Steep, steep driveway

8 replies [Last post]

We overlayed a steep driveway a few years ago. We added lots of sand to the texture mix and made a deep, heavy, sandy texture. We added lots of # 36 aluminum oxide to the final clear seal.
Got a call the other day that the driveway is slippery. Any ideas what can be done after-the-fact to solve this problem ?

Is there an aluminum oxide of a lower mesh than # 36 ? I thought about trying to add raised horizontal ridge lines similar to whats done on steep poured driveways but, that seemed difficult to create. Also, considered scoring horizontal saw cuts in the concrete.

Any help is appreciated.


i hope they plan to pay you.

i hope they plan to pay you. sealer and nonslip aggregate will wear off outside in a couple years. any warranty should have expired by now.

i would tell them they need to reseal. put a couple coats down and add #3 or #4 glass bead. glass bead is better outside because it is clear and it is round - no sharp edges on bare feet, like with the aluminum oxide.

nothing is maintenance free. especially outside. decks need to be recoated every year or two. cars need to be waxed. decorative concrete needs to be resealed also. they should have been told this at the outset, but it is still common sense.

Lindy A.'s picture
Lindy A.
Of course, cleaning/prep

Of course, cleaning/prep work, and resealing again incorporating a skid resistant abrasive is ADVISABLE at this time ... however, keep in mind that due to the wear/tear and degree of friction over a steep driveway will wear/abrade away the sealer/abrasive over a shorter period of time than a flat driveway would ... this service comes under the heading of routine service/maintenance; therefore, your customer should be charged the fair/going rate for doing so.

Someone sent a photo/computer image attachment back a couple of years ago of how they had engraved/cut a elongated diamond like pattern in two tracks, each about 2' wide, from the bottom to top of a very steep driveway up north in Michigan (I'll see if I can resurrect it from my archived email and post it). The diamond pattern appeared to be cut about 1' long by 3-4" wide, assume that water ran off/down the driveway along the channels due to the steep grade (although I wondered about freeze-thaw damage potential if/when snow/ice accumulated in the scored/cut channels ... I'm located in central Texas so ice and snow isn't a real consideration here). They told me they also cut wheelchair ramps with this diamond like pattern for extra mobility/grip when transversing up and down them.

Lindy A.

Hello Lindy, So, the

Hello Lindy,

So, the diamond pattern is created with 1 foot by 3 or 4 inch

rectangles ? Sounds good but, when we originally installed, we cut in

what I call a Custom Scoreline pattern. You're all familiar with a

scored pattern using the original cracks as joints and cutting in faux

lines to create flagstones. This would look sooooo busy.

Referring to the glass beads approach; I thought the fact that

aluminum oxide is angular rather than round, kept it from wearing

down as quickly as other medium.

Thanks again,


neither one of them is going

neither one of them is going to wear down. glass bead is not as hard as aluminum oxide but it's still plenty hard. much more so than shark grip or micronnized polymer.

what's going to happen as the sealer wears away is that both aggregates will eventually be washed away. down the driveway.

you need to reseal every 2-3 years and when you do you should just add more aggregate if need be. you can get a 50 pound bag of glass bead for $25. and you won't use hardly any of that. the stuff is very inexpensive.

Lindy A.'s picture
Lindy A.
Cutting in the diamond grid

Cutting in the diamond grid as described above would definitely be "to busy" due to the decorative concrete pattern you already have on the driveway; therefore, not an option in your case. Your only option is to reseal every couple of years and/or when deemed necessary, incorporating the skid-resistant media of your choice ... aluminum oxide is the roughest (but due to being angular pieces of metal it is not something that anyone should be walking on barefoot; glass beads are a viable option (many companies that sell blasting media supplies stock various sizes of glass beads).

Lindy A.

some driveways're just TOO

some driveways're just TOO steep considering safety factors,,, they might not get snow but water could make the surface very slippery,,, zeppie might be the guy who'd take this job, tho, & get it off your back w/his ' get outta jail ' card-phrase { hold harmless },,, could scarify some wheel paths for traction,,, i'd also check your ins policy for completed operations & genl liability limits,,, they might have 4 wheel drive vehicles.

best [the original] but-they-don't-have-8-wheel-brakes yic-yac

Not sure I appreciate the

Not sure I appreciate the condescension, sunny, but it's ok, I respect old timers.

obviously not enough, tho

obviously not enough, tho :-) git your *** outta bed & git to wurk ! ! !

best [the original] still-up-early yic-yac