Wooden vs. Aluminum Ramps, What Makes the Difference?

When looking at the options for a wheelchair ramp for your place of business, you will have many options available to you, but many decision-makers may choose between a wooden ramp built by a local contractor and a modular aluminum ramp. While the cost of a wooden ramp is appealing for budgets, an aluminum ramp, especially the Latitude Series offered by National Ramp, can be a far superior solution.

Compliance

While a local contractor may be able to build a wooden ramp with a slope appropriate for ADA compliance, the 1:12 slope required by the ADA may not be long enough for the state and local codes governing your site. Plus, ADA and IBC compliance dictates ramp width, railing height, and a variety of other factors that your contractor may not be fully aware of.

If the ramp built by your contractor is not up to code, fixes, and fines can exceed the initial cost of your wooden ramp. A wooden ramp that is unusable will force you to throw good money after bad.

National Ramp will provide wet-stamped drawings for your site, in compliance with ADA and IBC regulations for your geographic location.

Maintenance

Wood can be very labor and time-intensive to maintain, and even the best-maintained wooden ramps will start to see damage over time, especially in areas with high precipitation. A wooden ramp that is beginning to rot can pose serious safety risks to users and liability risks for your business.

The National Ramp Latitude Series comes with a 5-year warranty is 100% aluminum, and very easy to maintain. The slip-resistant treads provide safe access even in inclement weather. Aluminum will not corrode or rust, and the ramp can be swept clean after snowfall.

Installation and Removal

Custom-built wooden ramps are time-consuming to be built, and can permanently affect your site, even after removal. Furthermore, pressure-treated wood must be disposed of in particular ways according to local restrictions.

The Latitude Series is fully modular, which allows for quick shipment, quick install, and even a quick removal; The nature of the modular ramp installation is not as disruptive to your site as permanent wooden ramps, so the site can be easily restored to its original after removal. Also, the aluminum ramping can be easily scrapped or recycled.

While the initial cost of a wooden ramp will very likely be lower than an aluminum ramp, there are many other pros and cons that should be considered in the decision-making process for your business’s wheelchair ramp.