If you need a wheelchair ramp for house use and are trying to save money, you may be looking into used wheelchair ramps. While this can be an excellent way to avoid a massive expenditure, you should look closely before you buy. After all, if the ramp is faulty or decaying, serious injuries could take place. So what specifically should you look for or think about before buying a wheelchair ramp? Here we will look at five different things to beware of before you buy.
1. RAMP ROT
One of the first things to do when looking is to examine used wheelchair ramps to make sure they aren’t rotting or rusting away. This includes underneath and other places that may not be as obvious. Used ramps for wheelchairs if made from wood or metal will eventually have rotting and rusting problems. Don’t get stuck with a decaying ramp that isn’t safe to use anymore. You should consider using a dumpster rental company for all the wood rot and metal when you start to remove it. You can check out their dumpster sizes and pricing page to get a better idea on what size would make sense depending on how big the wheelchair ramp is.
2. WEIGHT MAXIMUM
Not all ramps are designed to hold the same amount of weight. If you’re buying used wheelchair ramps, especially if you’re doing so from a private owner, make sure they have paperwork that verifies how much weight the ramp can hold or that you can find out by some alternative means. This may be especially important if you’re looking at used folding wheelchair ramps or portable ramps. Again, this precaution prevents injuries. Not to mention, it saves you from wasting money on a ramp you find out you can’t use.
3. TREATED PROPERLY
Another thing to consider, especially with Wood ramps, if it’s approved for outdoor use and has been sealed properly. Sealing, as you probably already know, makes the wood weather resistant and holds off decay for years in some cases. Otherwise, the rain, snow, and sun exposure pile up against it and cause the wood to rot and fall apart, making it extremely unsafe to stand on. Prevent major accidents by putting this requirement at the top of your used wheelchair ramps list.
4. REPUTABLE SELLER
You want to be careful of who you buy used wheelchair ramps from. A good place to start may be wheelchair accessory companies. Some of these businesses also sell pre-owned accessories, and they’ve been tested and certified, so you know that they’re safe to use and meet current standards. If you do meet with private sellers, keep in mind the above problems and features to be on the look out for. Test the ramp out before buying.
5. ADA APPROVED
The Americans with Disabilities Act specifies how wide ramps should be the maximum slope and rise, how wide landings should be, and how high handrails are placed. Does the ramp meet these requirements (available online)? If not, keep looking for other used wheelchair ramps.
In summary, check the ramp in question for rot or rust, find out its max weight capacity, find out if it’s treated for outdoor use, buy from a trusted source, and evaluate it against ADA standards for wheelchair ramps. All of this will go a long way to ensuring you find used wheelchair ramps that are safe for your loved one.