Customized Stop-the-Slip Solutions
For Your Unique Conditions
Your Stop-the-Slip Solutions Graded:
One of the unique qualities of Handi-Treads is their ability to be securely installed on concrete porches, decks and patios. Because Handi-Treads are made of a single piece of aluminum, they don’t move or rely on the structural integrity of the porch or deck to maintain their shape and effectiveness. The raised traction buttons of the Handi-Treads are self-cleaning, which makes them especially effective in snow and icy conditions. The pressure created by stepping on the rigid raised buttons pushes away the layer of frost or snow, creating solid contact between the tread and sneaker, shoe or boot.
Installation of the aluminum Handi-Treads on concrete surfaces is a simple DIY project. Unlike grit paints, there’s no need for time-consuming surface preparation prior to installation. Once installed, Handi-Treads require no maintenance and the treads are guaranteed to last a lifetime in residential environments.
If you live in an area where it snows, you can use a snow shovel on your Handi-Treads without fear of damage. This is not the case with most other solutions including grit tape, grit treads, or grit paint.
Because Handi-Treads are a lifetime solution with once-and-done installation and maintenance, their initial cost is higher. When calculated over a three to five year performance period however, the investment in Handi-Treads is often the most-cost effective solution.
Total Score: A-
Installation & Maintenance: A
Initial Price: C
Long-Term Value: A
Non-Slip Grit Tape: D+
Grit tape can adhere to concrete if it is both smooth and painted. However, because of the heating and cooling cycles outside, the practical life of the adhesive is very short.
Installing non-slip grit tape on smooth, painted concrete is as simple as peeling the paper backing off the tape, placing it down on the concrete surface, and smoothing out any air bubbles. It is critical that before the you apply the anti-slip tape, you thoroughly clean the sealed concrete with dish soap and water, being sure to allow the surface to dry before you apply the tape.
Maintenance of grit tape is simple, only because no maintenance can be performed. If you live in an area where snow is an issue, however, care must be taken when clearing the snow from tape. You must use a broom to sweep the snow off the tape. Using a snow shovel will almost certainly pull up the tape from the concrete.
Because of the limitations of the paper backing and adhesive, the useful life of grit tape is a year to two years when used on an exterior concrete porch or deck. This dramatically reduces the long-term value of grit tape, even though the initial cost is quite low.
Total Score: D+
Installation & Maintenance: C
Initial Price: A
Long-Term Value: D
Heavy Rubber or Fiber Mats: C+
Heavy rubber or Waterhog type door mats can help improve traction in specific areas of concrete porches, patios and decks. Assuming they weigh at least 10 pounds, the mats are unlikely to move around, eliminating the trip risk that smaller mats suffer from.
Care must be taken when choosing a mat, however, to be sure that there is a beveled edge on the mat that won’t catch a toe and trip a user. It’s also important to find a mat that has channels or holes to allow water to drain off so that ice can’t form on top.
Installation couldn’t be easier, as you just lay the mat down in the area that’s prone to slips and falls. Care must be taken, however, when removing snow as most mats are prone to cutting from the use of a snow shovel with a metal lip.
Depending upon thickness and quality of the material you can expect heavy-duty rubber and Waterhog-type mats to last 3 to 5 years. The initial expense of these types of mats can range from $60 to $120.
Total Score: C+
Installation & Maintenance: C
Initial Price: B
Long-Term Value: C
Grit Paint: B
A high-quality epoxy grit paint is a good anti-slip solution for wet weather and light snow on a concrete slab, deck, patio or porch. However, proper application of the paint is critical to performance and longevity.
To get a consistent, long-lasting layer of grit paint down on concrete can be challenging, but with a little care, any DIYer can handle the task. Anti-slip paint will be effective only if it’s a high-quality epoxy paint like the Slip Doctor Dura Grip and Tuff Grip traction paints, it’s applied meticulously and it’s maintained properly.
Anti-slip paint on concrete is, by and large, maintenance free. However, if you live where it snows you need to be very careful not to aggressively shovel the area painted with grit paint. While the epoxy coating is durable under normal foot traffic, it’s no match for an aluminum snow shovel. Once you start to scrape way the thin paint layer covering the aggregate, the system will degrade.
The cost of a high-quality grit paint, (not the stuff at the Big Box Stores) can run between $120 and $160 a gallon. In addition, consumables such as paint brushes, rollers, trays, sandpaper, masking tape, and drop cloths all add up. When all costs are factored, grit paint can be an effective when used out of doors.