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Is Painted Concrete Dangerous?

slippery when wet caution signIn commercial properties, polished and painted concrete are materials/surfaces that have received much attention in recent times. As a personal injury lawyer service, we’ve seen plenty of slip and fall accident injuries over the years. Therefore, we’ve seen the attention of the media and the state switch from one hazard to another depending on the number of cases passing through our doors. Recently, it seems concrete flooring is a problem that industry experts want to fix.

With many injuries coming from this source, today we ask the question of whether painted concrete is dangerous or not.

Does Polished or Painted Concrete Need to Be Slippery?

In short, the answer to this would be ‘no’. First things first, any surface that lacks grit or texture will naturally be slippery when exposed to water. If a puddle sits on polished concrete, this is likely to make it more slippery than without water. Of course, the same is true for the concrete used on the sidewalks and on the streets. When used in a commercial setting, there are steps that companies can use to reduce the danger of of slipping some flooring. Concrete becomes more slip-resistant with the following:

  • Firstly, you can use grip tapes or slip-resistant pads (placed strategically across the concrete). As you can imagine, the cost of slip-resistant tape is small and it’s also simple to install. With this one change, businesses can make their flooring much safer.
  • Secondly, it’s possible to transform the smooth surface into a rough surface using acid etching and by simply running a strong broom over the surface. For some, they mix a gritty material, and this adds grip for all those who walk over the surface. Even when it rains, it should be easier to walk across.
  • Next, high-traffic areas are best off with slip-resistant mats. Depending on the size and shape required, you’re likely to find exactly what you need online. While pads and tapes are good for less busy areas, it’s easier to place down full mats in high-traffic areas rather than messing around with lots of tape.
  • Finally, builders will tell you all about non-slip additives and concrete coatings. By mixing the fine additive to the top coating or paint, the surface isn’t smooth and will be safer for all users. Generally speaking, only up to five ounces per gallon is required for a rougher surface.

Away from these four methods, some will use a trowel to add texture to concrete, add sand to the sealer, or add vinyl/metal flakes into the top section. With this in mind, there are lots of methods that businesses can use to remove the slippery nature of some concrete surfaces. This is great for those concrete surfaces, but what about polished concrete?

With the top layer of polished concrete, the aim is normally to prevent stains, but this doesn’t mean that the concrete is sealed. If this were the case, you would essentially have an ice rink as soon as water was on the surface. Instead, the shine we all see from polished concrete comes from scratching the surface in different ways (the scratches get smaller and smaller). As light reflects off the various vertical and horizontal angles, it shines.

As a result of this, polished concrete is naturally porous. Ultimately, this means that water pushes down into the flooring and this allows for traction for all those who walk on the surface. Every time you take a step, more of your foot touches the floor as opposed to the water. On the other hand, sealed concrete shines because of the plastic sealing. The material isn’t porous and will remain slippery as soon as liquid settles.

To summarize, some concretes are made more slip-resistant with mats, pads, tapes, and by roughing the top surface or introducing additives and other materials to paint. Meanwhile, polished concrete is naturally porous and much safer than sealed concrete. Neither painted nor polished concrete flooring needs to be slippery, but they can be slippery when not treated or maintained correctly (i.e. when slip-resistant additives aren’t used).

Biggest Problems and The Importance of the Tribometer

We’ve seen that polished and painted concrete doesn’t need to be slippery, so why the increase in slip and fall accident injury cases? In Florida, the biggest problem is the fact that companies use sealed concrete, or they use paint without non-skid additives. With this, the first drop of rainfall creates a dangerous surface.

In fact, we saw a case of this type just recently. After a Florida local slipped at the top of a stairway and fell all the way down, the consumer contacted an attorney and filed a case against the apartment complex. Shortly after, the maintenance supervisor stated that the stairs had been painted not so long before.

Eventually, after lots of investigation and evidence from both sides, Home Depot receipts showed that the maintenance team purchased ten gallons of paint and four units of anti-skid additive. On the label of the product, it advised using one unit of additive for every gallon of paint. Therefore, they were short in the amount of anti-skid additive used and the court requested further proceedings.

With this, it shows that companies can’t just add additives and be happy that the surface is safe for all users. Instead, they need to add the RIGHT amount of additive and really take this area seriously.

The Tribometer - In some cases, a tribometer is used to determine the amount of friction on a specific surface. While a tribometer is an instrument, the device or machine used for testing is referred to as a tribotester. In one of the classic tests, scientists will bounce a ball across a surface at an angle. From here, it’s possible to measure the amount of friction present.

Responsibilities of Property Owners

Whenever you visit a commercial property, they have two duties to you and every other ‘invitee’:

  • They need to keep the premises as safe as possible and consider potential hazards.
  • They need to warn of any potential perils that may be present on the property (especially those the invitee wouldn’t ordinarily be expected to discover).

