Why does a person slip on wet floors?

Flooring that is either tile or concrete does not have a flat surface, although it may look very smooth, it is uneven. This natural imperfection allows us to walk on the surface without falling. It gives us grip on the floor. Think of our road; if they consisted of a completely smooth surface, how could we drive? The uneven surface allows our cars to get a grip, which is commonly known as road holding.

When there is a spilled liquid making the floor wet, the water molecules hold tight. The bonding of two hydrogen atoms is what gives water surface tension.

You might not realize it but these atoms have the ability to strongly bond to uneven porous surfaces. For example, when a diver falls flat in the water, it hurts. This is also the reason cars hydroplane on a wet rainy day. That bond holds under the weight of a SUV.

All tiles manufactured are required to be safe for walking by American law. The Static Coefficient of Friction (SCOF) should be 0.6 when dry. This specification must be met by all manufacturers.

The problem is there is no specification on SCOF for wet tiles.

Does a solution exist for this problem?

What we need is a floor treatment that will leave the floor looking the same as before, but leaving it with an SCOF above 0.6. This will make floors non-slip or slip resistant enough to avoid most of the slips and falls on wet floors.

It would be our pleasure to let you know such treatment is both available and affordable for most Americans.

Prepared in public interest by Safety First LLC.

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