Preparing Your Ramp for the Cold Weather

Do you use a ramp around your home to help you get around? Many homes were not built with people who use wheelchairs in mind, and so these homes have to be outfitted with ramps and other pieces of mobility equipment to help wheelchair users traverse them. We’re in the throes of winter now, and the harshness of the season can make using a ramp much more difficult. At Freedom Mobility Solutions, we’ve been helping Marylanders with our mobility equipment and the services we offer. We wanted to talk today about how you can keep your outdoor ramp safe and clean this winter season.

Don’t Use Any Metal Shovels to Clear Your Ramp

It’s definitely a good idea to clear your ramp as snow falls, but we would advise you against using metal shovels. Metal is a strong material, and will probably scratch your ramp. There are few materials that metal won’t scratch, so you’re much better off using a plastic snow shovel or a broom. Metal snow shovels are much more suited for removing snow from asphalt or pavement.

Use Ice Melt

While ice melt is an excellent solution for keeping your wheelchair ramp safe throughout the winter, it’s important to note that some forms of ice melt can damage the ramp. It is not recommended to use common rock salt on your wheelchair ramp since it can cause corrosion and pitting, which will weaken the structure. Instead, use Magnesium Chloride. Magnesium Chloride is safe for all kinds of wheelchair ramps and will not cause corrosion. Before inclement weather, put a layer of Magnesium Chloride melt on the wheelchair ramp to keep it safe and ice-free. 

Make Sure You Have Good Tread on Your Ramp

Nearly all wheelchair home ramps have grooves built into them, or have tread that is on them. Over time, this tread can wear off the more and more it gets wheeled over. If your grooves are built in and are worn down, it’s probably time for a new ramp, but if you have added tread that has become worn down, that can be replaced. It’s a great idea to do this sooner rather than later, as fresh tread will make using your ramp in snowy or icy conditions much easier.

Utilize Heating Pads or Heat Tape

One great way to deal with ice and snow on your ramp is to prevent it from forming there in the first place. Heating pads can be installed under the ramp and they’ll keep the ramp’s surface warm, which will prevent ice and snow from gathering on the ramp. You could also place heat tape along the seams of your ramp. Using heat tape will stop ice from forming, but won’t completely melt all of the snow. You could use salt or a de-icing agent to remove ice and snow, but these can leave behind a residue on your ramp that will have to be cleaned off.

Consult with A Mobility Expert in Maryland to Learn More About the Services We Offer

Interested in learning more about how you can keep your ramp safe and clean this winter? The low temperatures combined with the snow and ice of winter, can make getting around in a wheelchair all the more difficult, but with some preparation, you can make life much easier on yourself. Our team of mobility experts at Freedom Mobility have been providing their professional services to those who need them for years. If you need some assistance in preparing your mobility equipment for the harshness of winter, reach out to us or stop by our showroom in Hanover, MD. We can be reached at (443-998-8940) or you can request a free consultation online.

Administrator December 7, 2023
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