Material Alternatives for Handicap Ramps

handicap ramp being used

The exteriors of your commercial or residential premises might be the primary element that gets people into your building or turns them off. With this understanding, property owners are more focused than ever to pick the best exterior look. Decorating your property, cleaning, and installing the best exteriors are some of the elements that determine the look your property will exude. The paving occupies the largest part in your outdoors, and you might be tempted to focus on it solely.

Concrete paving for your Kansas City property is only part of your exterior look. You should also ensure that everyone will access your property. It is easy to forget to make the necessary provisions for guests who use wheelchairs. Most local councils have regulations for the installation of a wheelchair ramp on all commercial properties, but these are also essential for residential properties. Here are the material options for ramps.

Aluminum

This alternative has become quite popular in recent years. This is because aluminum is lightweight and allows the easy installation of your ramp, is far less costly than other options, and is easy to maintain. There are different versions of aluminum used for ramps though the cheap ones might not be so strong. In the past, aluminum ramps were exclusively used indoors owing to their susceptibility to corrosion when exposed to adverse weather elements. Nowadays, however, there are various coating options for aluminum that boost their corrosion resistance and allow their use outdoors.

Fiberglass

This material might seem counterintuitive for the construction of quality ramps since it comprises thin glass fibers. Manufacturers are nowadays, however, offering several impressive fiberglass ramp products. The leading advantage of fiberglass for ramps is its lightweight. This makes it ideal for portable and small ramps like those used in private commercial entryways and residential properties.

Concrete

concrete ramp for wheelchairs

This is the choice material for ramps in public and commercial properties. Concrete ramps are permanent and have varying durability levels based on their primary constituents. They are easy to maintain, handle weights of up to 2000 pounds and can be decorated in several ways to match your exterior décor. Concrete is unfortunately expensive, but its durability and stability will justify the cost.

Galvanized Steel

This, like concrete, suffices for permanent wheelchair ramps. Galvanized steel ramps are typically assembled from modular components that are easy to install, quite durable and sturdy. They handle maximum loads of 1500 pounds and are rust-resistant. Moreover, galvanized steel ramps have a grate construction that will eliminate water, snow, and ice accumulation and thus boost their traction in wet weather.

Wood

Though wood will not have the permanence and weather resistance of other material options, it is inexpensive and undeniably attractive. There are now various finishing and coating alternatives used for wood that will boost its durability.  Wood ramps are however generally only used for private and residential ramps.

Building a ramp seems easy when using the above materials, but it is far from it. The gradient, edges, shape, surface, and weight capacity of your ramp determine its efficacy and safety. It is thus essential to have the ramp professionally installed to avert costly litigation from accidents on it.