How to Fix Outdoor Stairs That are Slippery

Slippery stairs are extremely dangerous.
They can cause horrible falls and spills that can break bones and cause bruises. The key to eliminating the slipperiness on stairs is to deal or what is causing the slickness, such as snow, water or a generally slick surface. Most of the time, this amounts to a simple home project.

Step 1

Remove the snow and ice with your snow shovel and ice chipper during the winter. The key is to keep up with ice and snow removal so it does not build up. Sprinkle winter salt down on the stairs frequency. If you do not have salt, sprinkle sand or cat litter.

Step 2

Determine the cause of the heavy amount of snowfall or ice accumulation if the amount seems abnormal. For instance, if you find 2 or 3 inches of ice on the stairs each time the snow melts and then freezes, the problem may be a faulty gutter or downspout near or above the stairs. Make sure the gutters and downspout are not plugged with leaves or ice, inhibiting the flow of water.

Step 3

Place adhesive non-slick strips on each step. Most home improvement retailers carry stair strips that help eliminate slickness. These are especially helpful with wood stairs that tend to be slick when wet.

Things You Will Need

  • Snow shovel
  • Ice chipper
  • Salt
  • Adhesive non-slick strips

About the Author

Brendan O'Brien is a professional journalist in Milwaukee, Wis. He has worked for several news organizations, newspapers such as the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" and trade magazines during his career of more than 15 years. He is currently a freelance writer who works for several publications.