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Last Updated on February 10, 2022

Even the best of materials can become slippery in winter weather, making winter ramp safety a priority. If the person is aging in place and predominantly lives alone, how to keep ice off a wheelchair ramp and other important measures become paramount. Read on to learn about ramp safety in winter and how to help keep your wheelchair ramp safe.

Winter Ramp Safety: Installing a Ramp in Winter

Many patients or caregivers may want to put off installing a ramp because it’s a cold winter and decide to just wait until spring. In fact, that isn’t necessary—you can have a wheelchair ramp installed any time of year. Wooden ramps are not a good choice because they require concrete footers to be poured, which may not be ideal in winter. However, aluminum ramps can be installed any time of year and are resistant to rust. But like any material in icy and slippery weather, aluminum ramps can become slippery. The good news is, you can take steps toward winter ramp safety and keeping your ramp safe.

Winter Ramp Safety: Maintenance Tips for Your Ramp

There are some things to keep in mind when it comes to wheelchair ramps and winter ramp safety. To  help keep everyone safe, here are some tips:

  • If there is snow on the ramp, use a broom or plastic shovel to clear the snow away. A metal shovel may be tougher to use and can scratch your ramp considerably.
  • Do not use regular ice melt on your ramp. You must find a non-corrosive ice melt, which is usually in liquid form.If there is ever any doubt, if the ice melt is safe for pets, it’s safe for your ramp.
  • Make sure the ramp is unobstructed, particularly before an incoming storm. You should ensure that debris, such as branches, leaves, decorations, and trash must be completely cleared away. 

Those who are walking on a ramp should be mindful of the incline and take care while they walk up the ramp, in case it is slippery. 

Winter Ramp Safety: More Options

If you don’t feel you need a wheelchair ramp year-round, or you need a temporary ramp to help a loved one, you can also rent a ramp for the time being. If you don’t want to wait until spring or you’d simply like to try one out, a rental may be a good idea. Image of a handicap sign on a ramp for an article about ramp safety in the winter.

Also, for the utmost in winter ramp safety, aluminum ramps can also be coated with a powder coating. It offers you an extra layer of protection so your ramp is protected against corrosion, and the smooth coating makes it easier to clean in winter. Also, powder coatings are available in several different colors, allowing you to customize your ramp with your home’s outside decor. 

If you do have a wood ramp that was previously installed, it’s a wise idea to have it sealed every year prior to the winter months. This can help protect against falls and slips ,and it also adds to the longevity of the ramp. Similarly to aluminum ramps, don’t use metal shovels, and use plastic ones instead. Also, snowblowers can damage wooden ramps, so remember to use a broom.

For more information about winter ramp safety or to hear about mobility products that can be life-changing, such as stair lifts or power lift recliners, contact Williams Lift Co today. We want both patients and caregivers to live their best lives possible.