7 Things to Ask Local Wheelchair Ramp Builders Near Me
Wheelchair ramps need to be absolutely safe. Since most of the people using it have disabilities or are too weak to control the wheelchair, it is necessary that it should be built in a way that it will prevent accidents from happening. Even individuals assisting wheelchair-bound persons will also find it hard to navigate a wheelchair if the ramp is not properly built. Hence, you need to talk with knowledgeable, local wheelchair ramp builders near me to ensure that the specifications of your ramp are accurate and the way it is built is according to updated and accurate safety guidelines.
Things to Ask Your Wheelchair Ramp Installer
To ensure that your wheelchair ramp is safe to use, ask about the things on the list to your wheelchair ramp installer. You will be able to determine which builders are truly knowledgeable by testing their familiarity of wheelchair ramp specifications. So, before letting anyone start working on your project, ask the right questions first.
- Recommended degree of incline.
The degree of incline of wheelchair ramps is very important since steep ramps can cause accidents. Wheelchairs are quite hard to push or use on inclines because the weight of the wheelchair plus the weight of the user will drag it down the ramp. Hence, a wheelchair ramp should never exceed the recommended incline degree.
Hand-propelled wheelchair ramps should only have 1 inch of rise for every 12-inch of length. For motor-operated wheelchairs, a 1.5 inch rise is recommended as maximum incline degree. Because of this, wheelchair ramp lengths cannot be simply decided without calculating the degree of incline. The higher the upper landing is, the longer the ramp should be to ensure that the rise is no more than 1 inch for manual wheelchairs and 1.5 inches for power wheelchairs.
- Details about transition to landing.
The transition of the ramp to the landing is important as this will ensure that the front wheels won’t get stuck and will not cause the wheelchair to suddenly halt during transition. This can cause the wheelchair to jerk and even fall over.
Make sure that the transition is smooth and will enable the wheelchair’s caster wheels to gradually roll into the landing instead.
- Size and levelness of the landing.
The landing should be of appropriate size to allow the wheelchair to make a turn without hitting anything. It should be at least 60 inches in length to give space for the wheelchair to maneuver when needed. The width should be at least equal to the ramp.
It should also be level to prevent the wheelchair from falling over. Since the caster wheels will be the one that will shoulder the weight of the wheelchair when transitioning from the ramp to the landing, it is important to ensure that this transition is smooth to keep the wheelchair from flying forward. Choose a landing material that will stay level and smooth even after numerous usage.
- Type of surface used on the ramp.
Wheelchair ramps should never be slippery, even when it becomes wet. Since wheelchair handlers need to maintain balance while pushing the wheelchair, the surface should be non-skid. This also applies to landings.
The entire ramp should also remain dry. Water should not accumulate anywhere on the ramp and landing to prevent accidents. Wheelchair ramps are often installed with rubber mats to ensure that the users won’t skid even during rainy days.
- Material recommended for landings.
There are different types of materials that can be used for landings. The most common ones are concrete and wood. Since these are easiest to work with, they are often available to any state or city.
Concrete and wood landings are also durable and will last for a long time, making them preferred by homeowners. These materials will also last for a very long time, especially when maintained properly.
Wood landings can last for quite a while, even when it is installed outdoors, since there are protective coats that can be applied to wood structures these days. You won’t have to worry about premature deterioration when you choose wood landings for your home.
- Specifications of handrails.
Handrails are an important part of any wheelchair ramp since it helps prevent accidents. The specifications of the handrails should be considered to ensure that the users won’t have a problem using it both for comfort and safety.
Handrails for wheelchair ramps should be 28 inches high. It is recommended that both sides of the ramp should have a handrail to enable wheelchair users to pull themselves upwards when they are using the ramp on their own.
- Specifications for weight capacity.
The weight capacity of the wheelchair ramp should not be forgotten. Industrial grade wheelchair ramps have, of course, larger weight capacities. Wheelchair ramps can accommodate around 800 pounds up to 2,000 pounds. Though the weight capacity allows for multiple users at the same time, it is still recommended that only 1 wheelchair should use the ramp at a time. This will not only prevent overcrowding but will also prevent accidents.
Make it a point to ask wheelchair ramp builders about the weight capacity of your preferred ramp so that you will know if it can withstand the weight of the users. This will also help you determine if the ramp can withstand heavy use.
Wheelchair ramps need not only be durable but comfortable as well. Since not all wheelchair users have power chairs and other people helping them all the time, it is important to consider all features that can make a ramp’s usage easier. From the inclined degree to the surface material used in the ramp, everything should be considered and discussed with wheelchair ramp professionals. This will guarantee that the handicap ramp will provide comfort and convenience to its users.
Talk with wheelchair ramp builders about the recommended specifications for your ramp so that you won’t have a problem using it once it is already built. If you have family members who need to use a ramp, consider their current state and their future needs so that you can choose a ramp design that will both be useful today and in the future.