June 19, 2019

Evaluating an Existing Property for Ramp Needs

We’ll admit it. It’s often simpler to create easy access to new properties than it is for existing ones.

With a new property, you can easily eliminate barriers by avoiding them altogether. Whereas an existing property may have been built before ADA guidelines were in place, which requires a little creativity to break through barriers. In this article, we’ll walk through each area of a property that should be evaluated, and possible solutions for these locations.

close up of wheelchair foot pedals and front wheels outside on concrete

Accessible Route to Entrance  

Handicap parking spaces need to line up exterior pathways to the entrance. This generally means a wide, bump-free sidewalk that leads from the parking lot to the ramp or door of the building. If the route from the parking lot to the building has several cracks in the foundation, forces individuals to go over a curb, or is at a steep incline, it’s not considered handicap accessible.

If any of these examples are an issue for your business or property, you’ll need to create an accessible route or relocate the path. In instances where the route to the entrance involves going over a curb, a ramp is necessary to eliminate the barrier. The route also needs to be stable, firm, and slip-resistant with at least 36” of width to ensure easy access for individuals that use mobility equipment.

Close up of the end of the TITANâ„¢ ramp

Building Entrances  

Does your building have a safe, accessible entrance for individuals using complex rehab technology (CRT)? This means that there is a flat, stable, slip-resistant surface to enter the building. If the entrance is not flat, you’ll need to install a ramp to help overcome stairs or uneven surfaces. The ramp must be no steeper than a 1:12 slope.

If the main entrance of your building is not accessible, there needs to be at least one entrance that is.

TRANSITIONS® Angled Entry Mat in doorway entry

Doorways  

It’s fairly common to have an uneven entryway, especially when two surface types connected at the doorway are different. For example tile to wood, or tile to carpet. The ledge that connects the surfaces should be no more than ¼ inch high according to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines.  

If the ledge is higher than ¼ inch, there’s an easy fix. You can purchase one of our threshold mats, which essentially acts a mini ramp for a smoother glide through the doorway.