Get Winter Ready: Top Tips to Prevent Slippery Decking

From simple DIY solutions to specialized products, we’ve got you covered on how to keep your decking safe and non-slippery during chilly months.

outdoor kitchen area with an outdoor rug on the ground as a pad for walking around


Last Updated:


Patio & Yard


As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases made on our website. If you make a purchase through links from this website, we may get a small share of the sale from Amazon and other similar affiliate programs.

Winter brings with it a romantic charm of snowflakes and cozy nights in front of the fireplace, but for those with outdoor decking, it can also bring a safety hazard. With the frosty climate comes an increased risk of slips and falls on slippery decking.

However, there is no need to sacrifice the enjoyment of outdoor spaces during winter months. In this blog, we will explore some practical and effective ways to prevent decking from becoming slippery in winter.

From simple DIY solutions to specialized products, we’ve got you covered on how to keep your decking safe and non-slippery during chilly months.

So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of anti-slip decking!

outdoor kitchen area with an outdoor rug on the ground as a pad for walking around

1) Keep Your Deck Clean

To prevent your deck from becoming slippery, it is important to keep it clean. This means regularly sweeping off debris and dirt, and also hosing it down periodically.

Any build-up of grime or algae can make the surface of the deck slick, especially when moisture is present. By keeping the deck clean, you can reduce the risk of slips and falls.

Additionally, a clean deck will also look better and last longer. So make sure to set aside time for regular deck maintenance, and keep your deck safe and beautiful throughout the winter season.

2) Use Anti-Slip Coating

Adding an anti-slip coating to your wooden deck is a great way to prevent water from penetrating into the wood and making your cleaning more comfortable.

To ensure an effective solution, pretreat your wood deck with a safe pet ice melter like Safe Paw. You can also make your own anti-slip coating by mixing additives to latex porch and floor enamel, with coarse sand being a cheap and easy option.

But applying a non-slip coating is a more affordable option that does not drastically change the overall look of your deck.

Don’t forget to regularly sweep and clear debris to avoid a slippery surface. Additionally, non-slip decking strips and tape are specially-designed products that can be a more permanent fix.

Ultimately, keeping up with regular maintenance and avoiding the use of harsh chemicals can help prevent slippery decks during winter.

3) Install Anti-Slip Decking Strips

Another effective way to prevent your deck from becoming slippery during winter is to install anti-slip decking strips.

These specially-designed products provide plenty of traction, even in wet or icy conditions, making them a highly effective solution for slippery decking.

Installation is simple, and strips are available in a range of colors to match your deck’s existing design.

However, it’s important to note that regular deck cleaning is still necessary to keep the strips clean and maintain their effectiveness.

Along with these preventative measures, sweeping regularly, removing snow and ice promptly, and avoiding harsh chemicals will help keep your deck safe to use all winter long.

4) Use Coarse Sand in Your Paint

Another effective way to prevent your deck from becoming slippery in winter is to mix coarse sand with paint.

Coarse sand provides better traction compared to fine sand, particularly when combined with paint.

However, it is important to avoid using beach sand, as it may contain salt that can cause corrosion to your deck.

Mixing anti-slip additives to latex porch and floor enamel is also a great way to make your own slip-resistant coating.

A good ratio to maintain would be four parts paint to one part coarse sand. While using top-quality grit paint can help reduce slipperiness, it may also mask the natural beauty of your deck.

So, it is advisable to consider using colored paint with an added abrasive element, which will give your feet a better grip whilst maintaining the look of your deck.

Remember, regular cleaning, removing ice and snow, and using non-slip mats or strips can also help keep your deck slip-free in the winter.

5) Sweep Regularly

Another crucial step in preventing slippery decking is to sweep it regularly. This helps to remove any leaves, debris, or moss that may build up over time, which could make the surface more slippery.

Using a soft-bristled brush to sweep the decking weekly ensures that any buildup is taken care of.

