Say "No" To Slip, Sliding On Slick Driveways This Winter: How To Apply A Non-Stick Sealer To Concrete

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Say "No" To Slip, Sliding On Slick Driveways This Winter: How To Apply A Non-Stick Sealer To Concrete

14 November 2014
 Categories: , Articles


With winter comes crackling fireplaces, snowmen, ice skating and...slippery driveways. If you are a homeowner, you probably know how slick a driveway can become during icy weather. Salt or other deicers may help control the problem, but those products can cause unsightly pitting in your concrete. Fortunately, there is a good solution to your problem. Here is how you can apply a durable coating on your driveway to increase slip-resistance when the toughest winter weather strikes:

What you will need

  • Airless paint sprayer with 0.015 inch spray tip—sprayers can be purchased new from home improvement stores, or you can also rent them from an equipment rental dealer. However, it's best to purchase a new tip to be sure that it is not worn and can effectively and efficiently coat your driveway.
  • Penetrating concrete sealer, 1 gallon per every 250 square feet of driveway surface—water-based sealers are easiest to work with, and penetrating sealers will fill-in microscopic pores and cracks that retain water.
  • 220 grit white aluminum oxide abrasive powder, 1 pound per every 5 gallons of concrete sealer—this inexpensive material is often sold for sand-blasting, but it makes an excellent non-slip surface for concrete. It can be purchase at hardware stores and from paint suppliers.
  • Concentrated acid etch solution, 1 gallon per every 400 square feet of driveway surface—be careful when handling this chemical. It can cause painful skin burns and blindness if splashed into your eyes.
  • Trisodium phosphate (TSP) powder—use genuine TSP, not the substitute, as it performs far better.
  • Garden hose
  • Bucket
  • Brush with stiff nylon bristles
  • Broomstick handle

Prepare the driveway surface

To begin, your driveway surface needs to thoroughly cleaned in order to bond with the concrete sealer. Here is how:

  1. Sweep your driveway to remove all traces of rocks, gravel, and other loose debris.
  2. Using your hose, spray off the driveway completely to remove dirt and other materials that adhere to the surface.
  3. If you have oil or grease stains on your driveway, prepare a solution of trisodium phosphate and water according to the directions on the package. Generously apply it to the stains with a stiff-bristled nylon brush. Scrub until the stains fade, and rinse the area clean with the garden hose.
  4. Once your driveway is clean, you will apply your acid etch solution. This solution will "roughen" the surface of your driveway to allow for optimum absorption of the sealer. Acid etch solution is usually mixed in a 4-to-1 ratio, water-to-acid, but be sure to follow the directions on the bottle or jug.
  5. Once you have mixed the acid etch/water solution thoroughly, slowly spray it on your wet driveway using one gallon for every one hundred square feet. Allow the solution to remain on your driveway for approximately five-to-ten minutes, or longer if the acid etch instructions specify otherwise.
  6. Rinse your driveway thoroughly with a garden hose to remove all traces of acid etch solution.

Apply your sealer and anti-slip coating

After you have washed, etched and rinsed your driveway, the next step is to apply the sealer and anti-slip coating. Be sure that your concrete is completely dry before spraying; sweep away any debris that may have deposited on your driveway after the preparation step above. Here is how to mix and spray-on your sealer:

  1. Mix one pound of 220 grit aluminum oxide powder with every 5 gallons of sealer. Use a broomstick handle to thoroughly stir the mixture together until the powder is evenly dispersed.
  2. Evenly spray the driveway with the mixture, applying at a rate of 1 gallon per every 250 square feet. Be sure not to apply the mixture too thickly.
  3. After the first application has dried, respray the driveway with the same mixture and at the same application rate.
  4. Allow the sealer to dry for at least 24 hours before driving or walking on the driveway.

Contact a general concrete contractor, like Claggett & Sons Inc, for more information.