How to Install Safety Strips on Outdoor Steps in Cold Weather

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As the temperature drops and moisture fills the air, outdoor steps can develop a layer of ice on them that is not readily visible. To reduce the risk of falling and extensive shoveling and salting your steps, you can install safety strips. Safety strips range from gritty decals that provide more traction to metal strips with nobs that prevent ice from adhering as easily. While it is best to install these strips before they are needed, you can still get them on properly in cold weather.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety strips
  • Snow shovel
  • Masonry anchors
  • Masonry drill
  • Screws
  • Choose the safety strip that fits your needs. There are non-skid strips that stick on or metal strips to screw on. If your geographical area just gets cold with little snow, you can probably use the stickers, while areas with harsh winter snows should use a metal strip.

  • Clear the stairs of any snow or debris with the snow shovel. Do this early in the day, as the sun is hitting the steps.

  • Allow the sun to dry the steps thoroughly. Employ the use of a hair dryer or heating gun if you are concerned about moisture. Just make sure the cords are kept secure and dry.

  • Measure and mark the safety strip on each step using a grease pencil. The step should be as close to the edge of the stair as possible and centered between the sides, so it covers the most stepped-on areas.

  • Apply the safety strip.

    Place sticker on the clean, dry surface. Start with the left marking, and slowly pull the tape across to the right as you smooth the sticker on. Use the snow shovel to flatten the sticker, preventing dangerous creases and bubbles.

    Measure and mark the screw holes for metal strips. Drill the holes, and apply masonry anchors into concrete steps. Lay the metal strip on the step, and align the screw holes. Screw the strip down, getting the holes flush to the metal.

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  • Photo Credit winter scenery image by Vaidas Bucys from Fotolia.com
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