Ramps have been used for thousands of years since Archimedes conceptualized their use in the second century BC, and it is thought that ramps were used to raise the stones that built the Great Pyramid. While it may seem like a flat board placed on an angle could make a usable ramp, this “solution” could result in a ramp that’s too steep, plus the lack of handrails, toe guards and textured surfaces could all cause the users to fall or harm themselves. Considering the ease in which someone can go up an incline based on their mobility device, there are guidelines on the degree of pitch a ramp should have. If you are going to be propelling yourself up a ramp, a 4.8° slope is recommended with stopping points for longer lengths. If you are using an electronic device, you can use a slightly steeper ramp. An unsafe ramp can be as dangerous as no ramp at all.
In this guide, we will explore 10 common ramp installation myths and cover topics such as how steep and long a wheelchair ramp should be.
In This Article
- #1: A Piece of Plywood Is a Ramp
- #2: I Need an Architect and Contractor to Build a Ramp
- #3: A Steep Ramp Is No Problem
- #4: Handrails Are Not Needed for a Ramp
- #5: Ramps Are a Permanent Addition to My Home
- #6: Ramps Are Unattractive
- #7: Installing Ramps Takes a Long Time
- #8: Maintaining Ramps Is Difficult
- #9: My Ramp Will Only Last for a Few Years
- #10: Ramps Are Too Expensive
- Choose National Ramp for Your Wheelchair Ramp Installation Needs
#1: A Piece of Plywood Is a Ramp
Yes, a ramp can be made of a piece of plywood; however, plywood becomes very slippery when it gets wet. Plywood can swell when it becomes wet reducing the integrity of the bonds between the laminates. National Ramp has a kiln-dried yellow pine decking option called the Victory Series that allows the rain to pass between the boards. Once you stain or paint your Victory Ramp you will reduce the risk of deterioration of your wood ramp.
#2: I Need an Architect and Contractor to Build a Ramp
While you can go the costly route of hiring an architect and they will spec out exactly what needs to be built, this lengthy process will not allow you to get in and out of your home quickly. National Ramp’s modular ramps in most cases can be ordered and installed within a few days. This will allow you to get in and out of your home faster than asap – right now. When speed is what you need National Ramp is here to solve your problem.
#3: A Steep Ramp Is No Problem
The common misconception is that a ramp doesn’t need to be very long. A little longer than the stairs will be fine for Mom and Dad. You are setting yourself up for disaster — or injury — with this line of thinking. Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA, states that for every inch of rise you must have one foot of run. What does that mean? For a one-foot step you need a twelve-foot length ramp to comfortably go up and down. If you have a power chair you can manage a slightly steeper incline. A ramp is a medical safety device, not a rollercoaster ride.
#4: Handrails Are Not Needed for a Ramp
If the rise is higher than 6 inches off the ground, your ramp needs a railing. Railings aren’t just to keep you from falling over the edge of the ramp, they are also there to provide you with support to pull yourself along the ramp. Toe guards are also an essential part of the ramp, to make sure that a mobility device or user’s foot can’t slip off the side of the ramp. Although ramps come in many different styles, they still must meet ADA requirements, especially those regarding handrails.
#5: Ramps Are a Permanent Addition to My Home
Modular ramps don’t have to be a permanent addition to your home. National Ramp products are designed to provide long-term quality without permanently altering your home. Modular ramps are perfect for temporary use, such as for a family member recovering from surgery, but an aluminum modular ramp, such as the Breeze Series (with a lifetime warranty) could provide independence for many years to come. With Modular Ramp Rentals, National Ramp has solutions for whatever the length of your need.
#6: Ramps Are Unattractive
One of the common myths about wheelchair ramps is that they will clash with the look of your home. This couldn’t be further from the truth! These products can be quite attractive, especially since there are many styles for you to consider. Modern ramps blend in with their surroundings. If you are worried about the appearance of a ramp, talk to a specialist about design options. National Ramp will make sure that your ramp is both functional and attractive.
#7: Installing Ramps Takes a Long Time
With the right team, a ramp can be installed quickly and efficiently. Most ramps take only a few hours to install when done by experienced professionals. When working with an experienced company like National Ramp, you can have your ramp installed within 48 hours of reaching out to us.
#8: Maintaining Ramps Is Difficult
Aluminum ramps are easy to maintain after proper installation. High-quality products consist of materials resistant to weathering and wear. After installation, these ramps only require periodic inspections to ensure they are in good condition. Unlike stairs, which require regular painting and staining, ramps can be cleaned with a broom, power washer or hose. With minor maintenance, ramps are an easy and effective way to improve accessibility for everyone.
#9: My Ramp Will Only Last for a Few Years
Many believe ramps only last a few years before a replacement is necessary. However, this is not always the case. Ramps can last for many years if installed correctly by a professional installer like National Ramp. Ramp inspection should occur regularly to check for signs of wear and tear. If signs of distress appear, minor repairs will extend its use for years to come.
#10: Ramps Are Too Expensive
You may be surprised to discover that ramps are often cheaper than other ways of getting around your house or property. Also, most people find the cost of a ramp to be worth it because it saves a lot of time and hassle in the future. If you are concerned about the cost of installing a ramp, you may be able to get assistance from your local government or community organization.
Choose National Ramp for Your Wheelchair Ramp Installation Needs
Are you interested in finding a company that knows how to build a wheelchair ramp that meets your exact requirements? If so, we are here to help. At National Ramp, we have experience providing modular ramps for over 30 years and specialize in several ramp types including threshold ramps. We pride ourselves on our response and installation speed and attentive customer service.
If you need help choosing the right ramp for your needs, or if you have any questions about installation, contact us online or call us at 877-748-5588 today.