For people who have composite decking, winter can be the most problematic time of the year. Not only can snow and ice damage your patio and everything on it, but it can also make it extremely slippery. A slippery deck poses a dangerous threat to you and your family’s safety. The good news is, there are a few things you can do about it. Here are some of them.
A poorly maintained deck will not only last shorter than it should, but it can also cause safety problems. One of the issues you may encounter with decking is mould growth.
Wood is the most prone to moulds and mildew. It absorbs moisture, which can hasten its rotting, which attracts fungi. The growing mould on the deck will eventually make the surface slippery. Despite waterproof, it can also happen to PVC and composite decks. But unlike wood, all it takes is a pile of dirt, leaves, and debris on your patio for it to become a breeding ground for fungi. If you don’t maintain your deck regularly, you’ll likely experience some of these issues.
So how do you maintain your deck? Make sure that it stays dry as much as possible, especially if you are using wood. But during the winter, it can pose a bigger problem, as the weather is often wet. For this time of the year, it may be an excellent idea to waterproof your deck using seals. If you already sealed your deck, you may want to check if it needs resealing.
As for composite and PVC, you will want to minimize debris and dirt on your deck. Don’t let it pile, and clean them as often as necessary. You don’t need expensive cleaners, as synthetics are low-maintenance.
Use Rugs and Carpets
Another option to reduce the slipperiness of your deck is to use carpets and rugs. During the winter season, you may opt to use mats with rubber grips. Anything that will increase friction will do the job well.
However, there are a few things you will need to remember. When choosing rugs or carpets, make sure to avoid anything with metallic accents, as they can scratch your deck. It’s also best to clean them as often as possible, to minimize the risk of staining.
Apply Tape and Decking Strips
If you expect a lot of foot traffic in your deck in the winter, you can consider putting anti-slip tapes on it. It provides more friction, reducing the risk of slipping. Aside from your deck, you can also apply it on the stairs. While there are long-lasting anti-slip tapes, they don’t generally last that long and are good as temporary solutions.
If you want something more permanent, you use decking strips. These are non-slip strips of varying materials attached to decks and stairs. Not only is it useful during the winter, but it can also make your deck safe all-year round.
Choose the Right Decking Material
If you don’t have a deck yet, or planning to replace your old one, you may want to select the right materials with the most slip-resistance. For many, wood is the least slippery among the available decking choices. Unfortunately, it has its drawbacks. It is high-maintenance and prone to moulds and mildew, which can make the deck slippier. If you choose wood, always go for high-quality hardwoods.
On the other hand, you can also choose PVC and composite decking. They are both durable, low-maintenance, and long-lasting. Both are very similar to each other. The only difference is that composites have wooden fibres, which makes it look more natural and wood-like than PVC. With regards to being slippery, they can be slightly more slippery than wood. However, many companies offer slip-resistant and textured boards for a safer deck, especially during the winter.
Safely Remove the Ice
Ice and snow are some of the biggest concerns of deck owners during the winter. And you will need to remove them if you want to make your deck less slippery. However, if you want to preserve your deck, you will have to avoid using tools and chemicals that can damage it.
If you are removing snow and ice, it’s best not to use metal shovels or other sharp objects. You will also want to avoid harsh chemicals that can affect your deck’s coating or the decking boards capping. Always use safe methods for ice removal.