As the temperature dips and light dustings of snow hit the ground, many who rely on handicap ramps to enter their home have begin to worry about how to stay safe when snow and ice begin to collect on their ramp. Slick conditions on your handicap ramp can make leaving home difficult and unsafe for those with mobility issues. However, preparing for these conditions before the snow begins to fall can help keep you safe and prevent injuries.
It is important to consider the material that your handicap ramp is made from when it comes time to have a ramp built for your home or if you simply need to maintain the ramp you already have.
Aluminum Handicap Ramps
An aluminum handicap ramp, also called a modular ramp, is by far the easiest type of ramp to care for and maintain during the winter. These ramps require little upkeep and keeping them free of snow and ice is easier than with other types of ramps. Brush away the snow every few hours to keep your ramp clear and scatter cat litter on it for added traction.
Related article: How to Winterize an Aluminum Handicap Ramp
Wooden Handicap Ramps
Wooden handicap ramps require a little routine maintenance, but they are a beautiful addition to the front of your home that provides both accessibility and appeal. It is important to seal your wood ramp annually. During winter, avoid using salt or ice melt chemicals on your wood ramp because it eats away at the sealant and rots the wood.
Concrete Handicap Ramps
Concrete handicap ramps are typically finished with a hard bristle broom in a way that textures the surface. This rough texture helps keep the concrete from becoming slick during times of precipitation. As with a wood ramp, avoid using salt or ice melt chemicals on your ramp. Striping can be applied to concrete steps to aid in visibility for those who have poor vision or difficulty with their depth perception.
Which Type of Handicap Ramp is Best For Me?
Deciding which handicap ramp is right for your home can be challenging. There are many variables to consider when it comes to choosing the right ramp. The direction your home faces and how much sunlight will it receive, the location of the ramp, how often it will be used, and if you or your family members will be able to maintain the ramp. Cost also comes into play because the materials and construction of each type of ramp – aluminum, wood, concrete – vary. When in doubt, contact an experienced and knowledgeable contractor that can help you determine the best ramp type for your needs and property and the right configuration.