Slippery Decking

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Lily1968, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. Lily1968

    Lily1968 Gardener

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    I have never had decking before but today I slipped and fell on the decking in our new house. It really is treacherous stuff when wet. I took a really sore fall on it. I remember the previous owner saying he had oiled it. I wondered if anyone has found a product that can be used to stop slipping on decking?
     
  2. clueless1

    clueless1 member... yep, that's what I am:)

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    First up, I hope you're ok.

    I've noticed in the countryside, wherever you come across wooden walkways and bridges these days, there is always wire mesh stapled onto it, because wood in general does get slippery when wet.

    About a year ago, I did a thread on here asking for opinions on patio vs decking, and based on feedback from here as well as friends and family, I went for the patio option, because everyone agreed that decking is treacherous when wet.

    Sorry this doesn't help, because I guess you're not going to tear up the decking and replace it with a stone patio, and mesh isn't the prettiest solution. Hopefully someone will have a practical solution, in the meantime, all I can say is take care.
     
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    • Aesculus

      Aesculus Bureaucrat 34 (Admin)

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      I think I've read what makes it slippery is the build of algae and grime and that using a pressure sprayer regularly will stop it from being so slippery
       
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      • miraflores

        miraflores Total Gardener

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        Hi Lily1968, I am very good at slipping also... Best thing to do is to wear shoes with a suitable sole (rubbery and not just flat, with some motifs on it) and not loose fitting.

        Same principle you can apply to the decking surface. There is a special soft rubber that you frequently find at the bottom of slides in children playground and it is definitely non slippery.

        Good luck and I hope your fall will not have any lasting consequences...:dbgrtmb:
         
      • *dim*

        *dim* Head Gardener

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        • Fidgetsmum

          Fidgetsmum Total Gardener

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          The step outside my back-door is made from the boards left over from when I built our deck (7 or 8 years ago), it's North facing and can get lethal, even when there's no frost or ice.

          Algae and grime aside (both of which contribute to slippery decking), the nature of the beast - i.e. it being wood - doesn't actually help since it becomes smooth with wear and, if your deck is 'grooved' then the actual surface area you walk on is tiny compared with the overall size of each board.

          There are a number of things you can do:

          You can give it a damned good clean with the ubiquitous pressure washer if you've got one. I haven't, so I use a couple of buckets and a 'deck brush' (essentially a wire brush on a long handle, bought from B&Q) which saves getting down on your hands and knees. The wire brush is often sufficient to roughen the fibres in the wood to prevent it being quite so slippery.

          You need to treat the decking of course, and to do that I use Ronseal Decking Cleaner and Reviver, (other similar products are available!).

          You can buy anti-slip products, Blackfriar Anti-Slip Deck Coating or Cuprinol Anti-Slip Decking Treatment, both about £29 for 2.5 litres.

          Some people suggest mixing sand with whatever product you 'paint' decking with, but if you're thinking of 'painting' it with something like yacht varnish, then remember that those type of products only sit on the surface of the wood and, consequently, will flake off over time making your deck look a complete mess.

          The previous owner of your deck has done exactly what he/she should, and used a deck oil - these products are preservatives which seep into the wood helping to preserve it by repelling water (they're not an 'oil slick' which sits on the surface!!).

          Finally, what I've done to my step edges, (although not to the deck itself) is attach some 3M external anti-slip tape.
           
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          • JWK

            JWK Gardener

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            Sorry you hurt youself. I'm not sure if oil is the best thing, it might protect the wood but it stops water sinking in hence you have a much more slippery deck.

            Decking is worse for algae build up if its in the shade and over the winter when there are low light levels. I've got some down the side of our house just built in the spring. So far it hasn't gone slippery but I'm sure it will. I intend to paint it with ordinary decking paint (not oil) mixed with a little dry sharp sand. Hopefully that will give it some grip. As I say I haven't tried it yet so it will be an expeiment. If it doesn't work I'll use the chicken wire idea mentioned above. That won't look very nice but it's better than falling over.
             
          • *dim*

            *dim* Head Gardener

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            last weekend, I done a yearly maintenace gardening job at a home in Peterborough which included sanding and painting the decking ... (I work for the owner on a 2 weekly basis at his other home in cambridge .... the home in peterborough is rented out i.e. it is his 2nd home)

            he painted the decking 2 years ago and now regrets it .... it costs approx £40 to buy the decking paint which is applied with a roller ... and takes ages to sand it down, even with an electric sander, and you cannot get the old paint out of the grooves .... the decking paint flakes/chips after a short while and never looks good ... even when newly painted ...

            I think that is why some people opt for oiling instead of painting?
             
          • Lily1968

            Lily1968 Gardener

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            Thanks for all your replies. The decking is really beautiful, but as I said lethal in wet weather, so we have decided to put up temporary fencing for the winter around it. We power washed it today and there was a lot of algae type stuff that came off it that was barely visible to the eye. My 2 young nieces often come to visit and they are whirlwinds running around. I'd be terrified they slipped on it like I did yesterday, hence the decision to temp fence off the parts that don't already have balustrade around it. I have a rather swollen and bruised elbow, have hurt my back where I landed at the bottom of my spine and an egg on my head at the back. I said to my other half today, the space could be much better utilized as a veg plot and would be much less of a hazard :) We will see if he still agrees with me in Spring :D
             
          • JWK

            JWK Gardener

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            Yes lily, use the space for veggies , rip up the decking and use it to create raised beds.
             
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            • Mark Shaw

              Mark Shaw Apprentice Gardener

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              Slippery decking is a real problem in the UK. I tried jet washing and then using cuprinol anti slip decking stain but found it was only a temporary measure. So I replaced old cheap decking and invested in some quality non slip decking from Gripsure. You can also get cheaper variations but I'm staying in our current house for 10 years at least so it's worth the investment, especially with children running around. We also have a north facing garden with the decking receiving very little sunshine during autumn and winter.
               
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              • silu

                silu gardening easy...hmmm

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                Whoever promoted decking in the UK (probably timber merchants) should be shot IMO. We do not have suitable weather really and I personally think they look ghastly. Maybe it was the same people who promoted timber clad buildings, again dreadful in our climate and huge amounts of upkeep. I went a nose dive on a friend's decking about a year ago and my elbow still isn't right. They seem a health hazard and a lot of hard work to keep even looking semi good...on 2nd thoughts maybe it was Cuprinol or Ronseal who waxed lyrical about them and promoted that they were a must have in every garden having a vested interest ...I don't have decking, funny that! No doubt I'll get lambasted by people who LOVE their decking. Post photos up and maybe just maybe I might be persuaded to change my mind:)
                 
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                • Ian Taylor

                  Ian Taylor Total Gardener

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                  This is our decking its made from North American Yellow Pine, not the cheap stuff, we use it a lot, when its wet the grain raises up to make it anti slip we've never had a problem with ours.
                   

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                  • Phil A

                    Phil A Gardener

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                    I built one for Sis out of Yellow pine, can only seem to find a pic of the underside though :dunno:

                    [​IMG]
                     
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                    • merleworld

                      merleworld Total Gardener

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                      You could try Wet and Forget which kills algae and only needs applying a couple of times a year. I use it on my paving so can't vouch for it working on decking.
                       
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