Concrete steps or terraced stairways are the most prominent feature at the entryway of many homes and public buildings, yet too often they get relegated to purely utilitarian status. Elevating concrete stairs from bland to grand makes them the dramatic focal point of any entrance. Even greater visual impact is possible by combining decorative stairways with stamped or stained concrete walkways and landings that incorporate coordinating colors and patterns.
Concrete steps can be poured right along with your walkways or entryway, so they can be colored and textured to match. Precast concrete steps and precast concrete stairs are also an option. If you know just where they are needed, you can have the steps built off-site and installed later on your project
Light fixtures inset into this step face help prevent dangerous stumbles after dark. Another safety strategy is to use contrasting colors or patterns to make steps more visible.
Poorly designed, unsafe stairways are a common cause of slips and falls. Here are some important tips for reducing injuries:
- To prevent tripping, make sure all risers and treads are uniform throughout a flight. A Design Guide for Home Safety, published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, recommends keeping variations in riser height and tread width in a flight of stairs to less than 3/16 inch. Using round nosings and enhancing stairs visually to make edges more distinct will also help to prevent missteps.
- Treads narrower than 9 inches in width result in the greatest number of tripping accidents, according to Stair Safety: Causes and Prevention of Residential Stair Injuries, published by Cornell University. Research indicates that tread widths of 10 to 13 inches and riser heights of 6 to 8 inches are the most foot-friendly.
- Make sure stairs are well lit at night by using overhead lighting or installing light fixtures in the step faces. Also keep light levels consistent in transitions between stairways and surrounding areas.
- Absence of handrails accounts for a large percentage of falls on stairways, according to Cornell. Rails for stairs should be continuous and installed at a height that accommodates most users. National and state building codes stipulate heights ranging from 34 to 38 inches.
Add texture to the concrete treads to make them slip resistant. This can be done by using a textured finish, such as exposed aggregate, or by adding an anti-slip grit to the protective sealer coat.
Concrete step Repairs
Concrete steps if not properly done can cause injury, here are some tips needed to repairs concrete steps in order to prevent it from causing injury.
- Remove loose pieces and debris: Remove any loose pieces of concrete and debris with the trowel hand tools. Clean up dirt, weeds and any other debris.
- Pressure wash the concrete: Pressure wash the concrete, working in one direction so the debris will flow in one direction. Get the area as clean as possible.
- Tape off the edges: ape off the edges where you don’t want new concrete.
- Prepare the concrete Patch mix: Use concrete with at least 3,000 PSI and good adhesion. The concrete comes with its own bonding agent. Put the powder in the wheelbarrow or cement mixer. Add liquid a little bit at a time to a peanut butter consistency. Only mix the amount that can be used in 20 to 30 minutes
- Apply the concrete mix: Roll on a layer of bonding agent. Use a square nose shovel to put some concrete mix onto the top step. Use two trowels, one to lean on while working with the other.
- Fill the holes: While working, use any leftover concrete mix that’s getting kind of hard to fill the holes. Fill the hole and trowel over it to even it out. Smooth out hot spots with a trowel. Use the edge of the trowel to smooth out the surface.
- Add second coat: Add a second coat before the first coat dries. This gives the concrete a nice finished look.
- Create a wetter consistently: Mix the concrete to a wetter consistency — a slurry like pancake batter.
- Spray water: To test, lay a little down and broom it. If a ball forms, it’s too dry. If this happens, spray a little water on to dampen.
- Use concrete finishing broom: Drag the product across the entire surface with a concrete finishing broom. To test if your concrete is too dry, run the finishing broom across the concrete and if little balls appear, it’s too dry. Simply spray a little water on the surface and go over it again with the finishing broom.
- Work the concrete into the poles: Work the concrete into the pores of the existing concrete.
- Add the skim coat: Add the skim coat over the entire area.
- Shape the rounded portions: For the edge of the step use a nose tool or nodder and use a cove tool or cover to shape the rounded portions where the steps meet.
Decorative concrete step:
This is also an important part of the services we offer. Decorative concrete porch steps can be part of a terrific looking front entry to your home. Whether it’s a small landing or an oversized patio with room for seating, the concrete porch can be highly visible and an important design element.
Here are some decorative conctrete step you may want to choose from
- Stamped concrete: Having astamped concrete porch with matching steps makes for a great combination. Having the same color and pattern for both blends the look and creates a smooth transition to your front entry.
- Concrete overlay: If you have old, worn concrete porch stairs that are in good condition you can give them a face lift with a decorative concrete overlay. Aconcrete overlay can be colored and stamped or acid stained to create a highly decorative look.
- Concrete Engraving: Engraving your concrete porch and coloring with an acid stain is another option that will create a decorative look to plain gray cement porch steps.Concrete engraving can be used to create many patterns like stone, brick, or tile.
- Stenciled concrete: Stenciled concretecan be used for old or new cement porch steps and landings. Stencils come in many patterns that will match the look and feel of your home. Mimicking brick with a stencil is a popular pattern for many homeowners.