A wheelchair ramp can become as slick as ice in the rain. If you or someone in your household relies on a ramp to get around, it's important to make sure you take the proper precautions to avoid accidents when the ramp is wet. Here are just a few ways you can increase the security of your ramp.
You can find a variety of non-slip strips and mats that are designed for outdoor use. These can be used on wood, aluminum, and other types of metal. They can be applied with either a glue, or by securing them in place with nails or screws. The strips are great for long ramps, but won't offer protection on the entire ramp. Those who walk up and down the ramps will still need to do so cautiously during wet weather.
Spray on Traction
Another great way to keep a wheelchair ramp safe when it rains is by applying a spray on traction. These products apply just like spray paint and are made of an epoxy resin that will adhere to most surfaces. You don't need to sand the area to prepare it—simply clean the surface well. The spray on tractions do need to be applied during dry, warm weather, and given at least 24 hours before the ramp is used.
The epoxy resin will create a slip-proof surface that will be safe for both pedestrians and those who are in a wheelchair during wet weather. The epoxy will need to be reapplied every six months, or sooner with heavy traffic.
Paint on Coatings
These work in a similar fashion as the spray on traction products. The majority of these products use a silicone base that will create a slip-resistant covering. The paint needs to be applied to a clean, dry ramp, and given up to 48 hours to completely dry and cure.
Since the silicone will help to repel moisture, this isn't the best product to use on a steep incline. A steep incline will cause the water to roll down, creating a puddle at the end of the ramp. The paint on products will need to be applied yearly to maintain their water resistance.
If you are looking at needing a wheelchair ramp permanently, it may be wise to look in to installing a ramp with a non-skid tread plate. These treads are made from raised metal with small drain holes in each raised point. This helps water to slip under the ramp, keeping the ramp dry. The raised tread also helps to add traction to the rubber wheels of a wheelchair.
Most of these treads create a safe condition not only in the rain, but in the snow as well. If you don't want to build an entire ramp out of this material, you can add strips every 12 inches to create the same non-slip effect.
Keeping a ramp safe is an important step to maintaining the safety and well-being of everyone in your household. With these products wheelchair ramp safety during the rain can easily be achieved.