Trips and falls are the leading cause of hospitalisations in Australia, so it is important to take care around the home to prevent yourself, your family or your friends becoming another statistic. While the summer heat helps to keep decks dry and safe, autumn leaves and winter weather can soon make decks moist and slippy. Below are some top tips to prevent slippery decking.
Keep it Clean and Tidy
The first and perhaps best thing you can do to prevent your decking getting slippy underfoot is to keep it clean. It isn't just the deck being wet that makes it slippy, it is algae, moss and mold. These require both moisture and other organic matter to grow. You should regularly sweep your deck to remove leaves, which will help to reduce the growth of moss, mold and algae. If you already have a growth on your decking, you can use a solution of water and bleach (two cups of bleach in a bucket of water) to wash it away. This should scrub the decking with the water/bleach solution before using a garden hose to rinse. This will kill off the growth and help to prevent slips trips and falls.
Use Non-slip Mats and Strips
A quick fix for a slippery deck is to use non-slip mats on areas you frequently walk on. However, you should keep in mind that the mats themselves can sometimes slip if they are not secured. Alternatively, you could use adhesive non-slip strips, which can be screwed to the decking.
Apply a Non-slip Coating
Slips and falls are much more likely to occur on flat, smooth surfaces. The more textured a surface has, the better your feet will be able to grip it. There are a range of non-slip paints and finishes that you can apply to your decking in order to increase the grip levels of the surface. However, you should check beforehand to ensure that the product you are using is suitable for your particular type of wood decking.
You can use a combination of these approaches to allow you to enjoy your decking and prevent it from becoming a slip hazard. However, you should be aware that decks can still become slippy, even though you have taken precautions. You should assess your deck on a regular basis, and if it is too slippy, don't use it until you have got the problem under control. Check out the site for more information on decking.