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Winter Maintenance Tips for Wheelchair Ramps

Posted on by Eric Rubel

If you’re in need of wheelchair ramp, there’s no need to wait for spring to have one installed. In fact, modular aluminum ramps can be installed all year round.

Unlike wooden ramps, aluminum ramps do not require concrete footers to be poured. Their adjustable legs sit securely on large foot plates that provide a substantial base and sit on top of the surface. This means that they can be installed even when the ground is frozen.

Aluminum Ramps Installed in Winter Weather

Ramp in snow installed by Lifeway Mobility during holiday seasonDuring the winter season, a semi-permanent aluminum ramp may be the best option to provide safe access to the entrance of your home.  Aluminum ramps are typically maintenance-free and do not rust when exposed to the outdoor winter elements.

Like any ramp surface, aluminum can become slippery when covered with snow or ice. However, since the surface is extruded, aluminum ramps have superior traction to wooden ramps when wet. Should an aluminum ramp settle between winter and spring, all it takes to level the ramp is a socket wrench.

Winterize Your Wheelchair Ramp - 5 Tips

  • Keep your ramp clear of snow and sleet by using a thick bristled push broom or plastic snow shovel. It is best to avoid metal shovels to prevent scratches or damage to your aluminum ramp.
  • Use non-corrosive ice melt when it gets icy. If you are unsure if an ice melt is corrosive, select a formula that is safe for pets. The only ingredient that can be in the ice melt for it to be safe to use on an aluminum wheelchair ramp is magnesium chloride. Rock salt should never be used as it can weaken or corrode the aluminum
  • Utilize a rubber mat - consider putting down a rubber mat to improve traction. This can be helpful if walking on the ramp or using a wheelchair.
  • Consider powder coating as it will provide an extra layer of protection from corrosive materials. It also allows you to choose from a variety of colors including black, bronze, or tan. It may add to the price of the ramp, but the benefits of it are worth the cost!
  • Look into wheelchair "snow tires" - There are some companies that offer traction wheelchair tires, also known as "snow tires" that can provide better tracking through snow and uneven surfaces. Adding these type of tires in the winter can help ensure a safe ride up and down your aluminum ramp in the winter. 

aluminum wheelchair ramp installed during winter with snow on ground in Massachusetts  aluminum wheelchair ramp installed with snow on ground in Minnesota

Final Thoughts

Don’t let the snow, ice, and cold temperatures prevent you from using or purchasing a wheelchair ramp this winter season! Lifeway Mobility offers aluminum modular ramps for purchase and rental that can be installed year-round. Lifeway's wheelchair ramps are made of a durable aluminum that won't break down in the winter, which also makes it easy to maintain.

Contact us for more information about wheelchair ramps or to set up a free consultation.

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