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Stop Slipping On Your Deck

Updated: Apr 29

During the rainy season, are you worried about injuring yourself or a guest on your slippery deck? Here’s what causes a slippery deck and how can you fix the problem so you, your family, and your guests can enjoy your deck worry free:

1) Clean Your Deck

Water can make any surface slippery, but water combined with mold, mildew, or moss can make decks especially treacherous, so it’s important to sweep off leaves and dirt as soon as possible to prevent these growths. If you already have mold, mildew, or moss growing on your deck, the best thing to do is give your deck a good wash.

You can power-wash your deck clean, but this should be done with care because pressure washing can quickly damage a wood deck by leaving large gouges or make your deck looking “fuzzy” by raising the wood fibers.

Most people find that scrubbing their deck with a stiff bristled brush and deck cleaner is the best option. However, avoid cleaning with chlorine bleach as it breaks down the wood lignin causing visible damage. Instead, we recommend non-chlorine cleaners like Wet & Forget. Spray it on, wait a few minutes, give it a little scrub, and rinse it off.

2) Don’t Use Sand or Kitty Litter

If you’ve thoroughly cleaned your deck of all organic material and still find it slippery, then you should add some traction to your deck. However, DO NOT use loose sand or kitty litter on your deck.

Loose sand will scratch the surface of your deck like sandpaper when you walk on it, and kitty litter will make a huge mess when it gets wet by clumping up and clogging the gap between your deck boards (making your deck even more prone to grow moss, mildew, and mold).

Instead, add traction by using non-slip strips, non-slip coating, or composite decking with textured capping.

3) Install Non-Slip Strips or Mats

Non-slip decking strips can be attached with adhesive backing or screws. Adhesive non-slip strips are cheaper and easier to install, but they can peel up and won’t last as long in high traffic areas. Screw down non-slip strips are a more permanent option, however they tend to be more expensive and take longer to install.

Regardless of how they are attached, non-slip strips will change how overall look of your deck, so if you don’t want stripes over your entire deck, you can just add non-slip strips or outdoor mats to high traffic areas of your deck such as walkways, entrances, and stairs.

4) Use Non-Slip Coating

A cheaper option that won’t dramatically change the overall look of your deck is to apply a non-slip coating. A non-slip coating can be a clear sealant or a colored paint with an added abrasive element that gives your feet more traction in the rain.

Like any deck sealant or paint, the non-slip coating will need to by applied in dry weather and your deck will need to be cleaned, sanded, and free of all surface dust.

5) Install Composite Decking with Textured Capping

The most permanent and most attractive option is to install composite decking with textured polymer capping. In the past, composite decking was made without capping so mold, mildew, and moss made it extremely slippery in the rain (like regular wood).

Now, composite decking is made with textured polymer capping that add traction, resists mold and mildew, and can be easily cleaned of any slippery organic material.

Although it is the most expensive option, composite decking with texture capping is the longest lasting (25 year warranty), most attractive, and low maintenance solution to the slippery deck problem.

If you need help installing composite decking, we’d be happy to help you out! Give us a call today at 541-926-3117 or email us at for your free estimate.

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