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Winterization Tips for Outdoor Wheelchair Lifts

Posted on by Eric Rubel

wheelchair porch lift installed in winter snow in Chicago, IL

Outdoor wheelchair lifts, which are also commonly known as vertical platform lifts or porch lifts, provide a safe, accessible way to enter/exit a home, school, church, or other building. During the winter months these types of lifts may difficult to access after a snow or ice storm. However, there are ways to ensure a wheelchair lifts is still accessible, and we share those tips in this blog post.

town in Boston, MA covered in fresh snowAll of the outdoor wheelchair lifts that we sell and install are built with weather-resistant controls and a specialized coating to withstand the outdoor elements. However, significant snow accumulation can limit access to the lift and icy conditions can make the deck or concrete near the lift very slippery. The winter season is here, which means snow, ice, and cold temperatures for Southern New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest cities such as Baltimore, Boston, Columbus, Chicago, Cincinnati, Hartford, Indianapolis & Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.

Tips for Safe Use of a Wheelchair Lift in the Winter

To ensure safe use of your wheelchair lift in the winter months, and to keep it running smoothly, we recommend the following:

  1. Keep snow, ice, and sleet off the platform of the lift and away from the entry ramp as much as possible. While a shovel would do the job, we recommend using a wire broom if possible, to prevent from scratching the paint.
  2. Clear pathways of snow at the upper and lower landing levels to ensure that you can get in and out of the home safely after snow accumulation.man-shoveling-snow-to-clear-path-for-access-to-driveway-and-porch
  3. Keep a stock of ice melt in your house and use it when necessary to improve traction on porches, decks, and pathways that provide access to the wheelchair lift.
  4. Contact us to learn about annual planned maintenance visits. We offer a planned maintenance program on the lifts and home elevators that we install to ensure the lift/elevator is functioning as it should be and operating safely and smoothly. A smart option would be to schedule your planned maintenance program right before the winter season. This will reduce the potential of an operational issue during the winter months.
  5. If you have not yet purchased a wheelchair lift, consider the optional cold weather package to keep the functioning properly during sub-zero temperatures (as low as -20 Fahrenheit).

If you are unable to do any of items listed below on your own, kindly ask a relative, friend, or neighbor for some assistance.

Other Wheelchair Lift Options

Are you in need of a lift to safely access your home, but don’t want to have to worry about the outdoor elements of the winter season when entering or exiting through the front or back entrance?

Below are a couple other locations to consider for the installation of your wheelchair lift:

  1. Installation in the Garagewheelchair lift installed in garage of home in Chicago suburb If there’s enough space, a garage is a great spot for a lift to be installed. You won’t need to worry about the outdoor elements limiting the use of the lift, and you’ll be much warmer while using it, assuming your garage has insulation.
  2. Build a Hoistway for the Lift – While this is more of an expensive option because of the added construction costs, a hoistway would prevent having to clear the lift of snow, sleet, and ice in the winter to use the lift. This is an alternative to having the lift installed in a garage if space is limited.


Please contact us to learn more about winterizing your outdoor wheelchair lift or to schedule a maintenance visit.

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