If you have lived in your home for many years, you may not notice that your ability to safely access your home has changed over time. You may not notice the safety hazard that your exterior stairways present until after someone has been hurt using them.

You can prevent potentially serious accidents as you come and go by installing an exterior ramp. However, you may be unsure about whether now is the right time for a ramp. 

Keep reading to learn five situations that may indicate it’s time to install an exterior ramp!

Difficulty Climbing Stairs

If someone in your household is finding it increasingly difficult to climb the stairs which lead to home entryways, it could be time to replace those stairs with an easy-to-access exterior ramp. Using a ramp to access exterior doors eliminates the exertion and frustration caused by the struggle to climb even a few steps.

Exterior ramps are designed to meet the slope requirements recommended by the ADA, which estimates that a safe ramp equals one foot of ramp for each inch of rise. This creates a ramp that is not too steep and can be easily accessed, whether on foot or by a wheelchair user.

Increased Risk of Falling

As you age, you may notice you are less steady on your feet. While you may have been able to stably climb stairs in the past, today, you may be at an increased risk of falling and seriously injuring yourself.

Combined with the gentle slope of the ramp, exterior ramps also feature handrails which provide further stability and decrease your risk of falling. Exterior ramps designed with accessibility in mind can reduce your risk of injury as you enter and exit your home.

Limited Mobility

If you are in a wheelchair or use a walker or other mobility aid, accessing exterior stairways independently is impossible. You may not have to rely on another person to get you in and out of your home.

With an exterior ramp, you can access your home with little or no assistance. Professionally installed exterior ramps are designed to meet your specific needs and to work seamlessly with your existing exterior doorways.

Safety Concerns

The materials used to construct exterior stairs can become safety concerns as you age. Many homes have stairs made of concrete, which can become slippery in inclement weather and very dangerous if you are less than sturdy on your feet.

A high-quality exterior ramp has a smooth but slip-resistant surface that provides necessary traction without creating a trip hazard. These surfaces can also stand up to the weather, providing safe passage even through rain, snow, or ice.

Future Needs

While you may not need an exterior ramp now, often, the best time to consider an exterior ramp is as you plan for the future. If you are considering aging-in-place, there may be a time when you will need to have a ramp to safely access the exterior doorways of your home.

For your own peace of mind, it is often better to have the accessibility aids you might need before you even need them. If you suddenly need an exterior ramp, there may be wait times for materials or installation that can compromise your safety.

The inability to easily access your home can prevent you from enjoying your decision to age-in-place. By installing either a modular or custom-built exterior ramp, you can come and go from your home with ease and independence to which you are accustomed for years to come!

Do you want to learn more about how exterior ramps can help you be safer when entering and exiting your home? Contact Portland Accessibility Remodelers today to explore all of your ramp options!