Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    52

    Treating for wet wood boardwalk/berms

    We recently added some high speed boardwalk sections at my local trail decked with rough sawn white oak. We also have some wood berms slated as well. No plans right now to put anything on it but there have been questions coming up about what to do if it gets slick when wet. We already have a ton of boardwalk on the trail but it was all constructed using treated wood which everyone knows gets slick when wet. This past year we had started installing chicken wire on some of it which is doing well cause its new... but I have read over and over that the wire breaks up gets pedal stroked or hit and it becomes a mess.

    Now it seems to me the general consensus is that the wood getting wet isnt so much the issue as the mold/mildew/algae that forms on the wood is the real culprit of wood being slick to ride when wet. So heres the question...has anyone ever tried or thought of using an organic chemical or mineral that kills and prevents the mold from taking root on the wood in the first place? Such as spraying the wood with vinegar , bleach, or mineral oil or some other chemical. Or possibly mixing in lime or some other mineral onto the dirt approach that riders would track onto the wood and keep the mold away?
    Last edited by shaggybiker; 11-27-2013 at 11:02 AM. Reason: To stay on topic.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    67
    With treated wood, I don't know if anything would be growing on the wood because that is what the treatment chemicals are supposed to stop. It is probably the chemicals themselves leaching out of the wood overtime that contribute to the slickness when wet so I don't know how effective applying a fungicide/algaecide would be. The "...icide" chemicals might also be slippery themselves when wet.

    I agree that chicken wire isn't a good long term solution. It might be OK for a few years if you have really low traffic trails. A better option would be to coat the wood with polyurethane and sprinkle on a generous amount of coarse Aluminum Oxide grit while it is still wet. It would only be necessary in areas where riders would need improved traction (turns and braking zones).

    We primarily use rough sawn oak for bridges and don't have problems with them being overly slick when wet. Leaves on the other hand...

  3. #3
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,833
    After watching this, I have to ask: what is the purpose of the wood structure? It looks like you could just use the existing soil/terrain to make your turn/berm and avoid the issue of slippery wood entirely. It looks like a structure for the sake of building a structure - it's not a jump, obstacle (or way to surmount an obstacle that can't be removed), or... anything. looks like you sort of paved the existing trail section with wood. Why?

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    52
    This small section of an almost 11 mile loop was built...as was the rest of the trail...by trailbuilders with a love of building trail not realizing what the soil would do and wanting to make the best out of what they had...as many trails back then were. Unfortunately as u can tell it was built on the fall line. Second problem: this trail resides in portage IN which is 2 miles from Lake Michigan which is really good at making sand...organic on sand and fall line...bad juju. Well as u can already imagine the original builders have put year after year of trying to maintain the section not wanting to change the dynamics of the thing. So after all the years of maintaining and countless hours of armoring fall lines and 2 feet+ of sand in the valleys...they didn't want to see that work go to waste and still retain the feel of it. So this was the solution we came up with. Sure its not a "Trail Solutions" built trail...sure a lot of builders are gonna say wtf? and why? as u have. It's a MTB trail meant to retain its character and have fun with.

    BTW how's the snow comin at solitude and the bird? Need to get back out there soon.
    Last edited by shaggybiker; 11-27-2013 at 11:19 AM.

  5. #5
    I build my own.
    Reputation: Trail Ninja's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    5,086
    It's OK shaggy. It was a legitimate question. I was curious too. Thanks for answering.
    I couldn't tell if that was clay or sand. Now that I know it's sand I'd say don't worry about slick wood. You're going to be tracking natural grit onto it all the time.
    I have a device that can access the total knowledge of man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and argue with strangers.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    52
    Absolutely I figured it would be asked... so somewhat of a rough draft reply.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    289
    Chicken wire will turn into a mess fairly quickly, depending on the amount of traffic. A potentially tire-puncturing mess. Trail Ninja's advice seems sound. If that doesn't work out, I'd consider mixing sand (they have special kinds for this) in some kind of clearcoat and treating the tread boards with that. In our climate (Pacific NW) rough-sawn timber of any kind seems to work pretty well, tho' there are environments where just about anything can get very slimey over the cold/wet seasons.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    52
    Im really not too concerned about it myself...just trying to get suggestions to put the masses at ease. If its working well for you guys in the PNW in that constantly wet enviroment its certainly gonna work for us where its considerably drier throughout the year. I like Trail Ninjas thought about the sand tracking onto it...hit the nail on the head. Would still like to find an answer for the treated boardwalk we have as im sure the chicken wire will need to be replaced when it breaks down.

