Slippery conditions on your deck can potentially lead to injuries and other property damage. Here are some strategies for how to keep your deck slip-free and safe this winter!
Non-Slip Mats or Strips for Your Deck
If you use your deck quite a bit in winter, consider purchasing some non-stick mats to strategically place around walkways. In addition to providing a more greppable service, mats could also protect the wood from some of the winter elements.
An alternative to mats would be slip-resistant deck strips. Some of these products come in a variety of colors and styles, so this could be a practical and decorative addition to your deck. However, these strips must sometimes be secured with an adhesive or with screws, so if you like would prefer to have a completely original deck, then use the mat or find a less invasive type of strip.
Keep it Clean
Simply put, keeping your deck clean before flurries or ice hit will not only reduce the risk of slippage but make the clearing process a lot easier. Even small objects like leaves can trap moisture, which in freezing conditions will make that area slick. This could also damage the wood itself. Keeping your deck as clear as possible can also help you visually identify areas that might be slippery for you to avoid and/or treat.
Slip Resistant Coating
Non-slip finishes serve to add a thin layer of texture to your wooden floor, which will reduce the smoothness of the surface and enable you to grip the floor much better. These finishes come in the form of both paint and varnishes with many color options. Make sure to check the wood used in your deck to find the appropriate match.
Use the Right Snow and Ice Prevention Materials
Before you get ready for the next heavy snow or ice storm, consider what materials you typically use to prevent snow/ice formation in the first place. Everyone’s go-to substance is probably melting salt or perhaps calcium chloride. While these are great for traction and won’t harm composite decks, these substances carry a risk of scratching up your wooden deck. If you do decide to use snow melting materials on your wooden deck, try to use as little as possible and avoid walking too much movement on your deck to avoid scuffing. You can also try alternatives like kitty litter for traction. Whatever you use, be sure to carefully remove the materials as soon as the snow/ice melt.
Avoid Metal Shovels
Removing snow as soon as possible will definitely reduce slipping risks and protect your deck, but consider not using a metal shovel. The constant scraping could scratch your panels. Remember to be especially careful while removing snow. Dress appropriately and take your time, this will help you remain stable and avoid slipping while you work!
Deck Maintenance Is Key
Maintaining your wooden deck is highly crucial in winter. Be sure to check for damage or lose foundations in deck sections such as the ledger joist, which connects your home to the deck. Be sure to also test that the deck railing is secure. Remember, in the event of slipping, the railing can help you break your fall or recover balance. If you see signs of rot, it’s time to repair the damage before winter conditions accelerate the decay and increase your risk of injury.
If you’re concerned that your current deck isn’t outfitted or in good condition for the upcoming winter, give us a call. Our dedicated teams of deck professionals are prepared to repair or install any kind of deck all year-round. Call us at 410-803-9499 or fill out a contact form and one of Excel’s representatives will contact you promptly.