Composite decking is a popular choice for homeowners because it doesn’t require as much maintenance as traditional wood decking.
However, some people wonder if composite decking is slippery when wet. In this blog post, we will explore the question of whether composite decks are slippery and provide tips for preventing falls on your deck.
Is Composite Decking Slippery When Wet?
Yes, when it rains, most composite decks become more slippery. However, Some manufacturers treat their decking materials with special oils that repel water rather than absorb it.
These deck boards remain safe to walk on even in wet conditions. This blog post will show you what makes composite decking boards slippery and how you can make the decking less slippery.
What Makes Composite Decking Slippery
Composite decking is made from a mixture of plastic and wood fiber. When it rains, this decking will absorb the water and become very slippery.
This is because your feet press down when you walk across the decking, forcing the water out from under your feet. This creates a layer of water between the deck and your shoes or feet, making you slip.
The best way to stop this is to repel water from the decking. You can do this by sanding, sealing, or staining your deck.
Dirt and debris
Fallen leaves, mold, algae, mildew, and decaying vegetation `promote algae and lichen growth. These possible risks may be invisible in dry weather conditions, but they become a risk in damp conditions, making your decking slippery when wet.
Rain and Snow that turns into water and freeze into ice can make your composite deck a risky ice rink during the winter. You may install composite decking and presume it to be slip-free, hoping mold and algae won’t grow on your composite decking materials.
Though this might be true, remember, fallen leaves, debris, and dirt, that fall onto the deck surface could still cause mildew and mold.
Pros of Non-slip Composite Decking
Friendly to the environment
Over the last few decades, composite decking, also referred to as wood-polymer composite (WPC decking) or synthetic decking, has become the favored decking material.
It is environmentally friendly, lightweight, low maintenance, available in various colors and designs, and does not break or rot. It’s also stain, moisture, and weather-resistant.
Nevertheless, composite decking brands are susceptible to mold and mildew, especially when installed in the shade. No trees get harmed in the production of composite decks!
Because most of them are manufactured from recycled or scrap substances, they have almost no environmental impact—particularly when compared to wood decks requiring a considerable amount of lumber.
No need for sanding
You don’t need to re-sand or refinish your deck – If you’ve ever sanded and refinished a deck, you’ll know how messy and time-consuming the job is.
However, if you install non-slip composite decking, you don’t need to worry about sanding and to refinish your deck yearly – it stays protected.
A deck should be long-lasting to be worth its price. Furthermore, if it will be the site of several family gatherings, it must be extremely sturdy to support the weight of individuals, furniture, and pets.
Composite decks are made of different strong materials for superb strength and resistance to the usual wear and tear for decades.
More color options
Whereas wood decks can be painted or stained in different finishes, they will most require touch-ups or new coats over time.
On the other hand, composite decking is available in various finishes, which will keep their color for years. But can you paint composite decking or Trex? Well, you can also decide to paint your composite deck if you want specific color options.
However, painting between deck boards may require a bit more attention and precision to achieve a polished look.
There are no splinters
You can authoritatively walk across composite deckings barefoot without fear of splinters! This is great news for you, your children, and your pets because no one will be injured.
Because composite decking does not deteriorate and rot like typical wood, it requires little maintenance. You do not need to stain or paint it again! To keep it looking good, you’ll need to hose it down or power wash it now and then.
Disadvantages of Composite Decks
They’re more expensive than wood
The cost of durability is higher because composite decking is pricier than wood. The composite material may cost 10 to 20% more than pressure-treated wood.
Read also: Is a concrete patio cheaper than a deck?
Composites are not natural materials. No matter how hard composites are made to mimic wood, they are not. The best way to fully appreciate the beauty of natural wood deck is to use the real thing.
Needs regular maintenance
Composite decks do require some maintenance. They, like wood decks, need you to sweep up fallen leaves and debris and use a pressure washer to deep clean them regularly.
You’ll have to do comparison shopping if you need a highly resistant anti-slip deck. Since there are numerous composite manufacturers, it is critical to compare prices and inquire about durability.
How to Make Composite Decking less Slippery
You could do several things to make your deck slip-resistant. Here’s what you can do to give your deck anti slip performance.
Apply nonslip coatings or anti slip coating
Applying a nonslip paint deck can give it a facelift. Before applying the coating, ensure the decking boards are completely clean so the paint will adhere. When dry, it will have an excellent textured finish that inhibits slipperiness.
