Concrete is a ubiquitous building material in both commercial and residential structures. Whether used for stairs running up to a loading ramp or to the front porch of your home, concrete is a strong, durable, economical structural material.
Concrete is a composite material that contains sand, gravel and rock that is suspended in a fluid layer of cement that chemically hardens over time. When used for walkways, slabs or driveways, bare concrete has a good level of traction when dry or wet. Like all surfaces, however, snow and ice make even bare concrete a slip-and-fall hazard.
Finished and sealed concrete, which is often used indoors on factory floors, is incredibly durable, resistant to staining and easy to clean. Unfortunately, the plasticized component in many concrete sealers can also be quite slippery when wet or when a thin film of oil or grease collects on the surface.
Improving Overall Traction
If you’re looking to improve the overall traction of a concrete surface, especially sealed concrete normally found indoors, the most popular option is to apply an epoxy paint with anti-slip grit suspended in the paint. Once hardened, the paint and suspended grit acts like sand paper, providing excellent traction. One of the drawbacks of using grit paint on a concrete floor is that maintenance becomes more difficult. Concrete floors covered with epoxy grit paint are notorious for ripping up the mops used by cleaning crews.
Reducing Localized Slip and Fall Hazards
Normally there are specific areas of concrete that tend to cause the highest risk for a slip or fall. For example, the floor sections nearest to an exterior door inevitably get wet as workers walk into the building with wet or snowy shoes. To increase traction in this spot you might utilize Handi-Treads Aluminum Treads, or heavy-weight rubber mats to both increase traction and remove the water or snow from pedestrians.
Another localized hazard is concrete steps both indoors and outdoors. In both locations our Handi-Treads Aluminum Treads and stair nosings can provide excellent traction in virtually all conditions. On indoor steps, ClearGrip Vinyl Treads and ClearGrip Vinyl Tape increase traction while maintaining a minimalist look.
If you’ve got either interior or exterior concrete surfaces that are slip and fall hazards, use our Stop-the-Slip Configurator to determine a range of solutions for your unique needs. It only takes 60 seconds to determine how to make your concrete floor, deck or stairs safer.