Stairs and steps are slippery when wet


Moss or dirt build-up on stairs 


  • if moss growth is the result of constant wetness, address this first if possible. For example, if this is the result of thick tree cover, consider pruning to allow light and wind to dry the steps. If it is the result of a damaged roof gutter above, fix the gutter

  • concrete steps can be cleaned by waterblasting to remove dirt and moss build-up – take care, as full pressure waterblasting can damage lesser quality concrete. An alternative is to use a cleaning solution for timber as below

  • clean timber stairs using a stiff bristle brush with water and a mild detergent, a proprietary cleaning solution or a solution of 1 part household bleach to 4 parts water. Rinse off thoroughly. Reduced pressure waterblasting is possible, but care is needed: timber surfaces can feather or splinter if the pressure is too high

  • if timber steps have closed treads, replacing with open treads may help. Open treads can dry easier and are less likely to accumulate leaves and other debris that can slow drying

  • paint steps and sprinkle sand over the paint top coat before it dries. Proprietary non-slip finishes are also available

  • begin a regular cleaning/maintenance routine


A smooth tread surface (worn grooved decking timber or non-grooved decking timber used)


  • clean down the timber as described above

  • staple galvanised wire or plastic mesh over the stair treads

  • fix proprietary nosings or grip strips to the treads

  • replace existing treads with 40 mm thick grooved decking timber (or 50 mm thick rough sawn timber to match existing tread thickness) – if existing treads are 45 or 50 mm thick, additional support may be required for new grooved decking treads