Customized Stop-the-Slip Solutions
For Your Unique Conditions
Your Stop-the-Slip Solutions Graded:
If rain, snow or ice create dangerous slippery spots on your small wood porch or deck, Handi-Treads are the most effective, long-lasting solution for minimizing the risk of slips and falls. Even with a treacherous thin layer of ice, the raised traction buttons of Handi-Treads are uniquely self-cleaning. The pressure from a foot stepping on the rigid raised buttons cracks thin layers of ice, creating solid contact between the tread and sneaker, shoe or boot.
Installation of the aluminum Handi-Treads is very simple. There’s no need for time-consuming surface preparation prior to installation. Once installed, no maintenance is required for Handi-Treads, which are guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Don’t worry about shoveling snow off of Handi-Treads. Even with an aluminum snow shovel, you won’t damage the treads. A snow shovel will pull up grit tape in a single stroke and will dramatically reduce the longevity of anti-slip paint.
Because Handi-Treads are a lifetime solution with once-and-done installation and maintenance, their initial cost is higher. When measured over a three to five year performance period, the investment in Handi-Treads is the most-cost effective solution for your front porch or backyard deck.
Total Score: A-
Installation & Maintenance: A
Initial Price: C
Long-Term Value: A
Non-Slip Grit Tape: D
Anti-slip tape can be used in some outdoor wooden porch and decks situations as a short-term fix to reduce slips and falls. The grit embedded into the tape provides good traction in simple wet conditions. However, grit tape does not perform well in snowy conditions
The proper installation of non-slip grip tape requires some effort. It’s important that the wood surface, whether stained or painted, is clean, dry and in good shape. Heavily grained, uneven or splintering wood reduces the ability of the tape’s adhesive to bond to the wood porch or deck.
There’s no maintenance that can or should be done to the tape other than to be very careful of the edges and corners, which can be easily pulled up. Once a corner or edge begins to peel, the grip tape will quickly deteriorate. The use of snow shovels on grit tape will almost certainly pull the tape up from the wood deck, rendering it useless.
If you’re comfortable with a lifespan on an outdoor wood porch or deck of six months to a year, grit tape can be an inexpensive temporary solution
Total Score: D
Installation & Maintenance: C
Initial Price: A
Long-Term Value: D
Heavy Duty Rubber Mats: C
Heavy rubber and fiber mats are not attractive and tend to catch and collect dirt over time. However, the mats can be an effective, temporary way to increase the traction in on a wood deck or porch during the winter, if properly maintained.
While heavy rubber and fiber mats handle moisture with ease, these mats must be kept free of snow if they are to be effective in the winter. The deep channels or cut-outs that make them “grippy” in the wet can also hold ice if the snow is allowed to pack into the mat.
Care must be taken when using a snow shovel with rubber mats as even a plastic blade can cut the rubber. The most effective way to remove snow from fiber or rubber mats is to pull them up and shake them off frequently.
There is no installation required with mats as they can be laid down in the area where you need the extra traction.
We can only recommend rubber mats if you purchase ones that (1) have holes for drainage, (2) have a beveled edge, and (3) are at least 10 pounds. The drainage is necessary so that when snow melts and refreezes you don’t end up with a tray of ice. The beveled edge reduces the chance that you’ll catch a toe on the edge of the mat which would actually cause you or a loved one to fall. Finally, the weight of the mat is important so that you can’t accidentally move it when using it for traction.
Depending upon thickness and quality of the rubber or fiber mat material you can expect the mat to last 2 to 4 years.
Total Score: C
Installation & Maintenance: C
Initial Price: B
Long-Term Value: C
Grit Paint: C+
A top quality grit paint, like those from Slip Doctor can be used to reduce the slipperiness of a wood porch or deck, but the paint will mask the natural beauty of the wood, but can add a unique flair if you choose one of Dura Grip or Tuff Grip’s ten vibrant colors.
Grit paint can improve the safety of a deck or porch if it’s a high-quality enamel or epoxy paint, applied meticulously, and maintained properly. Like grit tape, non-slip paints include an aggregate that creates traction. The best anti-slip paints contain aluminum oxide or carborundum that, while encapsulated in the paint, creates a rough, slip resistant surface. We rate the effectiveness of grip paint very high for wet weather, frost, and a dusting of snow.
Anti-slip paints on exterior surfaces are, by and large, maintenance free. However, if you live where it snows you need to be very careful not to aggressively shovel the area painted with grit paint. While the epoxy or enamel coating is durable under normal foot traffic, it’s no match for an aluminum snow shovel. Once you start to scrape way the thin paint layer covering the aggregate, the system will quickly degrade.
The cost of a high-quality grit paint can run between $120 and $160 a gallon. In addition, you’ve got the consumable cost of paint brushes or rollers, trays, sandpaper, masking tape, and drop cloths. When all costs are factored, and depending upon the size of the area to be covered, grit paint can be a cost effective solution. Grit paint will normally last between three and five years before a re-coat is needed.