Garden expert’s warning over ‘dangerously slippery’ decking – January is ‘perfect storm’

Gardeners' World offer advice on the 'best way' to clean decking

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Decking is a great way to add another dimension to a garden. It can be used as a barbecue area, a seating area and even as a place to put a hot tub. However, in the winter months, decking can become dangerously slippery.

Ice, algae, wet weather and even fallen leaves can cause people to slip up on their decking.

Now, Gripsure, the UK’s leading creator of non-slip decking has named which day this month decking will reach its “peak slipperiness”.

The experts named January 29 as Slippery Decking Day 2022.

The firm said this is when all the contributing factors that make decking slippery will align, putting people at the greatest risk of an accident.

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Traditional timber and composite decking boards become the most slippery when they’re wet or covered in a layer of ice.

Algae and fallen leaves can also make them become slippery.

January is the wettest month of the year and is also the month where temperatures tend to drop off.

More wet weather plus potentially freezing temperatures can lead to treacherously icy surfaces in the garden.

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Monthly evaporation is also at its lowest which means decking will stay wet for longer.

Another risk for homeowners is shortened day light hours, with people likely to go into their gardens at the weekend and potentially slip.

Gripsure Managing Director Mike Nicholson said despite traditional decking being beneficial, it becomes “dangerously slippery” when it’s wet.

Mr Nicholson said it’s a “big problem”, especially in the winter in the UK where a garden can become a “no-go area for much of the year”.

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He continued: “It’s fair to say that at Gripsure we’re obsessed with the slipperiness of decking.

“We understand the combination of factors that can make decking dangerous because it’s what we’ve been tackling for more than a decade.

“We’re not only committed to increasing safety, we also want people to make the most of their outdoor spaces throughout the seasons.

“Our team of decking experts has assessed all the risk factors and the combination of wet, cold weather, damp conditions and rotting leaves and algae creates a perfect storm.

“We believe January 29 is the day in 2022 when decking will reach peak slipperiness, putting people at risk of accidents.”

Homeowners can also stop their decking being so slippery by cleaning it regularly.

Wood cleaners, gritted paint or tape can help as well as pressure washing it.

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