If they fail in either of these two duties, you may have a personal injury claim after experiencing a slip and fall accident injury.

Making and Winning a Personal Injury Claim 

If you have experienced an injury of this type, the key to winning a potential case will all depend on whether negligence was shown from the owner. Did they fail in their duty of care? Did they fail in one of the two duties listed above? If you think so, the first course of action should always be medical attention. As we’ve said many times before, there are two benefits to the correct medical attention. Firstly, you get advice from a medical professional and are therefore in the best position to deal with injuries. Secondly, there’s a paperwork trail showing the extent of your injuries.

From here, we recommend reaching out to an experienced personal injury lawyer. Lawyers at The Injury Firm have experience and knowledge in this area, and we believe in obtaining compensation for those who deserve it most. If you’ve slipped and fallen on slippery concrete, we need to get to the bottom of why this happened. Not only is this important for your compensation, but it’s also critical the right people are held accountable so that others don’t have to go through the same thing as yourself.

If any case is to be successful in Florida, we need to prove negligence on the part of the owner. This could be an HOA, condominium, restaurant, store, or any other landowner. You will have seen this before, but there are four steps to obtaining compensation:

  • Proving that the owner had a duty of care towards the visitor
  • Showing that the defendant breached this duty
  • Showing that the plaintiff experienced an injury
  • Linking the injury to the breach of duty

If we can do this, you should be entitled to compensation because the defendant either knew about the slippery concrete and failed to act OR should have known about the slippery concrete.

How Will a Personal Injury Lawyer Help?

Operating across Florida, The Injury Firm lawyers have helped many clients in the past and we would love to add your name to the list. If you can’t get from your home or the hospital to our office, we’ll come to you. Thanks to our free case evaluation, you won’t pay a single dollar to have the initial conversation. Then, if we think you have a case, you will only pay when the case is resolved.

While you’re in the hospital or at home recovering, we will work on your behalf. For example, we’ll gather evidence and show the negligence of the property owner. In addition to this, we’ll protect your legal rights and advise when the inevitable calls come from the insurance adjuster. Unfortunately, their focus will be on keeping the compensation amount low. On the other hand, our focus will be on accepting no less than you deserve.

With a fantastic team, we don’t take on every case that comes our way. Therefore, you can be sure of our full attention when working with you. Another reason to choose The Injury Firm is the fact that we have the resources to take your case in front of a judge in case the insurance company fails to provide an offer we think is acceptable.

As an additional bonus, our office is open long hours so that you can get in touch whenever you have the time. Also, we speak Spanish. If you need a Spanish speaker, just request this for the free consultation and we will arrange a Spanish-speaking lawyer for you.

Getting Compensation For Personal Injury  

We’ve spoken lots about making claims, the dangers of slippery concrete, contacting a personal injury lawyer, experiencing a slip and fall accident injury, but what about the compensation itself? What can you expect to receive after an accident of this type? In truth, there’s no universal answer to this question (sorry!).

In our experience, there are a number of factors that affect the amount a victim will receive in a personal injury case. For example, one of the biggest considerations is the extent of injuries to the victim. As we’ve explained before, those with brain damage or spinal cord damage will likely get more than somebody with strains and sprains. Why? Because these injuries lead to more medical bills, lost income, earning potential, and have a bigger impact on the victim’s life.

After this, important considerations include the permanence of injuries, the extent of the negligence by the company, the evidence we can compile on your behalf, and more. For some victims, they affect their own claim by talking with an insurance adjuster and admitting to a portion of the blame. As soon as you admit some responsibility, the chance of recovering full damages is immediately gone.

When the insurance adjuster starts calling and asking questions, we’ll be by your side and your legal interests will always be our priority. We’ve dealt with plenty of insurance companies in the past, and we know how they trick victims into admitting blame. Unfortunately, their only focus is on spending as little as possible on your case (rather than you and your situation).

Summary

When treated and maintained properly, painted and polished concrete can be incredibly safe. There are ways to treat concrete to make it slip-resistant, and polished concrete is naturally porous. Without the right maintenance and without appropriate flooring paint, accidents can occur. In many cases, businesses are more worried about aesthetics and they fail to mix in the slip-resistant additives before painting to cover chips and cracks.

The more paint applied without this additive, the more the water will just sit on top because the concrete is less absorbent. If you have a case, contact the expert team at The Injury Firm today!

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The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only.  This website may contain information about The Injury Firm's past results, testimonials about the firm or a lawyer within the firm, and statements regarding the quality of The Injury Firm's work product. This information has not been reviewed or approved by The Florida Bar. Please be advised that: 1) the facts and circumstances of your case may differ from the matters for which results and testimonials have been provided: 2) Not all results of cases handled by the firm or its lawyers are provided and not all clients have given testimonials; and 3) The results and testimonials provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the firm or by its lawyers or of the experience of all clients or others within the firm or its lawyers. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.

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