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Slippery Swimming Pool Decks

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Any wet surface has the potential for a slip and fall accident if the coefficient of friction is not above the standard as identified by the Americans with Disabilities Act of a 0.60. Pool decks by their nature are in a wet environment constantly. It can be that they are outside where it is raining or water may be splashed out of the pool.

Wet pool decks are a special hazard because they are very slick when they are wet. If the deck has not been properly designed to take into account the increased coefficient of friction that is required to make them safe, then they can become an extremely hazardous area.

Swimming pool decks can come in many types of surfaces. We have some pool deck ideas to overcome the risk of accident on mineral surfaces. There are concrete surfaces, natural stone, river gravel, tiles and many other hard surfaces. In our experience of more than twenty years of treating pool decks to make them safe, we have come to the conclusion that a pool deck needs to have a coefficient of friction of higher than the standard of 0.60. Any time that we have treated pools we have tried to make sure that the minimum coefficient of friction is at least 0.75. If the surface will allow us to push the coefficient of friction to 0.8 or even 0.85 then that is just that much better.

The unique quality of the wet pool deck requires the additional coefficient of friction. Slick Pool Decks will always be a problem because they will always get wet.

In addition to treating slippery pool decks, other areas that may need to be treated would include all areas that adjoin the pool deck. This could be walkways, lobbies into a building, a porch or a deck, or a bathroom. Even though these areas may not be wet, the person who has been in the pool will have wet feet and they will be walking into these areas. Therefore these areas will be slippery just like the pool deck. It is our recommendation to always treat any area that is adjacent to a pool where a person could be walking with wet feet.

We have had excellent results in treating stone and tile pool decks and treating areas around the pool deck to make them safe.

There are three major things to consider when treating a pool deck:

  • Can a coefficient of friction be achieved that would be sufficient to make the surface safe. (In other words can we obtain a coefficient of friction of at least 0.60 or better a 0.75.)
  • How long it will last to keep the pool safe. (Our tests show that our abrasion treatment product will last in excess of 15 years with proper maintenance.) The coatings last for several years with proper maintenance.
  • The pool deck must be maintained. It is imperative that nothing be allowed to accumulate on the surface of the pool deck. (This could be cleaning products, mildew, or any other contaminate that would coat the surface, thus making the coefficient of friction not that of the surface but that of the contaminate that is on top of the surface.)

Pressure spraying the deck to remove any contaminates will help to retain the slip resistant nature of the surface. Pressure washing will not decrease the slip resistance once the floor has been treated.


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