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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 lift is still accessible throughout the winter season, and we share those tips to winterize your wheelchair lift in this blog post.

town in Boston, MA covered in fresh snowAll the outdoor wheelchair lifts that Lifeway offers 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 has arrived, which means snow, ice, and cold temperatures, especially for regions with colder winter climates, such as Southern New England, the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, and Rocky Mountain Region.

5 Tips to Help Winterize Your Wheelchair Lift

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, 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
  3. Keep a stock of ice melt in your house and use it when necessary to improve traction on lift's platform and porches, decks, and pathways that provide access to the wheelchair lift.
  4. Set up an annual planned maintenance visit. Some Lifeway locations offers a planned maintenance program for the wheelchair lifts we install to ensure it 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. Consider optional weather package - 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

If you're in need of a safe and accessible way to get in and out of you home, but don't want to have to worry about the outdoor elements, consider the following alternatives 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 wheelchair lift to be installed. You won’t need to worry about having to clear snow build-up or melting ice during the winter season. You’ll also 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 also prevent having to clearing the platform of winter precipitation. This is an alternative to having the lift installed in a garage if space is limited, but you still prefer

Please contact us to learn more about winterizing your outdoor wheelchair lift this winter season or to schedule a free consultation.

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