Why is composite decking so slippery?
When it comes to choosing the right material for your outdoor space, composite material is an excellent choice. Composite decking is known for its durability and low maintenance and continues to be popular. However, during use, some homeowners may find that composite decking becomes slippery, especially in wet conditions. So why is composite decking so slippery?
While composite decking has good slip resistance, you will still need some maintenance and care to keep it slippery. A slippery deck can be a safety hazard, so it’s important to understand the factors that affect the slip resistance of composite decks. In this article, we will explore WHY is composite decking so slippery and bring effective solutions.
Table of Contents
Why is composite decking so slippery?
Next, learn about the factors that affect the slip resistance of composite decks. This is essential for prevention and safe deck use.
Composite wood decking is typically made from a blend of wood fibers, recycled plastics, and adhesives. The combination of these materials gives the deck outstanding performance and benefits. However, the plastic component of the deck enhances the smoothness of the surface, making composite decks smoother than traditional wood decks.
The older generation of composite decks was very smooth and had major safety hazards. However, as technology and processes have evolved, composite decking boards have become decently slip-resistant. Many manufacturers have added additional textured finishes to the decking. Effectively enhancing its slip resistance and providing more traction.
Surface textures and coatings
The surface texture and coating of a composite board play an important role in its slip resistance. Most of the composite decking has good friction and traction. However, there are still some manufacturers who produce decks with a smooth surface because a smooth surface looks more modern and stylish. This smooth surface however becomes more slippery when wet and will further increase in smoothness over time.
Lack of natural wood grain
Natural wood decking usually has a grain and finish, thus enhancing traction, especially in wet environments. Composite material, however, lacks the natural texture of non-slip, so the slip resistance will be reduced. But many manufacturers are starting to add additional textures to enhance the deck’s slip resistance.
Moisture and mold
Composite decking boards have good slip resistance, but moisture can affect the smoothness of the deck. When moisture or other liquids accumulate on the surface of the deck, a film can form. Additionally, moisture and humidity may lead to the growth of mold and mildew, and large amounts of mold can also lead to a smoother deck surface.
Debris and organic matter
Debris such as leaves, dirt, and pollen can build up on the surface of composite decking and reduce its friction. The same decomposing organic matter such as leaves and flowers can also form sticky layers and mold in a humid environment. This can also make your composite deck more slippery and dangerous.
Regular maintenance plays an important role in keeping your composite material slip-resistant. A buildup of dirt, stains, and mold, or an inadequately cleaned deck has the potential to become more slippery. Incorrect cleaning methods, such as using chemical-laden cleaners or pressure washing. These actions can cause damage to the surface of composite decks and affect their slip resistance.
Generally, warm soapy water and a soft brush are sufficient to clean composite decks. Regular and thorough cleaning and maintenance will help extend the life, performance, and slip resistance of composite decking.
How to enhance the slip resistance of composite wood decking
Although composite decking is less slip resistant due to certain factors. However, there are still several things you can do to enhance its slip resistance.
Regularly clean the surface of your deck to remove dirt, debris, and mold from the surface. Regular cleaning helps to maintain the slip resistance of composite decking. Avoid reducing the slip resistance of your decking due to mold and algae. Cleaning your outdoor deck can be accomplished using warm soapy water and a soft bristle brush. For some stubborn dirt and mold, try using a professional composite decking cleaner. And follow the manufacturer’s instructions during the cleaning process.
Use a non-slip coating
Consider using a professional composite material with a non-slip coating or additive. A professional non-slip coating creates a texture on the surface of the deck that adds extra traction and friction.
Use non-slip carpeting
Non-slip carpeting can provide a safer, non-slip walking surface in high-traffic areas.
Place non-slip carpeting near the entrance or stairs to your outdoor space. This can make it safer for homeowners to enjoy their outdoor space.
Non-slip tape is the perfect solution for providing extra friction without the trip risk of carpeting. Non-slip tape is fully customizable and much easier to use. Simply place it on a clean surface.
Anti-slip tape looks like regular tape, but it has a finish similar to sandpaper. So it provides extra friction and non-slip properties even in wet environments.
Buying a high-quality deck
Before buying a composite deck, you need to consider the slip resistance of different products. Try to look for decks with textured and finished surfaces that offer better slip resistance. Also, look for reliable dealers and professionals to buy composite decks with more anti-slip properties.
Higher quality EVODEK composite decking
Composite decks also have many advantages. Such as anti-slip, waterproof, anti-UV, low maintenance, long lifetime, etc. EVODEK decking products have undergone the Pendulum Slip Resistance Test by the standard of BS 7976-2. We tested the 3D wood grain surface, grooved surface, sanded surface, and capped surface. Here are the details for each surface:
3D wood grain deck surface
3D Wood Grain composite decking slippery has better resistance by the embossed pattern. Its wood grain is more than 1.3mm deep, which can protect us even when wet.
The 3D wood grain surface is also the best-selling design in sales. In addition to the slip resistance, it also gets very good feedback due to the wood-like and nice effect.
Grooved surface texture
The decking materials with the grooved pattern, likewise. It is also highly resistant to slip, thanks to its grooves on the entire surface.
The grooved decking is classical and widely used in the market, especially for the swimming pool project.
Composite decking boards sanding surface
The sanding surface, it’s similar to the real wood decking surface, and has good slip resistance due to the lines.
But the sanding surface has no dirty resistance like 3D wood grain or groove surface normally.
Capped composite decks surface
The capped composite deck is also embossed with a deep 3D wood grain surface to make it anti-slip. The capped decking boards are widely used in Singapore. Which has a lot of rain, the feedback is very good on slip resistance.
Also, the capped composite materials have better performance on weather resistance and hot resistance. So, for the project in a hot area and needless fading, these capped composite deck boards are suggested.
Although EVODEK decking has a good performance on slip resistance no matter when dry and wet. As we all know, any surface can be slippery when wet, so caution is advised.
And according to our lab test, some projects have a higher request for slip resistance. We suggest using the 3D wood grain composite decking material and grooved decking.
Currently, there is no requirement for minimum slip resistance in building codes. Because anti-skid tests are performed differently under different standards.
And many variables affect slip resistance. Including shoe uppers, stride length, debris on the surface, moisture content, weight, etc.
Consider our most relaxed time will be spent on the deck. So choosing the best decking material with good slip resistance is very important for you and your family.
Besides, composite decking is child-friendly thanks to its features of non-splintering, stain resistance, slip resistance, and weather resistance. Nothing is more important than your children’s safety.
You want to do all that you can to protect them, even if they are more accident-prone at their young ages.
EVODEK composite decking won’t put both you and your children in danger. It will be 100% safe when you walk on the surface.
With EVODEK composite decking, your puddles will not lead to slips, falls, and subsequent injuries. Especially if your young ones like to chase after one another.
EVODEK composite material comes with grooves or simulated wood grain to reduce the chances of losing your footing. While kids should still follow the no-running rule, they won’t be so much at risk with any deck.
If you are interested in a non-slip floor, welcome to your inquiry.