Anti-slipping a deck in its dotage

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

You might feel that an 18-year-old deck is beyond a little bit of enhancement in terms of safety - but Mark Byard's pressure treated softwood decking had originally been installed correctly by a professional installer and has plenty of life left in it.

Whilst Mark had always maintained his large deck area at the back of the house, cleaning it thoroughly every two to three years or so, lately he was increasingly experiencing a slippery problem during wet weather and wanted to do something about it.  Mark regularly walks on his decking in all weathers as it is the only access to his rear garden and his waste bins.

There is always a risk that aged or unmaintained decking can become slippery in wet weather and this heightens the risk of slips and injury.  The build -up of mildew, algae and fine mosses can cause a deck to become slippery over time, whilst the deck also needs to be correctly installed so that it drains freely and remains well ventilated.  These measures will certainly help to slow down the development of a slippery deck, but further measures, such as adding an anti-slip enhancement, lessens the risk further.

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The gift of DeckWright Inserts

Knowing his frustrations, a close friend gave Mark four packs of DeckWright Inserts as a gift - slightly different to a bottle of whisky or a box of chocolates! Enthused by the potential, Mark set to work with the installation himself - something that the packs said was easy to do.

DeckWright Inserts can be retrospectively fitted to grooved decking that is already laid - even after 18 years.  The flexible, resin and aggregate strips adhere to the timber with a special glue and provide a reassuring grip when walking across the deck boards - even when they are wet. The decking must be touch-dry to install the Inserts and the advice is to ensure it is clean and clear of debris.

Mark fitted three strips to each of his boards, but two would have been perfectly adequate, should he have preferred - allowing a larger area to be protected.  He advises that knee pads should be used during fitting as there is much kneeling and bending over to be done.  But once complete, he was really pleased with the look and the finish of the boards - the Inserts blended in nicely and looked very neat.

Now Mark can stride with confidence to his waste bins, knowing that he's unlikely to slip.  He also knows that his family are safe from the risk of slipping and suspects that the DeckWright Inserts might have been one of the best gifts he has ever been given.

Before and after - an unobtrusive and effective slip solution

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Retrofit antislip deck inserts are also available from other TDCA member companies.