While we don’t know when our lives will fully return to “normal,” we do know that restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are in the process of being lifted across the country. This means that individuals will start returning to public places once again. Now is an ideal time to evaluate your business to make sure that you have the proper access solutions in place for all individuals that will visit your location.
Learn how to improve access solutions for your business in order to welcome customers back with suitable accommodations.
Audit Your Building for Mobility Device Accessibility
Just as you strive to maintain a current, relevant, and updated product and service offerings for your customers, it’s important that you also maintain your facilities to allow individuals of all abilities the opportunity to safely and easily access your establishment.
Maybe you have a ramp made of wood that has seen better days or you have an entrance that only has a set of concrete stairs that isn’t accessible to everyone. Whatever the case may be, you are in the right place to find a better solution.
Below are a couple of questions to ask yourself when evaluating your property for ideal entryway access:
How are they going to get to the entrance?
If any public service areas have slopes that are steeper than 1:20, make sure that both steps and ramps are available, and that they are correctly designed to adhere to ADA standards. A ramp needs to have a 1:12 slope in order to meet ADA guidelines. We recommend commercial-grade aluminum ramps for public spaces because they can be configured to fit your location’s exact layout and they’re code compliant, durable, quick to install, and virtually maintenance-free.
How are they going to enter?
Mobility device users need ample room at the entryway to enter, exit, and maneuver about, so you need to ensure that there is space to do so, which is why the door to the main entrance, or at least to one entrance on the building, must be designed for wheelchair accessibility.
The door width of an accessible entrance must be at least 32”. For additional details, see section 404.2.3 in the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design document.
To ensure you have proper maneuvering clearances for your specific door type and configuration, take a look at Table 404.2.4.1 in the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design document.
Calculate Ramp Size for Accessible Entrances
For commercial occupied use, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) recommends a 1:12 slope. This means that every 1” of vertical rise needs at least 1’ (12”) of ramp length. In order to determine how much ramping is necessary for your entrance, follow our instructions for measurements and calculations.
- Total vertical rise you need to overcome Example: If you are trying to bypass a set of stairs, measure from top step straight down to the ground
- Available distance without obstruction measuring straight out from the highest point
- Usable width of the surrounding area Example: The width of the entrance or doorway where the ramp will start
Enter the dimension you recorded for vertical rise into our incline calculator and select the desired slope ratio (again, ADA recommends 1:12), and it will give you the minimum ramp length required for the location.
Choose the Right Material for Your Access Solutions
In our expert opinion, aluminum is the superior ramp material that is cost-effective, can handle high-traffic use in all seasons, and is the most practical for your location, but we’ll give you the facts so you can decide for yourself.
Building a wood ramp often requires the hiring of skilled labor, can be a several day process, and usually involves acquiring building permits since they are usually considered permanent structures, all of which takes time and money. Wood ramps also require quite a bit of maintenance after the initial build, because wood rots and warps faster than other materials, and can also be dangerous when wet. When it’s time to remove a wood ramp, you’ll not only need to factor in the labor costs once again to take the ramp down, but you’ll also have to figure out proper disposal of the materials.
Steel easily rusts over time, especially in wetter climates, creating an increased need for regular maintenance to ensure a safe access system. This material is also very heavy, which makes for difficult set up, as well as tear down and transportation for temporary situations.
Installing and removing a concrete ramp can be very costly and take quite a bit of time and prep work. Over time they are also prone to cracks and deterioration, requiring the occasional repair. Lastly, it’s difficult to build a customized concrete ramp, so it may not be possible to construct if the existing building does not allow for it.
Aluminum modular ramps are great for creating cost-effective customizable access solutions and are virtually maintenance-free. Since the modular components are shipped pre-made, an aluminum ramp system can be installed and taken down in a matter of hours. This makes aluminum ramps great for both temporary and permanent needs.
Aluminum ramp systems will last for years to come and will stand up to the harshest of environments, along with repeated, everyday use. With their permanent, slip-resistant surface and smooth, continuous handrails, these ramps help ensure safe access for all individuals.
Order & Install Access Solutions
If you choose to order an aluminum modular ramp, your next step is to call our Customer Service team!
Our public access experts will help you evaluate what ramp configuration is best for your business and can get materials shipped to you within just 24-48 hours after purchase.
If you need an installer, we can connect you with an expert in your area!
Get your project started by giving us a call today.