Non-slip boardwalks – beware of chicken wire

There are several important things to consider when building a boardwalk. From the design to the timber and the location, to the finish, you’ll probably have a lot of details to iron out before building work can begin. 

One of the most important considerations in any type of public or private construction project is safety. People using the boardwalk need to be able to do so easily and safely and shouldn’t have to worry about slipping over when they go for a stroll. 

There are many ways to make a boardwalk non-slip and improve access to the walkway, some of which are more effective than others. If you’re currently building a boardwalk, renovating an existing structure, or planning a project, selecting the right non-slip solution for your needs will help you achieve a great result. 

Beware of chicken wire

One non-slip ‘solution’ we see all too often is chicken wire. Chicken wire is often fitted as an afterthought and is used by property managers who want an affordable and easy way to make a boardwalk non-slip. 

However, wrapping a boardwalk in chicken wire is generally a bad solution. As @TDCAJanet says, “It may seem like a good idea to use chicken wire over your timber deck or boardwalk to add a little extra grip, but it’s totally inappropriate.

Chicken wire is a bad choice for boardwalks for a variety of reasons. For a start, the sections of wire will trap dirt and debris from the surrounding area. Over time, this mud, leaves, twigs, and rubbish will build up, making the boardwalk even more slippery in wet conditions. 

Having debris sitting on the decking boards also increases the amount of time the wood will be in contact with moisture, this can cause it to decay prematurely. 

If large sections of the boardwalk rot and decay, it could mean the structure needs to be replaced sooner than it should. This means that, in the long run, chicken wire could prove to be a very expensive way to make a boardwalk non-slip. 

What’s more, if the boardwalk isn’t properly maintained, sections of wire can become loose and cause a potential trip hazard. 

Non-slip solutions 

If you need your boardwalk to be non-slip, the best solution is to invest in non-slip decking boards. These are specially designed to help prevent slips and trips and feature inbuilt grip strips in every board. Non-slip boards are treated to ensure they’re able to withstand the elements and so will provide a safe, non-slip surface in all conditions. 

If you want your boardwalk to last as long as possible, select naturally durable hardwoods such as Ekki or Cumaru, or  softwood boards treated to Class 4 standard. This will make them incredibly durable and maximize the lifespan of the boardwalk. 

To find out more about non-slip boards and boardwalk installations, take a look around – or get in touch with a member of our team. 



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