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We had a contractor put in a new walkway of stamped concrete. He applied a wax coating to protect it. Now, whenever it snows the combination of snow and wax makes it extremely slippery -- like walking on an ice rink.

Is there a way we can change the concrete surface? The contractor doesn't return my calls.

  • My mistake -- it turns out it was coated with "J23 acrylic copolymer sealant". Thank you for the tips! – Sullivan Mar 2 at 15:20
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That's a tricky one. Wax? It's supposed to be sealed but not with wax. If you can't identify exactly what it's composition is you'll have to resort to trial and error. Test removal methods in small inconspicuous areas. It may be extremely hard to remove the finish in winter. I would start with gentle solvents and progress up to etchants (acid that will actually eat a fine layer of concrete. Aggressive treatment will change the look of the concrete and will need to be resealed in the appropriate weather conditions. I would use salt and sand for the remainder of the winter and address it in the spring.

  • My 1st suggestion would be to clean it with a pressure washer and detergent. I would use a biodegradable detergent first. Concentrate on the outer parts that would be in contact with shoes rather than the grooves. – Jim Stewart Feb 23 at 20:41
  • If this is the first winter for that concrete it's not a good idea to use salt. – Platinum Goose Feb 24 at 11:37
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Yes, but you'll need to absolutely remove any wax, and have favorable weather.

Then you paint the concrete, and add traction grit to it. This is sort of like sand, but designed to work with the paint.

If it wasn't outdoors, I would say the perfect paint was 2-part epoxy garage floor paint. However it is outdoors, and UV light from the paint would quickly kill the epoxy.

I would consult your local Sherwin Williams/Industrial dealer and see what they recommend for an outdoor-friendly concrete paint that is in 2 components. 1-part paint is not nearly as reliable, because it needs air contact to dry, and it will not find that in the microscopic crevasses of the concrete. As such, it will not fully penetrate and will more easily spall off in the future. You need a paint that would dry in the can, and that obviously must be sold as a 2-part paint to be mixed.

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