Is Composite Decking Slippery (All You Need To Know)

  • Home
  • Decking

Is composite decking really slippery? It’s an important question to ask if you’re looking to build a composite deck. Safety is one of the prime concerns of households especially when they have children running around all day. Having a slippery decking surface might not be a good idea as it leads to safety-related concerns. 

So many people ask this question when building decks. For example, people who haven’t tried composite decking want to know whether or not a composite deck is slippery when wet. We decided to come up with a brief post that answers some of your composite decking-related questions. 

If we look at the composition of composite decking, it is usually made of wood fibres, recycled plastics, and some bonding agents. Composite decking is also called man-made wood or manufactured boards. 

Builders also use veneers outside to make composite garden decking look more attractive. This might define whether the composite decking is slippery or not. But let’s dig deep and answer some frequently asked questions. 

Why is Composite Decking Slippery?

Generally speaking, composite decking is made of slip-resistant materials. So, you don’t have to worry about this unless your deck is continuously exposed to moisture and mould. Wood grains combined with a co-extruded surface provide sufficient traction. Sanded or grooved patterns on composite decking give you a better grip on the surface when walking on it. 

However, there are some situations where your composite decking becomes slippery and dangerous. For example, excessive dirt and debris can make the surface slippery. Organic substances and leaves keep accumulating on the deck when households don’t clean the deck regularly. This leads to both uncleanliness and slipperiness of the deck. 

Slippery composite deck

We know that moisture and organic substances facilitate mould and fungus growth which makes a surface slippery. In short, composite decking isn’t slippery but lack of cleanliness and moisture can make it slippery. Composite decking boards are also slippery when covered with ice and water. 

If you’re concerned about the surface of composite decking being slippery, consider installing deck boards grooved side up. Read our blog post that explains all you need to know about decking installation

Is composite decking more slippery in winter?

Temperatures are lower during the winter due to a lack of sunlight. The environment in the winter becomes more friendly to algae and mould. As a result, composite decking becomes slippery. All types of decking become slippery during winter due to ice and moisture, especially where foot traffic is low. 

When households don’t pay attention to deck maintenance, they experience a slippery deck. In the UK, people often report slippery decking during winter months. To avoid this issue, maintain your deck throughout the year. 

Is composite decking slippery when wet?

As we just mentioned, the chances of your composite decking becoming slippery increase during winter when outdoor surfaces are likely to be wet due to ice. Any wet surface can be slippery whether made of wood, marble, or some composite material. However, grooved surfaces are less likely to cause slipperiness even when wet. 

High-quality composite decking is usually designed with anti-slip properties. However, be careful when walking on a wet composite deck. If you’re planning to install decking to spend some quality outdoor time with your family and friends, a wet and slippery deck can cause problems. 

Composite decking is probably the best material when it comes to increasing decking safety. When choosing deck boards for your deck, consider both safety and aesthetics. Composite decking offers both as it is one of the safest decking materials. Be sure to choose composite decking boards with a textured or anti-slip coating to reduce slipping. 

Read this blog to get more information about decking

How to Make Composite Decking Less Slippery?

While composite decking has anti-slip properties, it’s recommended to take some extra measures to further eliminate the risk. The following are some tips to prevent slippery composite decking surfaces:

  • Apply mould cleaner 

As mentioned earlier, slippery decks are often a result of mould and mildew growth. These natural elements build up over time and reduce friction on decking surfaces. Therefore, use a commercially available or homemade mould cleaner to clean your composite decking. If you like to use natural cleaning solutions, mix oxygen bleach and laundry powder to prepare a homemade cleaning solution. 

To apply the cleaner, use a mop or sprayer and coat the entire surface of your deck. Don’t skip joists and fasteners. After leaving it to soak for 30 minutes, use a stiff-bristled broom or deck scrubber to remove the mould growth. 

  • Apply non-skid deck paint 

Another possible solution is to apply an extra protective coating to your composite decking. Choose a non-slip paint appropriate for composite decking and then apply a coat. Make sure your deck is clean before you start applying the paint. If you don’t want to paint your deck or change its appearance, you can use a sealer with sand to increase underfoot traction. 

  • Use slip-resistant mats or tape 

Painting your deck might alter its appearance. If you don’t want this to happen, add anti-slip mats. This will prevent composite deck surfaces from getting slippery or causing slips and trips. You don’t need the mats or inserts in the dry months. 

Anti-slip tape is a slightly easy solution that doesn’t require any professional assistance or labour. Apply the tape on a clean surface. While anti-slip tape is customizable, it provides you with grip when you walk over the deck even in wet weather. 

Another pretty clever way is to install artificial grass on your deck and we have just the right article on the subject.

What Increases Grip on Composite Decking?

We just mentioned a few methods to make your composite garden decking less slippery. If you want to increase grip on composite decking, consider using anti-slip tape or non-skid deck coating if needed. In most cases, people don’t have to do extra work to make your deck firm and slip-resistant. The surface of composite decking provides you with enough grip to avoid slips. 

The texture and material finish make composite decking more slip-resistant. A strong polymer cap is one of the factors that make composite decks with superior appearance and better texture. If you buy a more high-end decking board, you’ll get an embossed wood grain finish which mimics the look of the hardware while providing more traction. 

How Slippery is Composite Decking Compared to Wood Decking?

Composite decking is an excellent option for people looking for the right decking material that can withstand weather and other environmental elements. It is not only cost-effective but also offers an appealing look. People often hesitate to buy composite decking because of the belief that composite decking gets more slippery than wooden decking. 

While this belief is true to some extent, there are so many things you can do to make your composite decking more slip-resistant. Besides, composite material is an eco-friendly alternative to solid wood decking. Less maintenance and affordability make composite decking an ideal option for your deck installation project. 

If you live in London, you’re probably wondering whether or not you should go with some composite decking ideas. A quick answer is that you should consider using composite deck boards considering the weather in London. 

Final thoughts

Is composite decking slippery? Generally speaking, composite decking offers great slip resistance. However, it can get slippery when wet. If you want to use composite decking, make sure to take safety measures during wet weather. 

Get interested in Decking Installation?