You might be in need of a new patio, and you are deciding which material is best suited for your project. There are several options, including stamped concrete, pavers, and wood, all of which share pros and cons. A patio is a significant investment, so you want to make sure you pick the most suitable material. One concern you might have with a stamped concrete patio is if it is slippery. We get it; the smooth surface of stamped concrete certainly looks as though it could be slippery, especially in wet conditions. You and your family will be spending plenty of time on your new outdoor surface, so it is natural that safety is a concern. However, there is no simple answer to the question: Is stamped concrete slippery. Here are a few things you need to know.
Slips and Falls are Quite Common
The National Safety Council states that nearly 9 million Americans are treated at the hospital each year due to slip and fall injuries. Obviously, not all of these falls occur on stamped concrete surfaces, but it does happen. There is certainly an increased risk of slipping on a surface that is wet. As such, falls on concrete around swimming pools are far more common than on your patio. Still, it makes perfect sense to walk with a little more caution when your stamped concrete is wet.
Yes, Stamped Concrete Can Be Slippery
Stamped concrete is more slippery than normal concrete, mainly because concrete comes with a brushed finish that provides a rough texture. Stamped concrete is smooth, therefore more slippery, especially when it is wet. Here is something else that you need to know; wood and other surfaces are also slippery when they are wet. In fact, add water to almost any material, and it will become slippery. Think about that Slip-n-Slide you had when you were a kid. You could spread that thing across the backyard and run up and down it in your bare feet, and you would never fall because plastic does a good job gripping the bottom of your feet. But hook up the hose to the Slip-n-Slide, and you know just how slippery it gets.
What Makes Stamped Concrete Slippery?
Concrete is a porous material, which means it will absorb water and other liquids that are spilled on it. This is why concrete is often sealed with a clear acrylic after it has cured. Not only does sealing concrete enhance the color of the concrete, but it repels water as well, making it less slippery. If you have a concrete patio and think it is far more slippery than it should be, you could be right.
One reason why stamped concrete could be slippery is that it has been oversealed. Some homeowners think that when it’s time to re-seal their concrete patio, more is better. This isn’t the case with concrete sealer. Think of a sealer as a plastic cover; a thin plastic cover is just as waterproof as a thick plastic cover. A thick layer of sealant will fill in every crevice and pore of the cement and create a super smooth surface that will be slippery when wet. A thin layer of sealant allows surface pores, which creates traction.
Solutions to Slippery Concrete
If you are concerned about a slippery stamped concrete patio, there are things you can do besides not laying on the sealant too thick. You can ask your contractor to add non-skid additives to the sealant. There are products on the market that help keep your concrete from being too slippery, and they are invisible on the surface so that they won’t ruin the look of your patio. This is also something you can do when you re-seal your stamped concrete patio.
The bottom line here is that your stamped concrete patio won’t be more slippery than other materials, and there are ways you can enjoy a safer concrete surface. There is no reason why walking around on your stamped concrete patio can’t be just as safe as walking on any other hard surface. If you have any questions about a stamped concrete patio, or any questions concrete related, feel free to give us a call. You can also fill out our handy estimation form if you are ready to take the first step to a new patio.