How to Prevent Concrete from Becoming Slippery

  • April 22, 2019
  • / By Dale Keese
Grey Living Room Interiors

Slippery concrete can be extremely dangerous. Even a small slip and you could hit your head or break your hip, or something even worse. If there is a concrete surface in your home, ensure that it is protected from water and other elements to prevent it from becoming slippery. The following are some methods you can try to make your concrete surface non-slippery. Certainly, it is better to be safe than to be sorry.

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Anti-Slip Sealer

The first thing you should try is slip-resistant sealer. You can try penetrative sealers, which work their magic below the surface, instead of changing the texture of the surface. These sealers penetrate through the pores and react to the surface underneath, making it strong from within. Naturally, these sealers tend to be non-slippery as they do not change the surface in any way from the outside. You can walk on the sealer coating as if you are walking directly on the concrete.

Slippery Sign

You can also try using a water repellent sealer, many of which reduce surface water absorption by about 95 percent, leaving the surface resistant to snow, frost, rain, and others.

Non-Slip Additives

If the sealer in itself is not enough, there are several non-slip additives available in the market that do the job. These non-slip additives will be available wherever you are buying the sealer. They will typically be available in the option of fine or coarse, depending on how much traction you need the surface to have. 

Several people have found adding elements like aluminum oxide grit to the sealer makes a huge difference. The material is available easily and works with most types of sealers. The best part is that it is available in multiple colors, so you have a range of options to pick from without compromising the look of your concrete surface. The material is not very expensive and can provide heavy coverage. Traditionally, people also liked to add sand or sawdust to their sealer to provide a better grip.

Non-Slip Strips

This may not be the most aesthetic way of making your concrete less slippery but it is definitely effective. There are stick-on, non-slip strips available in hardware stores that you can paste to your concrete surfaces. Of course, this is not a method you can try with indoor concrete surfaces. But if it is your porch, driveway or any outside surface you are looking to make more secure, this is a good option.

Hand Injury

Besides, there is a way to make it look aesthetically good too. The strips have to be pasted equidistantly, making a neat pattern so that it can look like a style you chose (and not something you had to do out of compulsion). Sure, these strips can take some getting used to, but if it means your family and loved ones can be safe, it is worth it.

Prime and Paint

You can also have the concrete primed and painted again while mixing some grit additives to the paint to make it non-slippery. Again, the gritty material will be available where you buy the concrete paint from. Simply follow the proportions and add it to the paint as instructed. While sand and sawdust may also be an effective grit additive, the newer material, sold especially to make concrete less slippery, is much lighter and mixes with paint more easily. So you will have a much easier time working with these additives.

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Color Hardener

Another method that seems to work for contractors is to use color hardeners. You can broadcast a light coat of color hardener, right before applying the release and stamping the concrete. Even if you simply throw the hardener on, you will notice the enormous benefit and heavy coverage it can provide. In some weather conditions, it may even be a better option than putting a polymer grit additive in the concrete sealer.

The color hardener does not show as prominently on the surface as a polymer grit would. It is also far more durable than the sealer, which is important because as soon as the sealer breaks down, the additive has to be lifted off as well. With this color hardener technique, you will not have the same problem.

Better Concrete

Most importantly, if you can help it, try to focus on laying down the best quality of concrete so you do not have to rely on sealer as much. If the concrete is durable and the paint job you do on it is thorough, even a thin layer of sealer can be sufficient. A thin layer of sealer will also prevent plastic build up. The more decorative (or otherwise) sealer you need to add to your concrete surface, along with grit additives, the greater the chance of sealant failure. Remember, you are using the sealer to make your concrete stronger. Ensure that the sealer does not end up being the reason for the concrete’s weakness.

Tools

If the concrete in itself is strong and durable, the job of the sealer becomes much easier. When applying the concrete, see if you can use only a float to apply it instead of a hand trowel. A trowel will make the concrete overtly slick while a float will leave behind a sandier texture, which helps make the surface non-slippery.

Final Thoughts

Concrete surfaces can complete the look of a room or any surrounding it is laid out in. if well done, concrete surfaces add to the aesthetic appeal of the surroundings. However, you may have heard of accidents taking place on concrete too often than it should. Even a small pool of water and concrete can become extremely dangerous if not treated properly. This is not only a cause for concern for older people and children, but even young people in their prime can hurt themselves very badly by slipping and falling on concrete. 

Child Playing on the Floor

The methods recommended above have been tried and tested for a long time and have proved to be effective. Speak to your sealer manufacturer to find out the best methods that will suit your concrete sealer and make it non-slippery. Here is a review of the best concrete sealers to help you in making the right decision.

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