Customized Stop-the-Slip Solutions
For Your Unique Conditions
Your Stop-the-Slip Solutions Graded:
Handi-Treads can be an excellent solution to improve traction on small concrete porches as they can be permanently installed on concrete structures. Because Handi-Treads are made of a single piece of aluminum, they don’t move or rely on the structural integrity of the concrete to maintain their shape and effectiveness.
The raised traction buttons of the Handi-Treads are self-cleaning, which makes them an excellent choice for virtually any outside condition. The pressure from a foot stepping on the rigid raised buttons pushes away the layer of moisture, frost or up to an inch of snow, creating solid contact between the tread and the sole of your footwear.
Installation of the aluminum Handi-Treads on concrete surfaces is a simple project, though you will need concrete anchors for the job. Once installed, Handi-Treads require no maintenance and the treads are guaranteed to last a lifetime in residential applications.
If you live in an area where it snows, you’ll find that you can use a snow shovel on your Handi-Treads without fear of damage to the treads. This is not the case with grit tape, rubber mats or anti-slip paint.
Because Handi-Treads are a lifetime solution with once-and-done installation and maintenance, their initial cost is higher. The three to five year return on investment in Handi-Treads, however, often makes them the most-cost effective solution.
Total Score: A-
Installation & Maintenance: A
Initial Price: C
Long-Term Value: A
Non-Slip Grit Tape: D
Anti-slip tape cannot be used on bare concrete because the surface is porous and the adhesive will fail as the concrete allows moisture to seep up through its surface. Grit tape can be used on some sealed or painted concrete porches as a short-term fix to reduce slips and falls due to rain or light frost. Grit tape is not effective in snowy weather.
There is no maintenance necessary or possible with grit tape. However, snow removal can be a real challenge as a snow shovel can quickly rip up the tape from the concrete surface. The inability to do more than brush snow off non-slip tape makes it useless once the snow becomes compacted and icy on the porch or deck.
Because of the surface preparation required, the proper installation of non-slip grip tape does require a bit of effort as detailed here. It is critical that the smooth painted or sealed concrete surface be clean, dry and in good shape. Once the surface preparation is complete, installation will proceed quickly.
With a lifespan on outdoor concrete of six months to a year, grit tape can be an inexpensive temporary solution.
Total Score: D
Installation & Maintenance: C
Initial Price: C
Long-Term Value: D
Heavy Rubber or Fiber Door Mats: C
Heavy rubber or fiber doormats can make a small concrete porch safe during wet or light snowy weather. Multiple mats on larger concrete porches or patios are only safe if they have a beveled edge that resists being caught by the toe of a shoe or boot.
To be effective in winter weather, rubber and fiber mats must be kept free of snow. When frozen snow or ice builds up, the mats must be picked up off the porch and beaten to break up the attached ice.
While most rubber mats can be cleared with a snow shovel, care must be taken as even a plastic blade can cut a rubber mat. Snow cannot be effectively removed from fabric or bristle-type mats with a snow shovel. These types of mats must be pulled up and beaten against a wall or fence.
Depending upon thickness and quality of the material, you can expect rubber or fiber door mats to last 2 to 4 years.
Total Score: C
Installation & Maintenance: C
Initial Price: B
Long-Term Value: C
Grit Paint: B+
A superior epoxy grit paint, like Slip Doctor’s Dura Grip and Tuff Grip traction paint, will improve the safety of concrete porches, decks or patios if it’s applied carefully, and maintained properly. To apply a consistent layer of grit paint on concrete takes time, but is definitely a do-it-yourself job. Unlike “Big Box Store” grit paints, Slip Doctor epoxy paints will expand and contract with concrete, insuring the longest life.
We rate the effectiveness of grip paint very high for wet weather, frost, and a dusting of snow.
Anti-slip paint is, by and large, maintenance free. However, if you live where it snows you need to be very careful not to aggressively shovel concrete painted with grit paint. While the epoxy or enamel coating is durable under normal foot traffic, it’s no match for aluminum snow shovels. Once you start to scrape away the thin paint layer covering the grit, the system will quickly degrade. You can expect a lifespan of 3 to 5 years under normal consumer use.
The cost of a high-quality grit paint can run between $120 and $160 a gallon. In addition, you’ve got the consumable cost of paint brushes or rollers, trays, sandpaper, masking tape, and drop cloths. When all costs are factored, and depending upon the size of the area to be covered, grit paint can be one of the most affordable solutions.