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How to Fix a Slippery Staircase

Having a slippery staircase is a hazard you don’t want to deal with. Falling down the stairs leads to severe injuries, so you must do whatever you can to protect your family. Stone, concrete, tile and hardwood all create slippery surfaces at times. Thankfully, there are ways to fix a slippery staircase and add some traction without a lot of effort. If you don’t think it can happen to you, consider the alarming statistics from the CDC. They say that every year, 3 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries. That’s a lot! Now that you see the importance of fixing a slippery staircase, you have to figure out what to use. Deciding which method is right for you requires that you look at the surface material, the ease of installation, expense and the visual effect you hope to achieve.

What Material is the Staircase Made From?

Indoor stairs are made from several materials. Office buildings tend to use a painted or sealed concrete for their steps. Inside your home, you might have stairs made from hardwood plank. These are often slippery just because of the smooth nature. So what should you do? How can you safeguard your family while they walk up and down the stairs? Well, you have several options when you want to fix a slippery staircase.

Option #1 – Carpeting

Carpet fibers offer natural friction, so it provides grip while walking. You can choose to add a runner up the stairs or apply individual treads on each step. The treads are slightly safer because the fibers around the edge of each step with a runner are harder to grip. If you plan to make your own, make sure you use short-pile carpeting for maximum safety. Of course, the downside to this is the additional cleaning you’ll need to do and the wear. Carpet doesn’t stay looking new after time. In fact, it can become dingy and worn after just a little use.

Option #2 – Abrasive Treads

You can apply some abrasive tape to create the roughness you need to climb up the stairs safely. This tape sticks to the step and offers a rough surface. Over time, those strips do start to peel up and wear. While you could choose the screw down type, these are generally made for outdoor use only. Not only doesn’t this solution work for the long term, but you’ll have to seal the steps before using them. That helps to keep water out from underneath the tape. Otherwise, moisture could sit there and cause damage to your steps, which you don’t want to deal with.

Option # 3 Durabak Coating

Durabak’s non-slip coating is the ideal solution to fix a slippery staircase. It’s available in multiple colors, so you can match your current color or add an updated look to your home. If you have waxed stairs, make sure you remove that layer first. Furthermore, it’s appropriate to roughen up the surface with sandpaper first. Properly prepare the area before you begin. That's an essential step no matter what job you do. Tape off any area you don’t want painted. Then, follow the directions of whatever material you use. Durabak comes with an application manual to walk you through the process. Remember with Durabak; you can brush it, roll it or spray it on. When the job is complete, allow the paint to dry all the way. It will take up to 48 hours for it to completely dry, so don’t walk on it. If you want to see how someone else had success using Durabak on stairs, make sure you check out the Replacing Carpet with Non-Slip Paint story from our blog.

Fix a Slippery Staircase Today

There’s no reason to procrastinate fixing that staircase today. With Durabak, the job is simple and can be done by anyone. You can use it on your exterior or interior stairs for maximum protection. Give us a call at 303-690-7190 to discuss your next project.

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