Slippery Decking Day 2022: when are decks most dangerous

We have named Saturday 29 January ‘Slippery Decking Day 2022’. That’s because this is when all the contributing factors are aligned, putting us at the greatest risk of an accident as decking in the UK reaches ‘peak slipperiness’.

Traditional timber and composite decking boards become dangerously slippery when wet or icy and as the result of the build-up of algae and leaves. We have pinpointed the last Saturday in January as the day when ordinary decking is potentially at its most treacherous.

January is the wettest month of the year, with ice more likely as average temperatures drop towards the end of the month. Mean monthly evaporation is at its lowest, causing decking to stay wet for longer. Algae is also most likely to be prevalent during the winter and after a wet spell, while fallen leaves are decomposing and becoming slippery.
Short daylight hours add to the risk and, with people more likely to venture into their gardens at the weekend, this increases the likelihood of accidents.

Gripsure Managing Director Mike Nicholson said: “Despite its many benefits, traditional decking has one major disadvantage: it becomes dangerously slippery when it’s wet. And that’s a big problem, particularly here in the UK where it can make a garden a no-go area for much of the year.

It’s fair to say that at Gripsure we’re obsessed with the slipperiness of decking. We understand the combination of factors that can make decking dangerous because it’s what we’ve been tackling for more than a decade. We’re not only committed to increasing safety, we also want people to make the most of their outdoor spaces throughout the seasons.

Our team of decking experts has assessed all the risk factors and the combination of wet, cold weather, damp conditions and rotting leaves and algae creates a perfect storm. We believe Saturday 29 January is the day in 2022 when decking will reach peak slipperiness, putting people at risk of accidents.

While we created Slippery Decking Day as a light-hearted event, it does have a serious message and we want to highlight the dangers. We hope Slippery Decking Day will make people think about changes they can make to safely enjoy their gardens all year round.”

The slip ratings of surfaces, including decking, are measured using the Pendulum Test Value (PTV), with a rating of more than 36 being regarded as ‘low slip’. Crafted from sustainable timber and aggregate inserts, all Gripsure decking achieves a minimum value of PTV 85, which is classed as ‘very low slip’, and exceeds the British Standard for slip resistance.

Gripsure has experienced a surge in demand from homeowners during the pandemic. We are also proud to have provided our non-slip decking to high-profile customers, including Kew Gardens, the Eden Project, Center Parcs and the University of Cambridge.