When building anything, the main priority is safety. That’s the reason why building regulations and construction codes are in place. When adding a deck, you will also want to make safety a priority for you and your family. And one of the most common issues when it comes to decking like composite decking and PVC is being slippery.
To avoid such accidents, many decide carefully on what materials to use. Some are more slippery than others. Regarding this matter, many are wondering if PVC decking is slippery when wet. Is it safe to use? Here are a few pointers that you may consider.
Is PVC Slippery When Wet?
A slippery deck is the last thing you want. It can cause serious, and sometimes disastrous, accidents. Because of this, using the right material when you are building a deck is crucial. In this regard, is PVC a suitable choice?
PVC, short for polyvinyl chloride, is a thermoplastic used for various applications, including decking, fencing, and cladding. Both wood and PVC can be slippery, due to varying reasons. But in general, plastic is often more slick than wood. Because of the plastic outer layer of PVC decking boards, it is more prone to becoming slippery when wet.
Why are PVC Decks Slippery?
Aside from being plastic, what is the real reason why PVC decks, and plastic in general, can be slippery? One of the main reasons is poor drainage. Unlike wood, PVC doesn’t absorb water. While it may be a good thing, it can be dangerous without proper drainage. When water pools on your deck, you’ll like to slip more. It often occurs when decks don’t have enough decking board spacing.
Another reason why PVC decks can become slippery is due to mould growth. As mentioned, PVC is waterproof. It means unlike wood, it won’t rot and won’t naturally attract moulds and mildew. However, there can be other causes for them to grow. Pollen leaves, dirt, pollen, and other debris, over time, can be a breeding ground of fungi. Not only can it make your deck slippery, but moulds and mildew can also stain your deck.
Overall, both plastic and wood decking can be slippery. But that doesn’t mean you can do anything about it. The truth is, how slippery your deck will depend on how well you maintain it.
What Can You Do?
PVC decks have many advantages over wood. If you do decide to use PVC, there are a couple of things that you can do to make your deck less slippery.
The first thing you will want to do is to maintain your deck regularly. If you split any food and liquids on your deck, it’s best to wipe them clean as soon as possible. A regular cleaning schedule also makes a huge difference, especially if your outdoor space has a lot of plants.
Another way to keep it safer is to use rugs and carpets. Not only can it make your deck safer, but it can also improve the appearance of your deck. However, you will want to use the right type of rugs. As much as possible, avoid rugs with hard backing or metallic accents, as they can scratch the deck. Make sure to clean them as often as necessary as well, to avoid any staining problems.
If you are still planning to build a deck or replacing an old one, and slips are concerning for you, you may decide to install decks away from your garden or pool. You will also look for high-quality PVC decking boards. Many decking board manufacturers have products that feature an anti-slip coating or textured surfaces to increase friction. More friction means less slippery, even when it’s wet.
Other Non-Slip Decking
If you still have regrets about using PVC, there are other choices that you can pick. For instance, while wood is generally slippery, there are hardwood varieties that are less susceptible to moisture. Not only are they safer, but they are more durable than traditional wooden decking materials.
Another option is choosing composite decking. Similar to PVC, it offers superior durability, low-maintenance, and long lifespan. Depending on the quality, you can also find anti-slip composite decking materials. And what’s more, is that composites look more natural and wood-like than most PVC in the market.
Before you choose, you will want to study each of the pros and cons. But whatever you pick, using high-quality materials, having a regular cleaning schedule, and utilizing various ways to keep your deck to be less slippery can minimize any potential risks.