Wood ramps are an attractive choice for residential applications. They can be designed to blend into a home landscape and are more easily removed than a concrete alternative. Wood can become very slippery when wet, causing a hazard for ambulatory as well as wheelchair use, but there are several products available to alleviate that danger.
Anti-Slip Paint Additives
Paint additives may be mixed with paint or stain to create a skid-resistant surface. These additives are available in a liquid and a solid form. The additives are designed for use on a variety of surfaces including concrete, asphalt and wood. Solid additives are small bits of aggregate that may be mixed into your paint or stain or spread on top of a freshly painted surface to create a gritty, non-slip surface when it dries.
Anti-slip tape is a self-adhesive product coated with a gritty surface to provide a slip-resistant surface where applied. The tapes are available in a variety of textures and colors for various applications. Individual tapes are designed for interior and exterior use and may be used on a variety of surfaces. Refer to the manufacturer's recommendations prior to installation to ensure the tape is compatible with an exterior application on a wood surface. Colored and glow-in-the-dark anti-slip tape is available to make surfaces more visible in the dark.
Rolled roofing is a product made of asphalt that is primarily used in roofing. However, the roofing product is frequently re-purposed as an anti-slip surface. Because there are several types of rolled roofing, be sure to use one that is compatible with a ramp application. A mineral-surfaced roofing roll offers a gritty, anti-slip surface that is relatively inexpensive and easy to apply. The roofing properties of the material provide protection from weather elements such as snow and ice.
The same rubber matting that is used in gyms, playgrounds and day care centers may be used to provide an anti-slip surface on a wheelchair ramp. Rubber matting is commonly available in a self-adhesive or connecting tile applications. Adhesive matting is fairly permanent while the connecting mats may be easily removed and transferred to a different location. The material is quick-drying and easily cleaned with a broom or hose. Rubber matting used for a ramp should be designed for exterior and wheelchair use. Wheels may sink in a soft matting, prohibiting or making independent transport difficult.
Judy Prather began writing fiction in earnest in 2004. Writing as J.A. Anderson, Prather's debut novel, "Stolen Memories," was published in 2007. She also has experience as a therapeutic recreation specialist. Prather holds a bachelor's degree in therapeutic recreation from Winona State University.