To permanently prevent your outdoor steps from becoming slippery due to rain, snow, or other factors, use no-slip tape on the steps, install non-slip treads, or add a grit additive when painting your steps. If your steps are already slippery due to snow and ice and you need a temporary fix to get through the winter, lay towels on the steps and allow them to freeze in place, sprinkle sand on the steps, or use a de-icer to melt the slick ice.
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How to Permanently Add Traction to Outdoor Steps
Slippery outdoor steps are a nightmare. They can make coming in and out of your house hazardous, especially if you are carrying groceries or leading an excited dog out for a walk. The following methods work for all kinds of steps—including wood, stone, concrete, and metal steps.
Adhesive anti-slip tape is an excellent solution for slippery steps. It’s inexpensive, can be applied in minutes, works instantly, and is designed to resist rain and inclement weather. Even better, this works for any surface.
- Use this no-slip tape to add traction to your outside steps.
- Works on all types of steps: wood, stone, metal, and concrete.
- Can be installed in minutes.
For a quick fix that turns slick steps into a no-slide zone, anti-slip tape is a perfect choice.
If you deal with heavy rain or snowfall on an annual basis, you may want to opt for a solution that works no matter the outdoor conditions. Rubber no-slip treads are made to handle extreme weather. Perfect for steps that receive a lot of snow or for workshop steps that experience heavy foot traffic.
- These rubber tread mats are the heavy-duty solution for adding tread to your steps.
- Stands up to heavy snow without losing traction.
- Can be glued to any step surface.
Because this anti-slip tread also includes the rubber “nose,” it provides complete step coverage. This prevents you from slipping when you place your foot on the edge of the step, making certain there are no mishaps.
Add Grit to Paint
If you don’t like the look of tread strips, textured paint is a great way to add traction to steps. By adding a clear grit product to your paint or finish, you can add traction to any steps you wish to paint. It can even be mixed with clear polyurethane wood finishes.
- This additive can be added to any paint, varnish, or epoxy to add grit and traction.
- Clear grit can be used with wood finishes and stains without marring the appearance of your wood steps.
- Designed for wet conditions on the decks of ships.
- Adds traction to the entire step, unlike tread strips that may leave bare spots.
One of the biggest advantages of using grit in paint is that you can apply it to any and all portions of the step you wish. Tread strips may not cover the entire step, but you can add traction to the entire step easily with paint grit.
How to Prevent Slippery Outdoor Steps in Winter
While installing tread strips or repainting steps might work great when the weather is cooperating, things get tougher if snow and ice have already arrived. Here are some tactics to employ if a permanent solution isn’t possible at the moment and you just need to make your steps safe until the spring thaw.
Lay Towels on Icy Steps
An old towel laid over a step will quickly freeze to the ice. Once in place, the towel will stay put and become an instant tread strip. This is a great option when your steps are coated with ice and you don’t want to spend time trying to melt or chip it off.
Spread Cat Litter or Sand
Similar to towels, cat litter and coarse sand provide instant traction in icy conditions. Simply spread a layer of cat litter on top of the ice and your steps won’t be slippery anymore. The good news is, cat litter and sand are natural products that biodegrade, so this is also safe for the environment.
Use a De-Icer
The best de-icer for outdoor steps is this magnesium chloride product. It melts ice down to temperatures of -10℉ (-23℃), won’t corrode wood, metal, or concrete, and is safe for pets and plants.
- Use magnesium chloride to melt ice on steps.
- Magnesium chloride won’t corrode your steps.
- Avoid rock salt. It is corrosive to wood, metal, and concrete.
Avoid using rock salt or similar de-icers. Salt is ineffective at temperatures below 20℉ (-7℃); is extremely corrosive to wood, metal, and concrete; and the runoff will nearby plants. Not only that, but if your pets walk on rock salt, it will cause injury to their paws. Choose a magnesium chloride product to melt ice on your steps without causing any property damage.
- Melts snow and ice in frigid cold temperatures (as low as -10°F).
- Safe for pets and the environment and won't harm paws or plants.
- Small, round pellets make for easy dispersal on driveways and steps.
How to Prevent Slippery Outdoor Steps
If your steps are slippery because of water, snow, or ice, you can turn a slip hazard into a safe set of steps with the following methods:
- Apply no-slip adhesive tape.
- Install heavy-duty rubber stair treads.
- Paint your steps with paint containing a grit additive for traction.
These methods will all permanently make your steps safe for you and your family regardless of weather conditions. Apply them and you can continue to use your steps worry-free