Timber decking

It is inevitable that, as the weather becomes colder and rainier, your deck will become more slippery. This can be a major safety hazard, leading to slips and falls.

Luckily, there are some things you can do to help stop your deck from becoming too slippery. In this article, we will look at how you can make your deck safer during the winter months.

Keep reading for more information!

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Why Does Decking Become Slippery?

Decking boards can become slippery for a number of reasons. Incorrect installation, incorrect maintenance, and an accumulation of dirt and debris are among the most common causes.

Incorrect installation can be caused by using the wrong type of fastener or by not installing the boards tightly enough.

Incorrect maintenance can be caused by failing to clean or seal the decking boards on a regular basis.

An accumulation of dirt and debris can be caused by allowing leaves, snow, or rain to accumulate on the decking surface.

How to Make Decking Non-Slip?

Slippery decks can be a safety hazard, especially when wet. You can easily make your decking non-slip with some simple steps. Read on to find out how!

What You Need

  • Anti-slip decking paint
  • Anti-slip decking strips
  • Paintbrush
  • Pressure Washer

Step 1 – Clean the Decking

The first step in making your decking non-slip is to give it a thorough clean (even if it looks very clean – it isn’t). This is best done in the Spring/ Summer months so you can allow it to dry before treating.

If you are worried about your decking being slippery and it is already too wet to properly treat, a short-term solution is to sweep it off and use a combination of salt and sand. This will help keep the decking from being too slippery until the Spring comes around and you do a full treatment.

To thoroughly clean the decking, using a powered pressure washer is a must. A pressure washer will blast pressurised water at the decking, getting in all the nooks, crannies, tight spaces, and grooves, leaving you with a spotless deck ready to be treated.

Step 2 – Let Dry

Ensuring that your decking is dry is an important step when trying to achieve a streak-free, clean finish.

Most non-slip paints are water-based and they not only coat the surface of the wood but the paint will also be absorbed into the timber which aids in the sealing process so making sure that the decking is dry is imperative.

Step 3 – Paint or Add Non-Slip Decking Strips

Next up, you will need to paint/ stain the decking. There are various colours and finishes (amazon link – opens in a new tab) for you to choose from to suit any garden décor.

Most decking paints will be touch dry in a few hours and almost all of them will require 2 coats so bear that in mind when ordering your desired paint.

Another thing that could do is to add some non-slip decking strips (amazon link – opens in a new tab). These can be used instead of painting or in conjunction with it. They are usually lengths or strips of tape that have grit or something similar embedded.

Non-slip decking strips do work very well although, in my own opinion, I do not think that they look as good as a freshly painted deck.

Step 4 – Maintain

Using non-slip paints or stains alone is not enough. You will need to continue with a little upkeep such as sweeping the decking to ensure that no dirt, debris, algae, or anything else can build up on the surface.

Following any rainfall or snow, it is also a good idea to sweep off any areas of standing water or even sprinkle some salt to prevent the water from freezing.


Making decking non-slip isn’t that difficult of a task and can be very important, especially if you have young children around.

For the best results, you will need to ensure that the decking is thoroughly cleaned and dried before treating and don’t forget that moving forward, you will have to give it the occasional sweep, so it stays clean and debris-free.

Garden Doctor Trev

Garden Doctor Tips

“Add sand or grit to decking stain to create your own non-slip paint!”

“Decking strips work very well and are great if you have young children!”

“If you don’t have a pressure washer, ask a friend or you can hire one for just a few quid!”

“Sweep fallen leaves and dirt from the decking as soon as possible – keeping it clean is the key to it being non-slip!”

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Stop Decking Being Slippery in Winter?

There are a few things you can do to stop your deck from being slippery in winter. First, make sure you regularly sweep and clean your deck. This will remove any dirt, debris, or leaves that could be making it slick. You should also consider doing a more thorough cleaning once a month or so, using a power washer or hose to remove any stubborn grime.

Another tip is to add sand to your deck’s surface. This will help provide traction and prevent slips and falls. You can either add sand directly to the deck surface or use nonslip mats or tape that have been coated in sand.

How to Stop Decking Being Slippery When Icy?

There are a few things you can do to help stop your deck from being slippery when icy.

  1. Add salt or sand to the area. This will help to create friction and make it less slippery.
  2. Use a non-skid coating or sealant on your deck. This will add some grip and make it less slick.
  3. Make sure that you keep your deck cleared of any ice and snow build-up. If there is too much ice on the surface, it will be harder for people to walk safely.

Is non-slip decking paint any good?

Yes, non-slip paints are great but once used, you will still need to keep it clean, or dirt and debris will settle on top of it which kind of defeats the object.

What Time of Year is Best to Treat Decking?

To properly treat your decking, it is best to wait until the Spring or Summer months when the decking has adequate time to dry after you have cleaned it.

About Me

Hi, I’m Trev and I’ve been growing things since I can remember. When I was younger, I grew up on a farm, so I have always been around plants and animals. After studying horticulture at university, I decided to start my own nursery which I have run now for 25 years. In my spare time, I run this website – which is a resource for people who want to learn more about their gardens.

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