Winter Maintenace Tips: Safe Ramp Access

snow covered ada aluminum wheelchair ramp
Snowy ADA Ramp

When it comes to accessibility, aluminum ramps are a superior choice. Durable, naturally rust resistant, and weatherproof, when cared for properly, aluminum ramps can be the very best way to ensure safe access to your facility. During inclement weather, snow and ice buildup on ramps can pose safety hazards. In this article, we will explore the benefits of aluminum ramps, discuss weather-related safety precautions, and provide simple, yet effective maintenance tips. By prioritizing safety, you can ensure the well-being of workers and visitors even in challenging weather conditions.

The Advantages of Aluminum

Aluminum ramps provide numerous benefits, making them an ideal choice for both residential and commercial applications. Some key advantages include:

1. Durability

Aluminum is a highly durable material that withstands heavy industrial use and resists rust and corrosion. This ensures longevity and minimizes maintenance requirements.

2. Rust and Weather Resistance

Unlike other metals, aluminum is naturally resistant to rust, making it ideal for outdoor installations. It can withstand exposure to moisture, rain, and snow without deteriorating over time.

3. Knurled Decking for Enhanced Grip

Our aluminum ramps feature knurled decking with a cross-cut diamond pattern. This design provides slip resistance in both dry and wet conditions, enhancing safety for users.

What is Knurling?

Knurling is a manufacturing process that adds traction or grip by cross-cutting smooth metal surfaces typically resulting in a diamond pattern.
Extruded decking option

Weather-Related Safety Precautions

To mitigate safety risks caused by inclement weather, consider implementing the following precautions:

  1. Light Snow Removal: Use a stiff-bristled broom to remove light snow accumulation from the ramp and the grooves of the decking surface. Ensure sufficient force to clear snow from the grip-enhancing grooves without scratching the aluminum surface. If the aluminum is scratched, oxidation will occur more quickly.
  2. Choosing the Right Ice Melt: Avoid using rock salt, as it can react with aluminum, leading to pitting and structural weakening. Instead, opt for magnesium chloride ice melt ideally combined with calcium chloride. Although these can be corrosive to concrete and stainless steel, they are safe and effective for use on aluminum. We also recommend products such as Melt Premium Enviro Blend Ice Melter, also safe for aluminum and concrete, and not harmful to people, plants, or animals.
  3. Canopy Systems for Added Protection: Consider installing a canopy over the ramp and stairs. Our canopy systems effectively minimize snow and ice buildup, ensuring safe access and egress during inclement weather.

Weather-Related Safety Precautions

Regardless of the chosen approach, prioritize the timely removal of snow and ice from your ramps to maintain safe access and egress. By doing so, you minimize the risk of slips and falls, ensuring the well-being of anyone who enters your facility.

Emphasizing Safety in Inclement Weather

Aluminum ramps and steps offer unmatched durability and weather resistance, making them a preferred choice for safe access and egress. However, during snow and icy conditions, proactive maintenance and safety precautions are essential. Whether it’s utilizing stiff-bristled brooms, choosing the right ice melt, or considering a canopy system, it is essential to prioritize keeping access ways clear and safe. By embracing these practices, you can ensure the well-being of ramp users, even in challenging weather conditions.

At DockStep, we are committed to providing innovative, durable, and weatherproof access solutions to enhance safety and streamline operations. Contact us today to discover how our aluminum ramps, stairs, and canopies can elevate the accessibility and reliability of your premises, regardless of the weather.

Prefabricated Aluminum

Loading Dock Steps


Loading dock steps and stairs

The DOCK Step by Upside Innovations is the perfect lightweight, heavy-duty solution for your loading dock. Because DOCK Step is prefabricated and modular, it bolts together in about an hour.

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