Why Painted Concrete Can Cause Slip Issues

Doug Enright 

Concrete can be decorated in more ways than you think. Whether you use paint or stamps, concrete can be more creative than just a grey slab on the ground or at use for a project. Painted concrete, however, when cheaply done, can be a safety hazard for anybody walking on it during slick conditions, such as rain or snow. Let’s look at why people paint concrete cheaply and what the alternatives are to getting the same look.

Why Painted Concrete is a Hazard

You’ve seen the type of painted concrete we’re talking about. It’s literally painted on. People will buy paint from a hardware store, then paint over the top of the concrete like they would a wall. It eventually dries and that’s that, until the first rain or snow that comes along. When concrete is painted like we’re describing, it becomes incredibly slick and even the most slip-resistant shoe or boot can’t compete.

Above ground transit centers, like those located in Denver, Colorado, for example, are notorious for using this cheap method to highlight different areas of a platform. RTD, the Regional Transportation District, uses painted concrete to highlight the safety lines for its light rail platforms, along with where each door will correspond to a stopped light rail. For some, this can be incredibly unsafe as people slip when stepping on it frequently.

Concrete painted in this fashion chips and is easily rubbed off over time. If you’re looking for a painted look for your concrete, or just color in general, use colored concrete. Colors can be mixed into concrete to give it the look you want without resorting to physically painting over concrete for the same style.

If you’re considering painting concrete without much thought, we recommend against it. Spend the time, and money, on researching the different ways you can get the same color and style for your project that will remain safe for anyone who comes across it. You can get the same color you want without resorting to painting on a color that won’t look good, won’t seal properly and will make your concrete project unsafe for those walking on it.

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