Are you looking for a solution to fix that slippery floor? You have landed on the right article so sit back and take some time to learn the best ways to make your floors safer, for you your family and visitors.
Whether it’s your kitchen floor or the public entry to your corporate HQ the principals for slip reduction are the same.
First things First
- Decide on your objectives ie. “duty of care compliance”, “meeting a construction code” or simply reducing slip fall risk? The objective is probably the most important question, as it will determine the range of available options.
- Find out what’s causing the problem. Is it rain, dust, oil or other contaminates? Is it a regular issue or seasonal? i.e.. all year round or just during specific periods.
- Decide if the cause of the problem can eliminated.
- Can the problem be mitigated? i.e. drainage, surface modification, additional cleaning etc.
Once you have considered these basic questions then you are ready to look at a couple of the main solutions available in today’s marketplace.
After a decade providing slip reduction solutions, we know that almost 90% of issues are caused by water. This type of contamination is common to most environments from the kitchen floor at home to the atrium in the city high rise. The basic principal is quite simple when the surface is dry the sole of the shoe or foot makes direct contact, when the surface is wet there is an additional layer that prevents this direct contact which is critical for positive grip.
The two main options to get that grip back.
- The first is to raise the traction by adding surface particles, these particles will roughen up the surface to a point where the sole of the shoe deforms around these particles and compensates for the lack of surface contact.
This solution is most commonly used on synthetic surfaces such as epoxies, vinyl’s or any man made surface. This type of modification is more common in heavy commercial and industrial settings rather than domestic or light commercial environments. While an excellent option in the short term these coatings may only stay effective from a few months to a couple of years, depending on the amount of pedestrian traffic and the type of footwear worn.
- The second option is to create micro channels in the surface to allow the water to escape away from the foots contact area. Sounds complicated, but most of the technical stuff has been around for many years and is exploited most effectively in racing tyre selection.
If you understand why the race teams choose slicks on sunny days, intermediate patterns in light rain and wet grip tyre’s when there is heavy rain or serious amounts of water on the track, then that’s what this second option is all about. If you want to see this effect in action, take a look here.
Invisible micro fractures are introduced into the surface that simulates the tread pattern of the wet tyre, these microfractures allow surface water to escape away from the contact area which then permits the sole of the shoe to make direct contact. This direct contact dramatically increases the surface grip, and like the racing car permits much better road holding and cornering. The other big advantage with this solution is that cleaned properly, it will last for many years as there is nothing to wear down!
Both options provide a great slippery floor fix, depending on the existing surface and your objectives. But like the old saying “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”, it’s important that you can see and feel the difference between the two. Take a trip to your local hardware and you should find sample paint chips with the grit additive, and you can feel the grip. If you want to experience the micro channel surface modification, then please contact us and we can arrange a test treatment to a spare tile, or to an inconspicuous area on an existing surface. For additional information or technical advice please contact us anytime.