It is also recommended to sweep the decking every few months with a stiff brush to get rid of any stubborn dirt or grime.

Regular maintenance like this can go a long way in preventing slips and falls, and it also helps to keep your deck looking great all year round.

This practice is just one of the many simple and effective solutions that homeowners can do to avoid hazardous footing during the winter season.

6) Remove Ice and Snow

Winter conditions can be harsh, and snow and ice can make your deck slippery and dangerous. To prevent accidents, it’s essential to remove ice and snow from your deck regularly.

There are several ways to do this without damaging your deck. Start by avoiding harsh chemicals that can damage the wood and cause it to become slippery.

Instead, pretreat your deck with an anti-slip coating or safe pet ice melter like Safe Paw, which will prevent snow from sticking to the surface.

Use a plastic or rubber shovel to remove snow, and don’t forget to sweep your deck regularly to prevent the buildup of snow and ice.

You can also add a layer of sand to your deck, which will help improve traction and make it less slippery.

Remember, regular deck cleaning and maintenance are key to preventing slippery conditions in the winter.

7) Avoid Using Harsh Chemicals

In addition to using non-slip mats and regular deck cleaning, another important tip to keep in mind is to avoid using harsh chemicals.

While chemical cleaners can effectively remove mold and mildew from the deck, they can also strip away the deck’s protective coatings, making it more slippery in the long run.

Instead, consider using natural solutions such as white vinegar and water mixture to effectively clean the deck without damaging it.

Plus, opting for safe pet ice melt products like Safe Paw can prevent damaging chemical buildup on your deck.

By avoiding harsh chemicals, you can keep your deck safe and slip-free all season long.

8) Consider Non-Slip Mats or Strips

Another option to consider for a non-slip deck during winter is non-slip mats or strips. These products are made of rubber and designed specifically to provide traction on slippery surfaces.

They are easy to install, simply place them where needed and enjoy a slip-free surface. If you live in an area that collects snow and ice, however, it’s important to note that non-slip decking strips may not be as effective.

In this case, HandiTreads could be a better alternative. While they may not look as aesthetically pleasing as a freshly painted deck, these products can provide an extra layer of safety and protection during the winter months.

Regular cleaning and maintenance of your deck are also essential for preventing slips and falls. Remember, safety should always be a top priority when it comes to your outdoor space.

9. Regular Deck Cleaning

Regular cleaning of the deck is one of the most critical steps to prevent it from becoming slippery during winter.

Debris, dirt, and algae buildup can make the surface of the deck slick, increasing the risk of slipping and falling.

Therefore, it’s essential to sweep the deck regularly to remove stuck leaves and debris. Furthermore, use a decking cleaner to wash the deck occasionally to remove mold and algae growth, which are the primary causes of slippery surfaces.

Neglecting to clean your deck regularly can lead to a buildup of slime, which requires more time, effort, and money to remove in the long run.

Therefore, by following this routine maintenance routine, you can prevent a slippery deck and enjoy the winter months without any hazards.

How Can I Prevent Slippery Decking in Freezing Temperatures?

Slippery decking in freezing temperatures can be precarious. To prevent accidents, consider clearing snow and ice from the surface regularly. Additionally, applying a non-slip coating or using traction mats can provide extra grip. If a frozen spigot is causing icy patches, learn how to thaw frozen spigot safely to avoid slips and falls.

Overall Lack of Maintenance Causes Slippery Decks

The key to avoiding slippery decking is maintenance, and neglect can often lead to accidents.

The buildup of dirt, grime, and algae can make a deck surface slippery, especially in winter when snow and ice add to the problem.

Regular cleaning and sweeping can prevent this from happening and using anti-slip coating or decking strips can also help.

Lack of maintenance not only contributes to slips, but it can also reduce the lifespan of a deck. Regular upkeep such as cleaning and removing ice and snow can keep a deck safe and looking good for years to come.

Remember, prevention is always better than a trip to the emergency room.