Concrete is a ubiquitous building material in most residential structures. Whether used for stairs running up to your front porch or as flooring in your garage, concrete is a strong, durable, and 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 bare concrete a slip-and-fall hazard.

Problem Area: Concrete

Finished and sealed concrete, which is often used in basements and garages, 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.

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 epoxy paint with anti-slip grit suspended in the paint. Once hardened, the paint and suspended grit acts like sandpaper, 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 paints are notorious for ripping up the mops used to clean them.

Some homeowners may opt to use grit tape instead of paint. Grit tape provides very similar benefits compared to grit paint, but the tape is applied in sections rather than over the floor’s entirety. In areas with high foot traffic, the tape will most likely need to be replaced after a couple of years, making grit tape a cost-effective yet temporary solution.

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 family members walk into the house with wet or snowy shoes.  To increase traction in this spot you might utilize HandiTreads Aluminum Treads to both increase traction and remove the water or snow from shoes. HandiTreads are a permanent slip, trip, and fall solution that can be used in virtually any weather condition. 

Another localized hazard is concrete steps both indoors and outdoors.  In both locations, HandiTreads Aluminum Treads and Nosings can provide excellent traction in virtually all conditions. The durable aluminum treads and nosings are guaranteed to last a lifetime in residential applications. HandiTreads stair nosings cover the nosings of each step, providing more traction while also improving the structural integrity of the entire stairway. Many homeowners utilize HandiTreads Nosings not only as slip and fall protection but also as a solution for old or degrading concrete steps.

For homeowners looking for a more minimalist look, ClearGrip Vinyl Treads and ClearGrip Vinyl Tape increase traction while maintaining the original design of the surface or stairway.

For any interior or exterior surface or structure, use our Stop-the-Slip Configurator to determine a range of solutions for your unique needs.