What Makes Decking Slippery and How to Avoid It

Non-Slip Decking | Samsung Offices

The Importance of Non-slip Decking

Slippery decking is a huge health risk. It massively increases the risk of slipping, leading to potential injury. Whether you’re at home or work, if your building features decking, it is important to understand the risk that slippery decking presents – and how to prevent it.

As the name suggests, at Gripsure we specialise in providing high-performance non-slip decking. In this article we’ll discuss the factors that make decking slippery and methods you can use to prevent this from occurring or resolve it when it does.

For more information on our non-slip products, feel free to get in touch!

Find out more about non-slip decking with our in-depth guide on non-slip decking solutions

What Makes Decking Slippery?

Without the proper treads or non-slip protection, there are a number of factors that can make decking slippery.

While there are uncommon occurrences such as spills of oils, soaps, and other slippery substances which must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, there are also much more common ones that could be a daily occurrence.

The three most common hazards that make decking slippery are rainfall, debris, and cold conditions.

1.     Rainfall

By far, the most common cause of slippery decking is rainfall – or, more specifically, standing water after rain. This water pools and remains on the surface of the boards, causing a slipping hazard on decking that hasn’t been properly treated.

Depending on the season and the amount of rainfall, decks can stay wet for weeks – leading to potential unfortunate surprises due to unexpected wet patches. Even a quick shower during summer months can present a risk, so it’s important to anticipate this beforehand and prepare accordingly.

Prepare yourself for the rainy season with our article on the slipperiest day of the year for decking >

2.     Debris

Other hazards include slipping on boards due to a lack of cleaning and maintenance. Improper care can lead to a build-up of debris and grime on your decking which can lead to slipperiness – especially in the event of moss or mildew.

While cleaning it a good solution to this, it requires constant effort. Any lapse in routine could result in your decking becoming slippery, leading to potential injuries. Preventing this in the first place with non-slip materials is the best solution, working in tandem with maintenance efforts to increase the grip of your decking.

3.     Cold Weather

In the colder, winter months, the build-up of ice or snow can present a huge hazard. Rainfall can affect this further, with pools of standing water solidifying into an incredibly slippery surface. This leads to an increased risk of slipping and potential injury.

In their 2021/2022 study, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported that, of 565,000 workers who sustained a non-fatal injury, 30% of them were caused by slipping, tripping, or falling. With such a large percentage of workers being injured by slipping, it’s imperative to ensure your surfaces – decking included – have the proper grip to support them.

Explore the different kinds of timber you can use for your non-slip decking >

How to Avoid Slippery Decking

Safety is paramount at home and at work for preventing injuries and removing liability. Without the proper measures in place for your decking, people are more likely to slip – which could lead to problems down to line.

To prevent this, we’ve included information on decking slip ratings and how you can introduce long-term solutions to increase the grip of your decking, stopping accidents before they happen.

What are Decking Slip Ratings?

To ensure that a decking board will be safe in all weather conditions and pass the test of time, a test known as the Stanley Pendulum Test is performed on it. This test results in the decking slip rating in the form of a Pendulum Test Value (PTV) – a widely used measure for many types of surfaces.

The tests are comprehensive, analysing the grip of the decking board in multiple conditions and over all directions, resulting in a comprehensive and accurate value. Here is a table on what the PTV ranges indicate:

PTV Range Potential for Slip
0-24 High
25-34 Moderate
35-64 Low
65+ Very Low

To achieve a “low” slip risk rating, decking must achieve a minimum score of 35 – this minimises the chances of personal injury. However, decking boards wear down over time, and weather conditions like ice and rain can lower the rating. A score this low on timber deck boards without non-slip inserts presents a slipping hazard in wet conditions.

We rigorously test our products to determine their slip rating. With non-slip inserts, our decking boards can achieve a minimum initial PTV of 85 – over their 15-year warranty, this will keep them well within or above the “low” slip risk rating.

Find out more about slip testing from Gripsure >

Long-Term Non-Slip Grip

While you can perform short term care for your decking, including cleaning, drying, and maintenance, these solutions aren’t failproof. Lapses in routine, extreme weather conditions, accidents, and mistakes can all lead to large increases in the slip risk factor for your decking.

The only way to assure long-term grip is with non-slip inserts from Gripsure. These are added to boards as a resin-bound, non-slip aggregate sitting atop the board. Our inserts provide secure footing even in wet conditions, offering the best safety performance.

They’re also cost effective – both due to their low labour requirements for instalment when compared to other methods, and their 15-year guarantee for a PTV of at least 55 with an expected lifespan as a safe solution for far longer.

Explore our range of non-slip decking, including sustainable MOSO® Bamboo products >

Non-Slip Grip with Decking from Gripsure

Slippery decking is a hazard that can lead to injury; this can be easily avoided by planning in advance. Short-term solutions can reduce the threat for a time, but they won’t work forever – only by utilising long-term solutions like grip treads can you fully mitigate the risk of slipping.

Improve the grip of your decking with non-slip solutions from Gripsure. Get in touch to find out more, check out our range of non-slip products, or read on with some related articles below!

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