Shoveling snow is a difficult job, but it is vital for the safety of persons who use a wooden wheelchair ramp. Whether the person needs the assistance of the handrails or is traveling via a walker or a wheelchair, mobility is unstable enough for the individuals without the addition of a slippery, snow-covered surface.
Things You'll Need
- Shovel with a flat blade
- De-icer, such as rock salt
Treat the wooden wheelchair ramp with an anti-icer before the snow storm arrives, if possible. This is available at hardware, home supply and discount stores. It is a chemical agent that prevents the snow from bonding to the wood or other type of surface beneath it. This makes it less difficult to remove it; often you can simply sweep away the fallen snow with a broom.
Remove the snow with a flat blade shovel. Some shovels have wider blades than others and if available, this will speed up the process. Make sure you wear heavy work shoes with a slip-resistant sole. Wear a coat, a hat and sturdy work gloves.
Sprinkle a de-icer, such as rock salt, on the surface of the wooden wheelchair ramp once you get near the surface of the wood. Often, this type of ramp has a layer of ice between the snow and the wood since it has poor insulation above the surface of the ground. The de-icer is a chemical agent that helps to melt the ice and snow layer. It does not melt it all, but it does make it less complicated to get rid of the snowy debris. The brown surface of the wood absorbs the sunlight, instead of reflecting it as the snow does, thus further helping the melting process.
Tips & Warnings
- Use caution when working on the wooden wheel chair ramp; the slippery slope can cause your feet to fly out from underneath you before you realize what is happening.
- Do not twist the upper portion of your body as you shovel the snow. Use your feet to change positions in order to dump the snow in a safe area where it will not need moving again. Place your non-dominant hand near the blade of the shovel to give you better control. Lift with your leg muscles and your shoulders, not your back muscles.
- Monitor the wooden wheelchair ramp carefully during the cold winter months. Often, a layer of black ice that you cannot see will create a slippery layer on the wood surface. Place large rubber mats on the ramp, if possible, during inclement weather conditions.
- Photo Credit Raimund Koch/Photodisc/Getty Images
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