With the winter storm that is bearing down on the East Coast this week, a question that might be fresh on your mind is, “How should we handle snow and ice on our ramp?” As you know when the snow and ice is coming down, it can create some treacherous conditions on flat ground, but when you add the 1:12 slope, those conditions become even more slippery.
With Upside Innovations aluminum ramps, our aluminum walking surface has been extruded and then knurled to give the users enough grip to pass ADA and IBC coefficient of friction requirements in both dry and wet conditions. When snow and ice come down, the conditions can change very quickly. There are a three main ways that we suggest to minimize any safety issues that can arise from weather related issues.
A very simple way to remove any light snow accumulation from the ramp is to use a stiff bristled broom or push broom. The bristles of these brooms are strong enough to remove the snow from the ramp and from the grooves in the decking surface that gives the ramp the grip in the first place. On the actual ramp surface, you will have to move the snow up or down a ramp to a platform or to the ground it lands on since the wheel guard at the edges of the ramp will not allow the snow to be swept off of the side. Once the snow is on a platform, it can be swept across the platform and can be pushed off of the edge or through the rails.
If the snow and ice are too much for just a broom to handle, you may want to think about some sort of chemical snow-melt. We do not recommend using common rock salt on the aluminum. Typical rock salt will cause a reaction with the aluminum and will eventually cause some pitting, and weaken the structure. We do recommend that our customers use a magnesium chloride ice melt. Magnesium chloride will not harm the aluminum, but can be hard to find. Another good option that we have found to be good for use with our aluminum ramps is Melt Premium Enviro Blend Ice Melter. This product can be spread on the snow and ice and will not damage the metal, concrete around it or be harmful to plants or animals.
Of course, the best way to get out of the snow shoveling, and ice melting business is to talk to Upside about adding one of our aluminum canopies or walkway covers over your ramp or step. Our canopy systems are a great way of keeping those people accessing your buildings out of the rain or snow. They greatly cut down on the snow and ice build-up and are a great way of finishing off your project.
No matter what route you travel in making sure you remove the snow and ice from your ramps, be safe and stay warm!