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How to roughen up slick concrete porch?

David_Edrington's picture

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Tina,

We often finish new slabs with an acid etch. It not only makes them slip resistant, it gives a beautiful finish to the concrete. Wear protective clothing and boots, use a muratic acid wash till you get the cement paste burned off and begin to see the sand in the concrete, then rinse well with lots of water. A final rinsing with a baking soda solution will neutralize any remaining acid.

Sand blasting will give similar results though without the organic color of the acid etch and it is a lot more messy.

David E.

(post #176641, reply #9 of 10)

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Somehow, one of the porches was poured and finished off absolutely smooth -- even the steps up to it -- a broken bone waiting to happen. How do we add a texture to it? Are there wire brushes (like sanders?). Then it will need sealing, too, right?

(post #176641, reply #1 of 10)

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Tina G,


You could try sand blasting or an acid to etch the concrete.


Joseph Fusco



Fusco & Verga Construction Co., Inc.

"The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." -- Plato

(post #176641, reply #2 of 10)

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If you are planning to paint it, you can add sand to the final coat. The paint store will have anti-slip additive sand. The price is that the paint will wear faster.

Top 'n' Bond is a cement skimcoating product that sticks pretty ferociously to existing concrete -- perhaps you could add a 1/8" rough coat using it. The stuff feathers very well and has a plastic consistency when wet. I don't know how well it will bond to your smooth concrete.

Can't you complain to whoever finished the slab and make them fix it?

(post #176641, reply #3 of 10)

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Oh, believe me, they're going to fix it. But I thought I might be able to offer a suggestion rather than leave myself at their mercy entirely. They're talking about some sort of electric wire brush, and then sealing with something.

(post #176641, reply #4 of 10)

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Sounds good. Did someone just get carried away with a steel trowel? Now, if I'd done your concrete finishing, you'd have NO trouble as to roughness!

(post #176641, reply #5 of 10)

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Tina,

As Andrew mentioned, painting may be your easiest solution. You can buy porch paint that already has an additive like sand in it that aids traction. I used this paint on my own old porch and the traction is very good. The downside is that the porch is much harder to clean because of the textured surface.

(post #176641, reply #6 of 10)

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Tina,

Check Protecrete.com . Look at product Vitritred. It
is an acid based product which is easily applied. Traction
is supposed to additionally increase with water present.
Good luck. Rick

(post #176641, reply #7 of 10)

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Tina,
this suggestion may be similar to Rick's above but I don't know the Brand name the stuff I've speced in the past. It is an epoxy based finish applied in two or three coats after a garage slab has been sandblasted. The final coat is spread with a sand product to give traction to an otherwise slippery surface. It looks really nice when cured. Around 4.50 a square foot in chicago...I don't know if your concrete is protected or if this product would stand up to exterior use.... hope this helps some.
mike

(post #176641, reply #8 of 10)

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I heared from an engineer that muratic acid will roughen concrete and if used strongly enough will roughen to the point where a bonding agent is not required if pouring new concrete on top of old. I would try this but start in a small area and experiment to find the right strength.

(post #176641, reply #10 of 10)

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Tina,

We often finish new slabs with an acid etch. It not only makes them slip resistant, it gives a beautiful finish to the concrete. Wear protective clothing and boots, use a muratic acid wash till you get the cement paste burned off and begin to see the sand in the concrete, then rinse well with lots of water. A final rinsing with a baking soda solution will neutralize any remaining acid.

Sand blasting will give similar results though without the organic color of the acid etch and it is a lot more messy.

David E.