If you don’t need to alter the entire surface of your deck, opt for a sealer with sand additive for great underfoot traction. If you prefer a do-it-yourself approach, mix sand into the best color for deck paint of your choice.
Sand the deck surface thoroughly. Once the first coat dries, apply a second one to ensure the sand does what it needs.
Use slip-resistant mats
Suppose you don’t want to make permanent changes to your deck; use antislip rubber rugs, non slip rugs, or mats.
They layer on top of composite materials and prevent slips when the decking is wet. You can remove them during summer and show off your serene decking surface.
Try slip-resistant tape
Choose antislip tape if you want a quick solution that demands little labor to give your deck antislip performance, just like mats or nonslip rugs.
It’s just like an ordinary masking tape, except it has a sandpaper finish that provides excellent grip when you walk over it, even in winter.
Install handrails in high-risk areas
Install handrails and inspect them regularly. Installing shingles is one of the best ways to prevent serious injury from decking accidents. Ensure wooden rails are secure and won’t splinter; inspect them yearly.
Install rubber mats at the bottom of any steps – this will create a nonslip surface and protect the decking from damage.
Consider using decking with grooves
Walking on a slippery surface is not fun as it can be accident-prone. Consider buying textured composite decking boards if you are building a new deck or replacing old decking to steer clear of slippery composite decking.
Pick boards with grains, or even better, boards with a grooved surface. Furrowed and grooved composite decking provides more friction, which aids in slip resistance.
Buy a deck treated with special oils
One of the best ways to prevent your composite decking from becoming dangerously slippery is to use a composite decking that has been specially treated with oils.
This treatment repels water, preventing it from seeping into the board and making it slippery. Some manufacturers also offer antislip composite decking that includes natural rubber granules.
How to Care and Maintain Composite Decking Boards
Ask your decking manufacturer about any special care instructions. Since older composite boards were not produced with a mildewcide, property owners with aged decks might need extra precautions to halt or slow mildew growth.
As mildewcide addition in a composite board became an industry norm, homeowners with decks manufactured from modern composite boards may have varied cleaning instructions.
It’s fine if you bought a house with a composite deck but don’t know who made it. Follow these steps to clean and maintain your deck.
Select the best deck cleaner
Buy quality composite deck cleaners specifically for cleaning composite decks, not for wood decking. Clean capped composite decks with dish soap and water.
Clean standard composite boards with composite cleaners. Scrub the deck with a soft brush or small tool to avoid prematurely wearing your deck’s surface texture.
Follow the directions on your favorite cleaner and choose a day that is not very hot to work on your deck. Move the furniture and tarp immovable fixtures.
Repair and spot clean soiled areas
Don’t let stains accumulate. Clean up spills as soon as you can to stop them from getting worse as time goes by. Resecure loose screws when cleaning the deck. Sweep your deck regularly to discourage mold and moss growth.
If water builds up on your composite deck after a torrential downpour, sweep it off to enable it to dry faster and reduce the likelihood of mildew growth.
Regular cleaning of the deck with a power washer keeps it safe to walk on even in winter and rainy seasons.
Power wash your deck atleast once a year
Power wash your deck to eliminate clogged dirt, mildew, and stains. Clean your composite decks with a normal garden hose.
Mildew-stained decks need a firmer stream of water. Power washing reduces the time spent scouring to remove dirt.
Clean the deck with regular composite deck cleaners
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using composite decking cleaner. Also, you can use a solution of dish soap and water.
Scrub-stained areas with a soft-bristle brush or lint-free cloth. A stiff brush can scratch or affect the finish of your decking, so avoid using it.
Replace your tables and chairs once it has dried. Rearrange your furniture regularly to keep it from scratching or discoloring your decking.
Best Grip Composite Decking
Decks are fantastic for savoring the outdoors. However, snow will be an issue you will grapple with if you reside in snow-prone areas. Every year, winter arrives, bringing with it snow.
So, you need to install snow-resistant decking so that you can enjoy your deck without fear of falling. The best composite decking should be durable and have high traction to prevent slips while walking, even after a massive snowfall.
The composite decking brands with excellent grip includes Timber tek, Deckorators, Fiberon Wolf decking, and DuraLife.
Some decking materials become more slippery when wet, so build your deck with gaps between planks for excellent drainage.
Also, tilt the deck to allow water to run off the slope rather than accumulate. Shaded deck sections will remain wetter for longer because they do not receive enough sunlight to dry quickly.
You can apply the antislip coating to give the decks excellent traction and minimize slip and fall accidents even in rainy seasons.