Your Place: Antislip tape may save full additive solution

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Q: We have a common California style balcony in front of our condo building, with a coat of epoxy that was put on by the contractor last year.

The finish is very slippery. Is there anything we can apply on top of the epoxy coating that will make the finish less slippery?

A: Some contractors use a sand-like additive to make epoxy finishes less slippery.

When I considered, and then later decided against, using a two-part epoxy paint on the floor of my garage, the experts recommended that the additive be used.

In that case, it was something called Shark Grip, a grit consisting of small micronized polymer beads that are soft to the feet and skin.

It becomes translucent when added to a coating and will create very small bumps for grip when it is mixed into the final top coat of your floor.

For your balcony, Iím surprised that the contractor didnít add the gritty coating. But, given the bumpy appearance of the finish when the grit is added, it might have given the person who hired him pause.

Smooth and shiny might look much nicer, but in this case it can also be more dangerous.

There are products on the market that can make the surface of your balcony less slippery without having a contractor come in to do it over.

One is called Skid Safe ó itís a water-based sealer and finish that is used on all sorts of potentially slippery surfaces.

Iíve never used it, and Iím sure there are a number of other products available on the Internet. Make sure you check out each product before you buy, read the directions carefully, and follow all the safety precautions listed on the label.

There also is an antislip tape that Iíve used on the newly painted floor of a porch.

Uline made the strips I used. The company makes antislip materials for many other house and shop uses, too.

I bought a roll at the hardware store, cut strips to fit, and put them on the stairs and floor leading up to our mail slot.

They weathered very well. They were on the porch for many years and kept their grip, even in snow and rain.