Probably one of the most important features of an outdoor ramp is its handrail. In addition to ensuring that your accessibility ramp complies with the current building codes and regulations, handrails also provide an added layer of safety for the ramp’s users.
That’s why when it comes to installing handrails on an outdoor ramp, one of the things that you should consider is the material they are made from. Choosing the right material is vital as this can affect the durability, longevity, and overall function of your handrails and ramp.
Below are the factors that you should consider when selecting the best material for your ramp’s handrails.
- Durability. Since outdoor ramps are constantly exposed to the elements, your handrails should ideally be made from materials that can withstand Australia’s weather conditions. In addition to being weather-proof, they should also be corrosion-resistant. Having durable ramps can prevent accidents and other unfortunate incidents involving your outdoor ramp.
- Maintenance. Another aspect that you should take into consideration is the general maintenance of the handrails. Certain materials may require regular maintenance to prevent them from getting damaged. Generally, you should go for handrails that are sturdy and can withstand harsh conditions, even if they’re not maintained regularly.
- Safety. The safety of the ramp’s users is also another vital aspect that you should consider. Keep in mind that access ramps are primarily designed to help the elderly and individuals with mobility issues reach their destinations. By installing high-quality and user-friendly handrails, you can help ensure the safety of users by preventing accidents.
Different Types of Outdoor Ramp Handrails
Modern outdoor ramp handrails are made from different types of materials. These include stainless steel, aluminium, PVC, and composite materials. Handrails that are constructed from these materials have their own advantages. In the section below, we’ll explore the various benefits of using these materials.
Ramp handrails that are made from stainless steel are probably the sturdiest ones that you can find. The main drawback of this material, however, is its cost since steel can be pretty expensive. But, you can consider it a long-term investment since it is less prone to getting damaged than other materials.
If you plan on using a stainless steel handrail for your outdoor ramp, ensure it is properly rated for outdoor use. For instance, 306L or 2205 stainless steel materials have corrosion-resistant properties, which can provide your handrail with added protection against the elements.
Aluminium handrails are great alternatives to those made from steel since they are less expensive and lighter, which means they can be easily moved around during the installation process. Also, like steel, aluminium is sturdy and durable.
If you’re planning on getting aluminium handrails, make sure that they are pre-treated. This ensures that they are corrosion-resistant and can withstand harsh outdoor conditions.
Handrails made from PVC, commonly known as vinyl, are also a good option if your budget is a bit limited. Although they aren’t as sturdy as those constructed from steel or aluminium, they are still relatively durable, and they require little maintenance. Usually, they can be easily cleaned with water.
Composite materials are those made from a combination of different materials, such as fibreglass, wood, and plastic. They are usually cheaper than aluminium and stainless steel, and their malleability allows them to be easily customised into different shapes to accommodate a ramp’s design.
Due to the different types of materials that you can choose for your outdoor ramp’s handrails, we recommend picking one that’s durable and sturdy enough to withstand Australia’s extreme environmental conditions, allowing your handrails to last for a long time.
Although they’re more expensive than other alternatives, aluminium and stainless steel allow you to maximise the various benefits that handrails have to offer.
Another way to ensure the quality and longevity of your ramp and handrails is by enlisting the services of an experienced builder, such as Adapta Ramps.
As a trusted supplier of prefabricated modular wheelchair ramps and handrails, Adapta Ramps can help ensure that the accessibility features of your home, commercial establishment, office building, or public facility comply with the latest guidelines of the Disability Discrimination Act and Australian Standards.
We’ll also help you choose the best materials for your wheelchair ramp and handrails. Get in touch with us today and start designing your custom-made outdoor ramp and handrails.