Stepping out onto your home’s composite deck and taking in the view is one of the most satisfying things a person can do. While composite material offers the best slip resistance of all decking materials, you may still need to do maintenance to prevent the buildup of algae that causes slipperiness. Read on to find out how to make composite decking less slippery and keep it that way!
How to Fix Slippery Composite Decking Surfaces
If your existing composite decking is slippery, there are simple steps you can take to alter the deck surface and prevent the same thing from happening in future. You won’t need to use all of them, but larger composite decking installed might require more than one solution for additional protection.
Apply Mildew, Algae and Moss Remover
Slippery decks are usually caused by mold, algae, mildew or the buildup of general dirt. Natural wood can harbor moisture, creating a conducive environment for algae growth. To fix this problem, You can use a store-bought solution or mix together laundry powder and oxygen bleach for a homemade mold cleaner.
Using a sprayer or mop, coat the entire composite deck surface, including fasteners and joists. After leaving it to soak in and take effect for around 30 minutes, use a deck scrubber or stiff-bristled broom to remove the moss and algae.
Now that your composite decking is free from the offending substances that made it slippery, you can apply a coating to prevent the same thing from happening in the future. Composite decking material has exceptional durability and it’s super-easy to clean compared to traditional wood grain, but no one’s invented leaf-, moss- or algae-repellent decking yet!
Nonslip Paint or Anti-Slip Coating
You can go down several routes when applying an extra protective coating to your slippery deck. First, you could opt for nonslip paint if you want to give the deck a makeover. Before starting, you’ll need to make sure the composite decking boards are spotlessly clean so the anti-slip paint will stick. Anti-slip paint or coating is easy to apply using a roller or brush, and once dry, it’ll have a textured finish that prevents slipperiness.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to change the appearance of the deck’s surface, you could use sealer with sand as an additive for underfoot traction. If you prefer the DIY approach in general, you could opt to add sand to ordinary deck paint to achieve a somewhat waterproof coating feel. Use a ratio of 4:1 paint or sealer to sand and apply to the deck exactly as you would any other coating. To make sure the sand does its job, apply a second coat once the first is dry.
If you don’t like the sound of making permanent alterations to your deck, consider adding anti-slip inserts or mats. Anti-slip mats layer over the top of the composite deck’s surface and prevent slips and trips, even when the floor is completely slick. This means that in the dry months, you can remove them and show off your pristine composite decking surface.
If you’re looking for a quick solution on how to make composite decking less slippery that requires minimal labor and doesn’t present the same trip hazard as mats, opt for anti-slip tape. It’s completely customizable and very easy to use, provided you apply it to a clean surface. Anti-slip tape is just like normal masking tape except its finish is similar to sandpaper, so it provides grip when you walk over it, even in wet weather.
Install Shingles on Danger Zones
In most composite decking, the entire deck doesn’t pose a problem; it might just be the stairs that concern parents and hazard-conscious folks. In this case, you could add shingles to the potential danger zones. Simply nail them to the area in question and they’ll last for decades.
Ongoing Trex Deck Nonslip Maintenance
If you’re looking for ongoing maintenance tips to prevent a slippery deck without applying any of the above measures, you’re in luck. Here’s an easy-to-follow guide to ongoing anti-slip Trex deck maintenance.
Deep Clean the Slippery Composite Deck Surface Twice a Year
Using a pressure washer to thoroughly clean your composite decking just before fall and at the beginning of spring should prevent the buildup of moss, algae and mildew. You can make the formula at home or buy it in stores, and doing so should keep your deck slip-free for most of the year. Be careful not to use a power washer more than twice a year to avoid prematurely wearing down the entire surface.
Ensure There’s Space Between Your Deck Boards
The space between your deck boards isn’t just there for decoration; it provides drainage for your deck and keeps it safe. Over time, debris can accumulate and block these gaps, preventing composite decks from draining and possibly leading to a slippery surface. Use a small tool to get between the cracks and remove any clogged dirt once or twice a year.
Pay Attention to Weather Conditions
If you live somewhere that gets snowy or icy in winter, be diligent about clearing it from your deck. Extreme cold can cause unnecessary expansion and contraction, and composite decks get icy in winter. Avoid using salt as it might ruin the composite decking boards.
Sweep Your Composite Decking Boards Regularly
Finally, don’t neglect sweeping your composite deck on at least a weekly basis to stop leaves, mud and muck from gathering on the surface. Slipperiness is most likely to occur because these items get trodden into the deck boards and accumulate over time until you’re faced with a slick, slippery mess. By regularly sweeping, you can prevent this from happening and save money on expensive mold removal products.
Give Your Family an Entirely New Living Space
Trex decking is a low-maintenance decking solution that requires a fraction of the work of wood decks and is less likely to get slippery when wet. It still requires occasional attention to keep it looking its best, but you’ll be delighted with the finished results.
At Prince William Home Improvement, we love delighting homeowners with wood decking, composite decking and the decking materials that finish off your home’s deck design. Call us today at 800-799-7944 to get a quote.