Many homes include wooden ramps, whether it be a ramp leading up to the front entrance for handicap access or a shorter ramp leading up to the shed that makes it easier to move lawnmowers and snowblowers, or even motorcycles and bikes. While the addition of a ramp to your home is meant to make your life easier, there are still slip and fall hazards that can occur.
If you already have a ramp at your home, or if you are thinking of installing one, it is important to also consider what actions should be taken to ensure that your ramp remains safe to use year-round.
What Causes Slips and Falls on Outdoor Ramps?
Even though the purpose of outdoor ramps is to increase mobility, walking on a slope requires you to change your posture. If not using a wheelchair, walker, or scooter, your center of gravity shifts, and the angle of your ankle when you step changes to accommodate the slope. This is heightened further if you are moving objects with a handcart or pushing other equipment like a lawnmower or snowblower. As you are walking, gravity is actively pulling you down the slope, which can cause you to trip if you are in a rush or if the ramp is slick due to rainfall or other weather conditions.
Because your ramp is located outdoors, there are a multitude of environmental factors that can become slip and fall hazards on your ramp, like:
- Rain, sleet, ice, and snow
- Morning dew
- Debris like leaves or mud
- Mold and mildew growth
Moisture in any form can make a wood ramp incredibly slippery, and can even turn into ice if the temperature drops. Colder temperatures also bring sleet and snow which can cover the entirety of the ramp and render it tractionless and unsafe. Even if you live in an area that doesn’t get too cold in the winter, debris like fallen leaves, dirt, or mud can create slip and fall hazards. Prolonged moisture presence on the ramp can also lead to mold and mildew growth, which also causes falls from being extremely slippery.
How to Make the Ramp at Your Home Safe to Use Year-Round
In order to combat the dangerous slip and fall hazards that can appear on your ramp, it is important to install some sort of non-slip solution to provide much-needed traction. There are many non-slip products that are advertised for use on ramps, but they are not all created equally.
Usually, the most readily available non-slip product that homeowners can find at almost any hardware store is peel and stick grit tape or treads. While these grit treads and tape may work in locations that are protected from the weather, they do not provide enough traction to be used in wet or snowy weather conditions. Adhesive grit treads also need to be replaced quite frequently as they begin to peel off of the ramp, usually after only about a year.
Similarly, there are carpet and rubber treads or mats that are marketed for use on ramps. Like the grit tape and treads, the carpet or rubber treads and mats often don’t hold up in outdoor applications. Ice and snow easily cover the mats or treads, and even a light rainfall can decrease their traction. Furthermore, carpet or rubber treads and mats can become slip and fall hazards in themselves, as it is easy to trip over edges that begin to curl up. This is especially dangerous if someone in a wheelchair is using the ramp, or if you are using the ramp to move heavy equipment like a snowblower.
Of course, we are confident that our HandiTreads non-slip stair and deck treads are a superior solution to make your outdoor ramp safe.
HandiTreads Deck Treads
Our recommendation is to install, HandiTreads Deck Treads as a permanent solution to preventing slips and falls on your outdoor wood ramp. The treads are constructed of hardwearing aluminum, so they will be able to hold up in virtually any weather condition without rusting or needing to be replaced. The patented raised-button surface of the deck treads provides traction in rain, sleet, and up to an inch of ice or snow. Moreover, a snow shovel can be safely used on the treads to remove deep snow without fear of damage.
Deck treads install easily in just minutes with the included color-matched screws; all you need is a power drill! Since they measure 1.875” wide x 4 ft long, the treads are ideal for most ramp sizes and should be applied to every wood plank to provide optimal traction.. Wheeled equipment like lawnmowers and snowblowers or mobility devices like wheelchairs and scooters can safely pass over the treads and will not slip and slide. Available in four earth-toned shades, Chestnut Brown, Java Brown, New England Gray, and Obsidian Black, the treads match or complement virtually any shade of natural wood, pressure-treated lumber, or composite wood decking.
Because deck treads were constructed to be a permanent and maintenance-free non-slip solution, they boast a lifetime warranty at your home that is valid for as long as you own the property.
Non-Slip Solutions to Bring You Peace of Mind
When it comes to the safety of you and your family, it is a worthwhile effort to take measures that prevent slips and falls in potentially hazardous areas of your home. HandiTreads aims to make that effort as straightforward as possible by providing you with high-quality and long-lasting non-slip solutions, as well as the information you need to make the decisions that best support your peace of mind and the safety of your loved ones.