Why Decking Grooves Facing up is Wrong?

You have probably seen the ribbed decking fitted with the grooves facing up. Those ridges in ribbed decking aren’t particularly decorative and certainly don’t make for a comfortable surface to walk on, some of the deeper(castellated) styles could even be a danger to small children’s toes as they run around on the deck. Turn these same boards over however and the grooves will actually extend the life of your deck. O’Leary and Sons will ensure to install the proper decking in Colorado Springs to meet your needs.

The grooves don’t help the rainwater to run off anymore than a smooth board, but a slight incline built into the deck’s sub-structure will take the water away with or without grooves. If it is fitted face up, those ridges really only create shallow, shaded channels for water to sit inside and soak into the wood. This creates dampness, promotes mildew and shortens the lifespan of the deck boards.

3 reasons why smooth decking facing up is the wise choice every time;


  1. Wood is a naturally fibrous material that isn’t slippy underfoot, even when wet. In fact, the fibres in wood lift when exposed to water and provide more grip not less. Mildew or algae on the other hand is a slippery substance that forms on surfaces including wood in damp and dark conditions. It’s this algae that you slip on, not the wood. Reeded or ribbed decking creates more surface area for algae to start growing on, the grooves in effect provide a protected and shaded area for algae to develop in unhindered. Smooth surfaced decking meanwhile has no such grooves or ruts for algae and mildew to form in, making it much less likely to become slippery. Additionally the increased surface area of ribbed decking boards take up to twice as long to dry as smooth, surfaced deck boards.
  1. Reeded or ribbed deckboards are presented and sold as being anti slip or pro grip by design. This is not true. In fact, because of the grooves, they present less contact area for your foot to grip onto. It can also be painful to walk barefoot on a ribbed, reeded or castellated deck. Smooth decking on the other hand presents the maximum contact area for your feet and is far more comfortable to walk on.
  1. Reeded, deep castellated or ribbed decking attracts, traps and holds dirt in the grooves promoting damage from damp and algae growth. Ribbed decking is difficult to clean properly without resorting to chemical treatment and a jetwash, whereby you are forcing yet more water deep into the grooves to remove stubborn dirt from the internal corners of the grooves or reeds. Once again with smooth surfaced decking boards there are no such problems, dirt and blemishes are easy to sweep clean in any direction from the smooth surface.

In summation, apart from showing off the beauty of the wood in your deck, smooth deck boards are safer to use with less surface area for slippery substances to grow on and more surface area to grip to. In addition, smooth decking is easier to maintain, repair and will last far longer than ribbed decking. O’Leary and Sons will be able to meet your decking needs. Call today for a consultation.