The effects of winter can have serious effects on the quality of access ramps. Aside from causing structural damage, the accumulation of water and ice can make the surface of a ramp very slippery, which can cause accidents.
Since most access ramps are used by individuals with mobility issues, such as senior citizens and people with disabilities, keeping them in tip-top shape is essential, especially during the winter season. Ideally, preparing a wheelchair ramp for winter should begin during the autumn season.
Before the snow starts to fall, it’s important to inspect the various sections, components, and aspects of your ramp. This involves making sure that its surface is perfectly levelled and that all of its nuts, bolts, nails, and other small pieces that keep the entire structure together aren’t loose.
If your ramp has steel or metal components, make sure these features don’t have rust on them as their condition could worsen during the cold and winter months. For steel ramps, paint over scratches to prevent rusting. In addition, check the ramp’s surface for dents, cracks, or other structural damage. Addressing these issues can help minimise the risk of accidents.
Another important step that you should do is ensure that your ramp’s surface doesn’t get slippery. This can be done in various ways, such as adding non-skid strips, PVC pads, and rubber mats to its surface.
You can also prevent snow and ice from accumulating on top of it by applying snow and ice melt products on its surface. Just remember to use the right type of product that’s appropriate for your ramp’s construction material.
Aside from the ramp’s surface, the other component that you should look after is the handrail. This feature plays an important role in the overall function of an accessibility ramp. In addition to making the ramp Australian Standards-compliant, a handrail can also prevent users from slipping or falling by acting as a barrier and providing something stable to hold on to.
However, just like other objects, a handrail’s quality can deteriorate over time, especially if it’s exposed to the elements. So, before the winter season starts, make sure that the handrail is securely attached to the ramp, and that it doesn’t wobble. You can also use the appropriate melting products on its surface to prevent snow and ice from forming on top of it.
These are just some of the things that you can do to prepare your accessibility ramp for winter. However, if it has significant structural damages, it’s highly recommended to get in touch with a certified and professional ramp builder who can either fix it or provide you with a new one.
If you’re looking for a durable and weather-resistant outdoor access ramp for your home or business, make sure to get in touch with Adapta. As ramp specialists in Australia, we can build and install a modular or a permanent wheelchair ramp with handrails on your property.