How to Create a Nonslip Surface on a Wooden Swimming Pool Deck


No matter how careful you are or how often you remind your children to walk slowly around the pool, a slippery deck remains a hazard. Wooden decks can become slick when wet, but even after they dry, they remain dangerous. Mosses and algae can take root in the damp wood and make the deck slippery even when it seems to be dry. Protect your family and your guests by taking preventive measures to keep your deck safe.

Things You'll Need

  • Stiff brush
  • Power washer
  • Washing soda or deck cleanser
  • Mop
  • Nonslip coating
  • Nonslip strips
  • Scrub any areas of the deck with a stiff brush that look like they may have moss or algae growing on them. Scrub any other areas that are heavily soiled. Brush off any visible dirt or debris.

  • Rinse the deck with a power washer on a gentle setting. If you don't have a power washer, you can rent one for the day from a hardware store or home improvement store.

  • Dilute washing soda in warm water according to the manufacturer's instructions if the wood of your deck is unfinished. Mop the deck with the solution. If the wood is finished, mop the deck with a commercial deck cleanser instead.

  • Rinse the deck again with the power washer. Allow it to dry.

  • Apply a nonslip coating to the deck if you want to treat the entire area yet don't want to change its appearance. Some products spray on, while others brush on; some products require you to apply a primer or to tape over the joints in the deck, while others don't. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to ensure the product works properly.

  • Fill the gaps between the planks on the deck with nonslip strips instead of applying a nonslip coating if you don't mind altering the appearance of the deck or you want to treat only part of the area. Some products are self-adhesive, some come with a separate adhesive and some attach with screws. Screw-on strips are the most durable but are also more expensive and harder to apply.

  • Clean your deck regularly during the swimming season and the rainy season, using a deck cleanser appropriate for the type of nonslip coating or strip you chose. The nonslip product should specify what types of cleansers to use on it, but in general, avoid products that strip finishes or contain paint thinners.

Tips & Warnings

  • Teach your children and remind the children of your guests to walk around pools rather than running.
  • Get quotes from the manufacturers so you know if the product is something you are able to afford and will work for your deck area.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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