When it rains or snows, your outdoor stairs are bound to become slippery; use no-slip tape on the steps, but there are temporary fixes to get you through the winter and prevent your stairs from becoming a “deathtrap”.
If you are looking for what to put on outside steps to prevent slipping then you should consider an anti-slip tape, anti-slip floor finish, transparent anti-slip strips or non-slip paint additives.
What to put on Outside Steps to Prevent Slipping
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Transparent Anti-Slip Strips
As the name implies, these are transparent strips that still allow you to see your steps while preventing slipping.
Some products are sold with an installation roller which is used to remove any air bubbles from the strip; this enables it to blend in perfectly with the rest of the stair tread.
These strips can be used on indoor and outdoor steps. They provide a tactile yet soft surface that prevents slips without affecting the comfortability of the steps.
This is a commonly used fixed for slippery steps. Anti-slip tape can be used to provide an effective non-slip surface for stairs of all kinds. It is, in fact, an 80 grit sandpaper with an adhesive backing.
This tape is weatherproof and can be placed on both interior and exterior wood stairs without the worry of it peeling off.
Although this tape can withstand rain and snow extremely well, it is not recommended to put it on an area that experiences constant moisture, such as a pool deck.
Taking out this anti-slip tape may pose a problem if you have wooden steps. Its adhesive backing damages wood floor finishes, and when you pull the strips off, the wood finish comes right along with it.
This is a great option if you have a workplace or industrial space with wooden stairs, as it is a virtual guarantee that you won’t slip.
Anti-Slip Floor Finish
This is a less commonly used solution but is also very effective. Most anti-slip wood finishes are transparent and won’t cover the beauty of your steps.
Some products are available in various finishes, such as matte or gloss, giving you the option of choosing how the finish looks after application.
However, removing these products is quite difficult. If you ever decide to remove the anti-slip floor finish from your steps, it can result in damage to your treads.
These finishes are usually water-based, but trying to scrub them out with any cleaning agents such as mineral spirits can damage the original finish of your steps.
If you decide to use an anti-slip finish on your outside steps to prevent slipping, make sure to spot test the product on a small part of the steps, or a scrap wood piece of the same species, such as oak, to see what the finished may look like.
If you are okay with the look, you can go ahead and apply it. This is a great way to make your steps look natural while becoming less slippery.
The anti-slip spray is a cheaper alternative than roll-on anti-slip finishes or anti-slip strips. It is also very easy to apply and is completely transparent.
Although affordable, this product may sometimes affect the appearance of steps, especially if there are made from wood.
If you have wooden steps coated with finish, this product is bound to change the appearance of the wood as they often require several coats, and all of that spray will certainly affect appearance, even if the product is marketed to be “transparent.”
The durability of this product is also questionable as they come in a spray can, which might make it difficult to apply it evenly on the floor; this might also affect the appearance.
However, if you need a quick fix for your slippery outside steps, then the anti-slip spray can always come in handy.
Non-Slip Paint Additives
Non-slip floor paint additive is added to any floor paint, including paints for hardwood flooring, and when the paint is applied, it makes the surface non-slip.
These additives are essentially a pail of sand that binds with the paint to create a sandpaper-like surface. Sand is completely safe to be paired with paint and does not affect the color or finish at all.
You can also choose the amount of anti-slip additive to add to your paint. To achieve a coarser feel on your painted surface, you can add a small quantity of the additive, and to achieve a denser, rougher feel; you can add the entire bucket or package.
Since this product is used with paint, you wouldn’t have to worry about how it would affect the finish of your wooden steps.
The grit, however, may damage the wood beneath over time, and you would need to refinish the steps whenever you decide to remove the paint.
Products listed above are what to put on outside steps to prevent slipping, but whichever option you choose to follow, ensure to follow the product’s directions.
It is important that you adhere to the manufacturer’s specs to ensure that the product turns out the right way and doesn’t ruin the appearance of your steps.