend in with an attractive, natural look. Having an anti-slip deck installed means long-term peace of mind and an easy life; ideal if you don’t have time to scrape and scrub your decking every time it rains or snows.

Here at Arnold Laver, we stock a range of sturdy, high-quality anti-slip decking boards to help you create the ultimate non-slip decking that will last for years and years to come.

If you need help or advice on your timber deck drop by any of our depots and speak to one of our experts!

Decking Essentials

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