Concrete is a versatile, adaptable, and affordable surface material that you’ll find in most patios, walkways, pool decks, and entryways for homes and businesses alike. It’s easy to see why concrete is so popular; it can be as attractive as it is utilitarian, and its hard-wearing and low maintenance surface is hard to beat.
This darling of the hardscape world isn’t without its drawbacks, though, and a lack of traction is the biggest. Whether it’s from a passing Oklahoma afternoon rain shower, summer splashes from a pool, or an overzealous sprinkler, concrete surfaces can become slippery when wet, making them a hazard to you and your family (and a liability to your business). This is especially problematic in areas where there are steps or stairs involved, like front entryways.
What can be done to make your concrete entryway less slippery and dangerous while keeping it attractive? Read on and we will discuss some popular solutions.
Start With the Finish
Have you ever noticed that your sidewalk isn’t nearly as slippery as your front steps and walkway? It’s all in the finish. An ultra-smooth concrete finish can give a polished, minimalist look at the expense of traction. Most sidewalks have a broom finish, making them safe for pedestrians. If you have a smooth concrete entry, you may want to consider refinishing it. Here’s some alternative finish ideas that will keep you, your family and your guests safely upright on two feet:
Exposed Aggregate: This is an extremely attractive finish option that features exposed pebbles, shells, or glass beads to add texture, depth, and color variance. The design options for exposed aggregate are nearly endless, with a wide variety of colors and materials available. The visible aggregate elements add both major visual appeal and added safety, as the aggregate material peeks through and breaks up a smooth finish.
Stamped Concrete: Ever-increasing in popularity, stamped concrete surfaces are created using a specialized stamp form as the concrete is setting, leaving an imprint in the material in any number of shapes and designs including flagstone, slate, and even decorative brickwork. The stamped designs give you a custom-laid stone or brick look with the low maintenance and affordability of concrete, while creating a more textured, lower-slip surface.
Broom Finish: Probably the most common and most subtle concrete finish, a broom finish is created using (you guessed it!) a specialized broom tool as the concrete is setting. Textured lines created by the broom can be made into patterns like lines running in opposing directions creating a tile effect, wavy lines, chevron, scallops and more. This finish gives a subtle, understated textured finish that is both attractive and safe.
Apply Non-slip Coating
If you are happy with your existing finish and a full-on resurfacing seems unnecessary, but slippery steps have still got you down, consider having a sealer or specialty non-slip coating applied. A clear non-slip coating can be applied, preserving the original look of your concrete entryway and stairs. Alternatively, non-slip sealers and coatings are also available in a wide variety of colors and levels of opacity; some allow the concrete’s inherent “look” show through, while others completely cover any color tonal variations for acrylic-like finish.
We Can Help
Not sure what the best choice is for your slippery situation? Overwhelmed with the many options available? R&M Concrete can help. Contact us for a free consultation and estimate. We’ll help you determine the best solution for you and your budget.