Concrete Floors Tip – Curing the Slippery Surface Problem

by admin on August 13, 2012 · 0 comments

Sealing a concrete surface offers protection against wear and tear and can also enhance the color and overall appearance of the floor. While that is all positive, it does also have some negative consequences. When you seal a floor with a commercial sealant, you also create a surface that may be slippery and unsafe.

While most sealants do not present a major slipping hazard when they are dry, if you spill something on them, or they get wet, they can become slick as ice. This hazard is accentuated even further if the concrete floor or surface is not level, but rather, on an incline.

Add Texture To The Surface Of The Concrete

One way to provide added traction is to create some texture in the concrete surface when it is poured by using a broom or brush and putting small grooves in the still wet concrete. When it dries, the concrete will be rougher and be less likely to be slippery. The same technique can also be used to create a textured surface with the sealer. While this method does improve slip resistance, many people feel it detracts from the finished appearance of the concrete floor.

Leave The Cured Concrete Exposed

Another option to create a less slippery concrete surface is to strip off the sealer and leave the cured concrete exposed. You will make the surface safer to walk on, but, you also will reduce the useful life of the floor. Sealant not only beautifies and provides a finished look, but it also protects against accidental spills, stains and other types of surface blemishes.

Add Some Grit To The Concrete Sealer

The preferred method for making your sealed concrete floors more slip resistant is to add some type of grit to the sealer when it is first applied. In the old days, people used to mix sand into the clear sealer to create a floor that had more friction. While sand is effective, it also tends to discolor the coating and diminish the appearance of your concrete surface.

Solving that problem was the invention of a clear plastic or polyethylene grit additive that, when mixed with the sealant, does not have any effect on the color of the coating. The plastic additive is actually made from recycled, plastic soda bottles that are ground up into a fine powder. Although not visible to the naked eye, these little granules have jagged edges and rough surfaces that create resistance.

If you have already applied a sealant without adding the clear plastic grit, you can simply apply another coat of sealant with the grit. As long as you have not applied coat-upon-coat of sealant in the past, the additional coat will not normally have any noticeable effect on your concrete floor’s appearance.

This is a guest post From Chris Dreyer the author of the book "How To Stain Concrete Floors".  You can read more information about concrete staining and other do it yourself home improvement projects by visiting his website here: http://www.howtostainconcretefloors.com/

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