Deep Clean to gain traction on tile issue

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Published: 28 Nov 2017

Timaru District Council is starting a new deep cleaning regime to help tackle the issue of slippery tiles, and would like residents’ help to identify any problem spots.

The Council has allocated extra funding to the project to deep clean the tiles in the Timaru CBD area as a way of reducing reports of slipperiness.

The tiles in Timaru are a standard product used in many cities in the country and Australia, and meet the NZ standards for paving products.

As well as looking better, they last significantly longer than asphalt and enable works to happen and the surface be reinstated to look and feel that same as it was, rather than having a series of patched up areas which in themselves can be a trip hazard.

Andrew Dixon, Land Transport Manager, said that they’ve been investigating the problem and think that this new measure combined with the etching that was done in late 2015 should improve the situation.

“We suspect that a combination of factors is making the tiles feel more slippery to some people. The etching of the tiles we did in 2015 helped a lot, but the rougher surface means more grime can build up. If there’s a period of dry followed by a wet day, this can combine to make a more slippery surface,” he said.

“We clean the tiles regularly, but by scheduling additional deep cleans, this should lessen the kind of grime causing the issue and make slippery conditions less likely.

“However, any surface is likely to be more slippery when it’s wet, so people need to take extra care on wet days.”

One issue that has hampered the response is that the council doesn’t have  much quality data regarding slipping, trips and falls, as they are rarely reported to it.

“We encourage people that have an incident to contact Council soon after so we can investigate,” said Andrew.

“We’re also interested in hearing from people about where they have slipped in the past, so that we can see if there are any specific points in the CBD that are causing the issues.

“People can fill in the survey outlining where and when they slipped in the past. This will give us insight into the scale of the problem, and if it’s concentrated on one area we can pay that area special attention.”

The survey is now on-line here.

We would prefer that you fill out the survey online, but if you cannot, please email us at or call customer services on 03 687 7200.

Last updated: 24 Feb 2021