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I have some exterior concrete stairs that were finished poorly. The treads are back-sloped and pools sit consistently on the treads in the fall/winter.

I am having the tread surfaces ground down so the water can drain. The exposed smooth aggregate surface now becomes a slip hazard instead of the ice that would have formed in the puddles.

What product would work to coat concrete in an exterior application that would hold up over time? or is there something else I could do to make the concrete surface non-slick once it has been ground down?

I suppose I could look at installing metal or rubber grip strips. Ideas?

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  • anyone use liquidrubber.ca polyurethane deck coating - says it works on concrete. Dec 15, 2020 at 20:54

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Grip tape.

grip tape

https://www.homedepot.com/p/4-in-x-34-ft-Anti-Slip-High-Traction-Safety-Grip-Tape-for-Stairs-Steps-Ladder-MA-ASGT-4-34/312387533?NCNI-5

You can see it is tape on one side and sand embedded in matrix on the other. We had some of this on the front porch for years. It is cheap and quick. I imagine like any other solution of this sort durability will have to do with how much sunlight strikes the tape on a daily basis. A nice thing too is you can see if it is wearing out, and replace it.

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  • I am going to settle on this answer. The concrete after grinding is surprisingly non-slip. I'll see how it goes once algae has a chance to grow and if so I'll give the grip tape a try. After 2 guys for 2 days = 28 man hours grinding I am not keen to throw more time/money at this. Dec 17, 2020 at 7:20
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Non-slip paint/sealers frequently used for this kind of thing. I usually see a coat applied, grit scattered onto the wet paint, then a second coat applied to hold everything.

It appears that single-part solutions exist too.

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  • +1 for suggesting to use “grit” between coats. We use a very light dusting of sand. I suggest you do a test patch.
    – Lee Sam
    Dec 15, 2020 at 5:26
  • Yes, a test spot is a good idea. Dec 15, 2020 at 6:17
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Grind them a bit further and then put down thin slices of brick (or rock or floor tile or whatever you want) on mortar right on top of the concrete. Paint is never a good idea on concrete it always peels off. (and yes I know there's a group out there that luvvs painted concrete and will come out screaming)

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