  9. #9
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,833
    Makes perfect sense now! I wonder about similar sections of trail I've encountered other places - super fun for a season but even short sections of fall line trail... it can get ugly. Not a bad solution if you don't want to completely reroute/change the character of the trail.

    There is no snow this year so far. We are still riding mountain bikes - 50+ degrees and sunny today. Usually by Thanksgiving there's decent snow but this year the skis are still storage waxed and in the basement.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    54
    There are a number of anti slip paints or deck coatings that have come onto the market in recent years. They are worth checking out. Expensive though.

    I believe the topic has been covered here as well, so searching might turn up something.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    52
    Thanks for the update Walt...looks like Ill wait till after the first of the year to come out.

    I know the subject has been covered about what to cover it with. My thoughts were maybe theres some other solution out there that does not involve covering the wood with something or painting with sand mixed. If u could spray a organic chemical on the wood or use a mineral to track onto the wood...it would keep the asthetics of the wood the way it should be. IMO anything put onto wood for traction whether a material or painted on ends up looking terrible.

    Organic Moss & Algae Killer | eHow

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    82
    Saw this used on some new wood features at Alafia state park mtb trails. They didn't fully paint it, more of a splatter effect.

    Restore Deck Liquid Armor Resurfacer 4 Gal. Water Based Charleston Exterior Coating-49510 at The Home Depot

  13. #13
    I build my own.
    Reputation: Trail Ninja's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    5,086
    I don't know how hard it would be to get a pressure washer out there but I've had some success de-sliming decking close to water sources.
    I have a device that can access the total knowledge of man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and argue with strangers.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    40
    If traction is what your after you could take some time and whack the surface with the claw end of a claw hammer.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Mr. Lynch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    1,940
    Im in the PNW and we have numerous structures with chicken wire. It holds up nice but the key is to use a lot of staples to hold it in place. Loose sections will break easy so securing it properly is key. Some area use the coated chicken wire with is a lot more durable and will lost longer, but it is a little more expensive.
    2013 Stumpy Evo

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: LarryFahn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    1,588
    Two successful things I've done with PT lumber - Run a chainsaw just above idle and run it 90* to the boards, dragging it left and right.

    The second is Herculiner - This is the truck bed lining that you roll on. It's thick and has chunks of rubber in it. One coat is good. But, you have to read the directions and get some sort of thinner/alcohol to rub the PT lumber off with first. This lasted over a year for me and doesn't seem to wear or fall off at all even with people skidding on it. The con is the price. At $85-90 and only two rollers without any replacements available it isn't cheap. Ttyl, Fahn

Similar Threads

  1. Boardwalk design
    By leeboh in forum Trail Building and Advocacy
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 07-17-2013, 10:03 AM
  2. Wood Berms in Iowa
    By Vibrato in forum Trail Building and Advocacy
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: 08-20-2012, 07:30 AM
  3. Wood Berms in Iowa
    By Vibrato in forum Great Plains - OK, KS, NE, SD, ND
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-13-2012, 04:21 PM
  4. Boardwalk!
    By pinkrobe in forum Trail Building and Advocacy
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 05-28-2012, 07:58 PM
  5. Wood versus Dirt Berms
    By Summit Ridge Guy in forum Trail Building and Advocacy
    Replies: 36
    Last Post: 02-28-2012, 01:04 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •