Access ramp maintenance in 3 easy steps
Winter is, without a doubt, the time of year when accidental falls are most frequent. With icy sidewalks, slippery steps, and packed snow, it’s no secret that it can be quite perilous to get around during this season.
This is even more true for people of reduced mobility as using a wheelchair or walker outdoors in the winter presents real challenges. That’s why it is so important to clear the snow completely from your entrance way, whether commercial or residential, to make it safe at all times.
The following are some tips to help you contend with winter’s hazards without damaging your access ramp and to preserve its durability:
1/ Use a plastic shovel
A metal shovel can damage an aluminum access ramp. Scratches lead to oxidization which, in time, leads to corrosion. A plastic shovel allows you to get rid of any accumulation of snow without any risk to your ramp.
2/ A snow broom is indispensable
After shoveling the snow off your ramp, a broom with stiff bristles finishes the job off nicely by clearing the granules of snow that can accumulate in the grooves of the ramp’s surface. This will ensure a safe, anti-slip surface.
3/ Add your grain of salt, but not any old kind of salt
When the weather forecast calls for freezing rain or snow, most of us would have the reflex of throwing some salt onto our ramp. Big mistake! In fact, salt will cause white, oxidized spots on the ramp’s surface giving it an unaesthetic, old and worn appearance.
Magnesium chloride is the better option. It can de-ice surfaces as cold as -25 degrees Celsius without damaging your access ramp, and it’s easy on the environment as well as on your pet’s paws.
Magnesium chloride, which will keep your ramp in good condition for years, is available at any major hardware store. We recommend the Warwick or Yardworks brands.
At the end of the winter season, simply rinse the magnesium chloride residue from your ramp with water, and it’ll be as good as new once again.
With all of winter’s hazards and obstacles, you now have one less to worry about.