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Wooden vs. Aluminum Wheelchair Ramp: Which is Better for Me?

The Freedom Mobility

Difference

I can't thank Kelly and her staff enough for how helpful and caring they have been during my mother's recovery. It is obvious that they have the client's best interests in mind. I highly recommend this company!
- Jill Layton Alperstein
Customer

Choosing the right modular ramp for your home is an important decision. This is a structure that helps people access their homes and allows for custom carpentry to match the surrounding landscape. For many years, the only option people had were wooden modular ramps. But recently, aluminum ramps have become a popular option. Today, the team at Freedom Mobility will walk you through a fair comparison of aluminum ramps and wooden ramps:

Installation

Wooden ramps require that you hire a contractor to have them installed. You’ll need to contact your utility provider to get permits, and the entire installation process can last from two to three days. With aluminum ramps, you don’t need to hire a contractor nor obtain permits to have them installed at your home. They’re easy to install and can be installed in a matter of minutes.

Upkeep

Like wooden decks, wooden ramps need regular maintenance and upkeep to maintain their appearance and not deteriorate. If you’re not in the position to do this sort of maintenance on your home anymore, you will need to hire someone to take care of it. Aluminum ramps, on the other hand, require less maintenance. They only need an occasional spray washing to uphold their cleanliness and appearance.

Cost

Wooden ramps require high-quality lumber, staining, and/or waterproofing to prevent the wood from warping. The total cost can be more expensive than the costs associated with aluminum ramps. Aluminum ramps are traditionally the more affordable option and are better for the environment.

Maneuverability

Once built, a wooden ramp is not easy to remove, expand or reconfigure. This would be beneficial for those who don’t plan on using the ramp in other places. Aluminum ramps, however, can be quickly and easily reconfigured. They’re perfect for those who want a ramp that can be transported.

Cleaning

Wooden ramps require vigorous and continuous cleaning to maintain their appearance. It usually requires chemicals and tiresome scrubbing or the use of a high-power power washer. Aluminum, however, is simple to clean. By using a simple mixture of water and regular dish soap, you can keep your ramp system looking new year-round.

Safety

Unlike wood ramps, the surface on an aluminum ramp will not wear down. Instead, it will continue offering slip-resistance to help maintain traction when moving up and down the ramp for years to come. You’ll never have to worry about applying grip tape or other materials to the walking surface to create a non-slip pathway, like with wooden ramps.

Corrosion/ Deterioration

Aluminum is a naturally corrosion-resistant material, which protects a ramp from the elements. No matter the weather conditions in your area, you can rest assured that an aluminum ramp won’t rust or corrode. Wooden ramps are more susceptible to rotting, warping, and splintering after being exposed to the elements.

Customization

Aluminum ramps provide the perfect balance between customizable and easy to install. Whether you need an aluminum ramp to go over a set of stairs or meet at the top of a porch, they can be configured to fit any home entrance. Wooden ramps don’t allow for much customization.

Winter Weather Maintenance

To prevent moisture from seeping in and taking a toll on the materials, wooden ramps need to be continuously sealed. Aluminum ramps are much easier to care for during the winter. You can use a plastic shovel or snow broom to remove any snow off the ramp and sprinkle a layer of Magnesium Chloride to eliminate ice and/or prevent ice from forming.

Looking for the Perfect Wheelchair Ramp?

When you’re looking for the perfect wheelchair ramp for your home, look no further than Freedom Mobility. Our wide selection of portable, modular, and commercial ramps means that there’s a ramp for everybody. Click here to browse.