0

My front porch is polished concrete, and gets slippery in the rain. What is the best way to add grip/traction to an existing concrete walkway?

More info: My front porch is part of the house slab, so it's the full width of the house, and extends about 4 feet from the house. The roof also covers this porch, however rain splashing off nearby bushes always means that the concrete walkway is dangerously slippery in any wet weather.

  • Is it also sealed? – isherwood Feb 6 at 15:13
3

You can make the surface a bit rougher by using an acid etch. Muriatic acid & water is commonly used to clean concrete prior to sealing or painting. A strong solution allowed to sit will actually etch the slippery surface away. It's much easier than grinding.

Once the surface etch is deep enough rinse with fresh water if the first solution did not etch enough add a higher percentage of muriatic acid. I would start with 4 parts water to 1 part acid. Remember to always add acid to water.

Most big box stores sell muriatic acid for this use and pool supply stores have it for balancing the pH in pools and spas so it is easy to find and not very expensive at ~$10 per gallon.

Added per comment: we always add acid to water to prevent an exothermic reaction. If water is added in some cases it causes the water to rapidly heat and can boil and splatter the acid from the reaction. So to be safe remember AAA always add acid

  • 1
    Good idea done, sometimes we forget not everyone knows these things thanks. – Ed Beal Feb 6 at 16:25
  • As my 7th grade chemistry teacher used to say "do as you oughta, add acid to water" – Gary Bak Feb 6 at 17:35
  • If he has post bases that rest on the concrete, what is your procedure for protecting them from the acid? I'm not casting aspersions on using muriatic acid (aka hydrochloric acid) to etch the concrete--I think it is a good procedure, but one must be careful about breathing the fumes and one must keep pets and wild birds off of the acid wetted concrete. Ed Beal, what is the usual etching time? – Jim Stewart Feb 6 at 18:11
  • The time is based on the solution stronger or more acid takes less time, since this is outside I would not be concerned about the fumes. We can talk what iffs all day long but if you don't put the solution on wood it won't be a problem. Just like painting the surface you would want to keep animals away but the acid mixture is easy to rinse off compared to paint, once diluted if you or a pet come in contact a rinse with fresh water is all that is needed. – Ed Beal Feb 6 at 18:30
1

You could lay outside grade porcelain tile that has a good coefficient of friction even while wet. To get it to adhere properly you would need to grind the concrete surface to get the thinset to adhere properly and you would need to use a superior grade of thinset.

If you didn't want to go to the trouble and expense of tile, you could just grind the concrete to roughen it and leave it. A less expensive finish than tile (after roughening the concrete) would be concrete stain.

  • How would stain reduce how slick the surface is I have used stains many times and not seen a difference texture. – Ed Beal Feb 6 at 18:35
  • i was thinking the stain would be cosmetic. I did not mean to suggest that it would change the texture. – Jim Stewart Feb 6 at 21:30
0

The concrete probably already has some type of sealer on it. A less labor intensive approach would be to buy a gallon of H&C Clear Oil-Based Concrete Sealer and add a container of Skid Tex to it. Buy a simple rolling pan, a 1/2" nap roller cover and a roller frame with a handle. The sealer is clear and so is the Skid Tex. This particular sealer will dry in about 20 minutes (even though it is oil-based) and a gallon goes a long way. You can get this a little cheaper direct from your local Sherwin-Williams and they will shake it up with the Skid Tex already in it. The sealer is very expensive but I have used this stuff for many applications in hotel concrete walkways and decorative concrete surfaces. This approach will give you a beautiful finish that will last many years and a washable skid-proof surface.

H&C Sealer

Skid Tex

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.