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Repair of wheel chair ramp(s) due to salt damage

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  • #16
    There are specific ADA requirements on ramps. if not met, then liability is worse. When sue-happy folks get a personal injury lawyer, every detail will be dragged out and examined. Any deviations will be pounced on and held up as major failings and causes for judgement, and they WILL know the rules.

    There are companies that install metal ramps, they know the requirements, and it would probably be cheaper in the long run to get one of them to just do the job. They then get the liability. Why try to "home-brew" the ramp and accept the liability yourselves when there are larger downsides to that? Details like surface finish of the ramp etc can be a big deal if there is ever a question of "does it or does it not meet the requirements?".

    For the concrete one, any railing company should know the ADA stuff and be able to put a compliant railing in. The ramp itself may not meet requirements anyway. The rules are fussy and not always sensible, but they are what they are.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

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    • #17
      Installing an awning over the ramps might extend the life of whatever is used for replacement, and will make it more comfortable in rain, snow, and even hot sun. Maybe install passive solar panels and circulate hot water under the ramps. But, yeah, make sure it's fully up to code.
      http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
      Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
      USA Maryland 21030

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      • #18
        Make handicapped people sign a wavier of liability before they use the ramp.
        "Use the ramp at your own risk" signs might be another good idea.

        -Doozer
        DZER

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Bented View Post
          I live in New Jersey where one can not swing a dead cat without hitting a Lawyer.
          Its not that bad, I hear some people still have to share one.

          in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Doozer View Post
            Make handicapped people sign a wavier of liability before they use the ramp.
            "Use the ramp at your own risk" signs might be another good idea.

            -Doozer
            Might as well add: Management not responsible for hat or coat.

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            • #21
              PStechPaul beat me to it, but why not put a roof over the needed ramp area. Pay once and be done with it. Some heat and lighting would need be considered, but then your done for good. No sand or salt/calcium tracked into the church either.
              Sarge41
              Last edited by sarge41; 10-16-2020, 11:19 AM.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post

                Its not that bad, I hear some people still have to share one.
                A dead cat or a lawyer?

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                • #23
                  Questions of liability aside, I'll suggest that tubing is less than ideal for that application. Invariably, it gets water in it and rusts from the inside out. And if it doesn't rust, it sometimes blows out the seam because water gets in and freezes. I've actually seen several railings that have failed this way because there was a small pin hole at the top weld which let water fill up the tube. I recommend using an "open" structural shape like angle iron or c-channel if aesthetics aren't the primary concern. It's easier to maintain. And if SS is too expensive, you can look into an architectural steel like Corten and have it hot dipped galvanized. It will still corrode but ought to give you pretty good life.

                  Also, might first thought for the decking was also pressure treated lumber. If it's rated for below grade or marine use rated, I would expect it to last a good long while and be largely impervious to the salt. Of course, wet wood - especially with some leaves on it - can be very slick. Could be there are code requirements in your area the prohibit the use of wood.

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                  • #24
                    You could make the ramp out of concrete and heat it. The plastic tubing that is used for heated floors is relatively inexpensive.
                    You could get a small electric hot water tank and rig it with a slow circulation pump to move the hot water through the tube. Your not using it year round.

                    When I was a kid we had a bank downtown that had the section of sidewalk that ran the width of the building heated. It was the only building on the street that had a clean sidewalk in dead of winter and rarely required shoveling unless we had a big storm. But back then it was heated with gas. During the energy crisis back in the 70's they stopped using it.

                    JL...............

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                    • #25
                      The question of liability and compliance with ADA cannot be side-stepped.

                      The OP is making decisions which may affect the organization's liability for injury or potential fines for non-compliance. Really, in this sort of situation, the whole board of trustees should decide on whether to "homebrew" it vs having it done, because the answer decides the exposure of the organization to problems. As a board member of an organization myself, I would want to have input on any such decision by the full board.

                      We can have suggestions, but unless some of the responders are ADA experts, our solutions are mechanical ideas, and not things known to be "proper" according to the rules. It's not "cowering in fear" (yo, Doozer) it is being practical about things that have wider implications and involve inspectors, laws, insurance companies, etc which give no leeway...

                      With those things its their way or the highway. So you just deal with it on that basis to make them go away happy and not bother you.
                      Last edited by J Tiers; 10-17-2020, 02:24 PM.
                      1601

                      Keep eye on ball.
                      Hashim Khan

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                      • #26
                        I'd replace the whole steel ramp with galvanized serrated deck planking, it's open do less problem with snow/ice buildup reducing the need to use salt etc.
                        When replacing the steel in the concrete, fill it with something to a level above the concrete, then drill a weep hole to prevent water collection.

                        I've built several ramps here in Michigan, and ADA is only concerned with accessibility factors, how steep it is, the width, and the room required for a wheelchair to turn a corner.
                        Other wise, it's just standard building codes that you need to worry about. If it met codes when originally installed, simply repairing it will keep it completely legal.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by kendall View Post
                          I'd replace the whole steel ramp with galvanized serrated deck planking, it's open do less problem with snow/ice buildup reducing the need to use salt etc.
                          When replacing the steel in the concrete, fill it with something to a level above the concrete, then drill a weep hole to prevent water collection.

                          I've built several ramps here in Michigan, and ADA is only concerned with accessibility factors, how steep it is, the width, and the room required for a wheelchair to turn a corner.
                          Other wise, it's just standard building codes that you need to worry about. If it met codes when originally installed, simply repairing it will keep it completely legal.
                          Best idea so far!
                          Now a solution for the office railing.

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