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No matter how well you care for them, most stair tread covers aren’t designed to last forever. Sooner or later they’ll wear out and you’ll need to put in an order for new ones. 

But how do you know when it’s time to replace your stair tread covers? The signs can be subtle, so it’s important to know what to look for.

Safeguard’s anti-slip step covers are extremely durable, so you won’t have to worry about replacing them anytime soon. Otherwise, here are six ways to tell if it’s time for a replacement: 

1. Curled or lifted edges

Take a close look at your stair covers. You might notice the edges curling or lifting up, even if they are relatively new. It’s not unusual for stair tread covers to peel up, which creates a serious tripping hazard.

Torn anti-slip on step
Torn anti-slip on step

If you see that your stair covers aren’t laying flat, it may be because they weren’t secured properly in the first place. However, if the problem pops up again, or if the covers don’t fit correctly, then it’s time to seek out a replacement. 

Look for step covers that wrap the leading edge of the stair, which will help them lay flat and cover completely. Pre-cut, pre-drilled covers are easy to install over existing steps and will stay secure for years to come. 

2. Worn down 

Over time, gritted or dimpled covers can get worn down from use. Even metal grating can deteriorate over time. A stair tread cover that starts off safe can wear down gradually and lose its ability to provide traction, which can lead to a slip and fall. Dirt, chemicals, and other surface contaminants can add to the wear and tear, making your stair covers wear out more quickly. 

It likely won’t happen all at once, so it’s important to routinely check for signs of wear. If you see dull or shiny spots, or areas that don’t have as much grit as they used to, it’s an indication that your stair treads need to be covered or replaced. We recommend choosing heavy-duty covers that will last so you don’t have to keep replacing them. 

Slippery spots on steps
Shiny areas of step indicate slippery spots

3. They don’t provide good traction

Of course, stair tread covers don’t necessarily have to be worn out to lose traction.  It may be that they can’t stand up to wet, oily, muddy, or icy conditions. Or, it might be that they weren’t the right material for the job in the first place. Not all materials provide the same level of slip resistance.  

In any case, if you catch yourself (or one of your employees) losing your footing, you should immediately contact Safeguard for new tread covers. We’ll help you select the correct solution for your specific industry and installation. 

4. Heavy traffic

In busy areas, stairs can see hundreds if not thousands of footsteps a day. That means stair tread covers in high traffic areas can take a beating. Pay close attention to stairs in heavy traffic areas, such as entryways and exits. These areas get a lot more use, so they’ll understandably wear down faster. 

For high-traffic areas especially, it’s important to choose a durable product that can withstand a lot of use. You’re better off spending a bit more upfront for a long-lasting solution rather than replacing them year after year.

5. They’re old

Steps with old anti-slip cover that is worn off
Steps with old anti-slip that is worn off

Age matters when it comes to stair tread covers as well. Most stair tread covers or grit tape will last only a few years with normal use, so keep that in mind when you’re shopping for a replacement. Safeguard’s step covers are designed to last, even in tough environments such as an oil rig or a factory.  

6. You’re tired of scraping tape

Few things are as frustrating as removing old anti-slip tape. The adhesive backing that makes it stick to your stairs can also make it incredibly difficult to remove when the time comes. In most cases, you’ll have to scrape it off, clean the stairs, put new tape down, and repeat the whole process again next time.  

If your grit tape is worn or peeling, we recommend investing in anti-slip step covers instead of replacing it with new tape. You’re better off, in the long run, switching to a solution that won’t need to be scraped and replaced every few years! 

Safeguard your steps & landings

The decision to replace your stair tread covers is never an easy one. Whether you’re weighing the benefits of custom-fit covers or just looking for a solution that won’t require scraping and replacing all the time, Safeguard is here to help you with your anti-slip needs. Contact us to speak to one of our experienced team members today.

At Safeguard, we often get the question: how long do the covers last? The answer depends a lot on the environment they are installed in. Places with light traffic will, of course, last longer than those with heavy use. And added chemicals such as oils or solvents can slowly wear down the surface coating over time.

The fact is, Safeguard Anti-Slip covers last a very long time. When we check in on our long-time customers, we hear this all the time, “they are performing great even when dirty.”

This cover was 13 years old when we brought it into the shop for a clean-up. Looked almost like new!


Check out the message! We estimate this step cover is circa 2012 – installed in a heavy traffic area of a power plant.

Our covers are installed in some of the roughest environments on the planet. They take a beating and are still very effective. Get started preventing slips and falls today!

According to the Maritime Injury Guide, “slips and falls aboard vessels can lead to several serious injuries. The unfortunate fact is that some companies and employers tend to cut corners in areas of safety in order to save money, which leads to injuries that should have never happened.”

That’s just wrong. We have several ways to prevent marine slips-and-falls.

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