When looking for the right decking for you, there are a lot of problems and issues you need to keep in mind when choosing the right material and brand.
Deckings can have issues ranging from splintering to warping during temperature changes, but there’s one hazard a lot of people overlook – slipping.
While no surface is ever completely slip-proof, some are more resistant than others. This means that you need to do your research to find the most slip-resistant composite decking out there.
If you have been thinking about getting your decking from Armadillo, then we hope this article will help clear up some questions you may have regarding how slippery Armadillo decking is when it’s wet.
First, let’s learn more about Armadillo and what kind of decking they have on offer.
Armadillo is owned by a parent company, Avon Plastic, which first started out in 1966 in Minnesota. The company has over 50 years of experience when it comes to recycling and manufacturing plastic products, so sustainability is clearly something they value very much in their products.
Back in 1996, they began producing their first composite decking, then known as ‘The Deck Plank,’ and in 2010, Avon Plastic began selling their composite decking under the Armadillo brand.
There are currently three main lines of composite decking on offer through Armadillo.
Each line was made with a different kind of customer in mind, and as a result, they each have their own benefits to offer.
The Lifestyle line was made to be durable for long-term use, the Essential line was made with affordability in mind to help make good quality decking available for all, while the Evolution line is the pinnacle of Armadillo’s research and design.
It’s their high premium decking line, made with the best possible features and materials – and comes with a hefty price tag.
However, their website is pretty vague when it comes to the details regarding each line – especially when it comes to details regarding slip resistance.
So, let’s take a look to see if Armadillo’s decking lines are slippery when wet!
About Composite Decking
Composite decking is made of a unique type of material known as polyethylene (PE) decking. It is made from a combination of plastic and wood fibres, making it a blend between wood and plastic.
When used in decking, composite decking boasts a lot of the benefits of both PVC and wooden decking without many of the downsides. For example, composite decking is a lot easier than wooden decking to maintain as it does not split, splinter or warp during temperature changes.
However, it is generally considered to be more economical and sturdier than full PVC boards, which draws people to choose composite.
How slippery composite decking can be, depends on the manufacturer. Some composite caps are designed to provide more traction for feet and soles, so it is more slip-resistant.
Some also feature built-in patterns which improve traction, but these are rare on older composite decks. With many older composite decks being slippery, making finding composite with good traction more important.
So, are Armadillo’s composite decking lines slippery when wet?
Testing Armadillo’s Composite Decking Lines
In truth, all surfaces are slippery when wet. Water naturally decreases the traction of all surfaces it soaks, no matter what kind of material they are made from. Therefore, it’s almost impossible to find a surface that is completely slip-proof.
However, like we mentioned earlier, it’s possible to make some surfaces less slippery by adding certain finishes and coatings to help improve the traction it has with feet and soles. These finishes can help feet find more grip even when wet, but not all composite decking comes with it.
Unfortunately, it seems that Armadillo has not added any of that special finish or coating because we have found Armadillo’s deckings to be pretty low in traction.
This meant that we found them to be fairly slippery when wet, and this makes them hazardous decking to use for waterside application.
Armadillo’s deckings have (on average) 0.43 to 0.54 CCMC ratings, which means that they are difficult to keep a grip on with your feet when wet. When dry, this rating is much lower, but it still shows that the traction on Armadillo’s deckings is very low – especially when the surfaces are wet.
If you have your heart set on Armadillo decking, plan for less than good traction. You can still walk on it safely, but a little more care is required. Especially if freshly washed or rained on.
What About Mold?
Water naturally reduces the traction on all surfaces it comes into contact with, but there’s something else that can also make your decking super slippery – mould.
Mould can grow on decking and naturally decrease the traction it has with your soles and feet, so opt for a mould resistant.
All of Armadillo’s decking lines are resistant to moisture and dampness as they are made from composite materials. This means that mould finds it difficult to grow on composite decking as it needs moisture and dampness to thrive and survive.
So, although Armadillo’s decking lines are pretty slippery when wet, at least you don’t have to worry about mould growing on it if you live in a dryer climate and are unlikely to see much rainfall.
However, it’s worth noting that allowing plenty of debris like leaves to decompose on your decking can cause mould growth as they bring the moisture and food needed for mould to thrive.
To avoid this, we recommend you regularly clean your Armadillo decking to discourage this.
So, is Armadillo decking slippery when wet?
Like all surfaces, water does make Armadillo decking more slippery, but the decking already had low traction, to begin with. This means that slipping and sliding are likely on Armadillo decking, especially when it is wet.
Out of Armadillo’s three main decking lines, their Evolution decking line had the most traction due to the authentic grain pattern the boards have.
However, we think this finish was added for aesthetic reasons rather than to help improve the surface’s traction, so it makes a very minor difference when it comes to how slippery it is.
Overall, we would not recommend you get Armadillo decking if slipping is a major concern for you. We certainly do not recommend it if you are planning on using it for waterside decking, like by a swimming pool.
This is just an accident waiting to happen, and there are plenty of other brands of decking out there which offer safer versions of decking for you to use.
Although Armadillo’s deckings offer a ton of benefits, being slip-resistant is not one of them!