Are you worried about falling on your porch? Older porches come with many trip hazards, such as uneven concrete and pavers. Perhaps an even bigger concern is slippery ice in the winter, especially with the harsh climates we face here in Michigan. This guide explains how to make your brick porch slip-resistant, so you can safely use it all year long.
Thoroughly Clean Your Bricks and Concrete
Bricks and concrete are porous materials. They absorb water and direct it downward, so you should be able to safely walk on your porch when it rains. If the pores are clogged with oil and grim, the water or ice will pool on the surface. This increases your fall risks. We recommend power washing or thoroughly cleaning your brick porch at least once per year to ensure the materials work properly.
Lay Cheap Rugs on the Porch before It Snows
This is a great hack for the winter months. Buy some cheap rugs or welcome mats from the dollar store and lay them along your porch before it snows. When the snow stops, you can pull up the rugs and walk on the empty spaces left below. You can use these empty areas to gain footing as you shovel or sweep snow off the porch. Set the rugs on the porch railing to dry, and put them back down before the next storm.
Learn more: 7 Brick Porch Safety Tips for Winter
Pour a Thin Layer of Sand over the Porch and Steps
You can use sand to make your brick porch slip-resistant. This is not ideal for all porches because the sand may scuff up the bricks and concrete. Sand is generally safer than cat litter or salt, and it may cost less than those materials. Pour a light layer of sand over your porch before and after it snows for optimal grips.
Use a Brick Sealant with an Anti-Slip Additive
If you’re going to seal your porch bricks, make sure the sealant has a slip-resistant additive. Some sealants are made for vertical surfaces. They are glossy and slick, making them dangerous for walking areas. The same can be said for brick paint, which can turn your porch into a slip-and-slide in the winter. A porous brick or concrete surface is going to be much safer in the long run.
Redo Slippery Brick Paint
If your brick porch was painted in the past, you might need to add a new coating to make it slip-resistant. We saw a trend many years ago where homeowners would paint their foundation skirting and porches all at once. This looks great at first glance, but it creates a safety hazard for walking areas. Consider stripping the paint or adding a gritty sealant to the surface to cut down on the slipperiness.
Get an Exposed Aggregate Overlay for the Concrete
Exposed aggregate concrete shows the pebbles and other materials in the concrete structure. Most concrete installations have a thin layer of cream on top, but exposed aggregate does not. This creates a decorative finish that many homeowners love, and it provides a better grip when the surface is wet or icy. You can get an exposed aggregate concrete overlay for your porch to revitalize its appearance and improve safety on your property.