Of all the mobility aids and accessibility devices on the market, wheelchair ramps are among the most simple. They don’t involve many, if any, moving parts. They’re built to be solid, reliable and durable. They do require regular maintenance, but they rarely require complicated repair efforts.
Nonetheless, they’re not indestructible. During the course of regular use, wheelchair ramps will wear down and their owners will need to replace or repair some of the parts. In some situations, that’s an easy “do it yourself” project that will take only a matter of minutes and that doesn’t require special skills or expertise. In others, one will want to call a professional to replace or repair wheelchair ramp parts.
Simple repairs and the replacement of worn or damaged wheelchair ramp parts should be considered part of the expected maintenance that will invariably accompany the ownership of a ramp. While one may opt to call a handyman or even a specialty repair service to manage these situations, others will be happy either to do the job themselves or to turn the repair over to a friend or family member.
These repairs involve the replacement of parts including self-adhesive traction strips, tightening readily accessible bolts on modular units, tightening handrails, or replacing small weather-damaged components of wooden units.
You’ll notice that all of these “do it yourself” repairs involve making adjustments or replacements of individual parts that don’t effect the overall operation or structural integrity of the ramp. In essence, that’s the dividing line between “regular maintenance” and situations that necessitate a professional’s involvement. If the repair or new wheelchair ramp parts in question require only small tweaks or aesthetic improvements, it’s generally safe to have a non-professional tackle the job.
In some cases, your wheelchair ramp may need replacement parts or more extensive repairs that justify hiring a professional contractor or an accessibility specialist.
This is the case when the parts involved are critical to the structure or function of the ramp or when “do it yourself” efforts can only serve to mask a greater underlying problem.
If a modular unit is suffering from a bent or broken foundational piece or a loose mooring, that isn’t something one can fix with a pair of pliers and a roll of duct tape! Ignoring or trying to “cover up” the problem with a quick fix creates a dangerous situation and may contribute to the overall decay of the ramp. The installation of some disability ramp parts requires a professional touch and one shouldn’t be reluctant to call on a knowledgeable hand to resolve the problem immediately.
Finding the Right Wheelchair Ramp Parts
If you’re dealing with a job you can handle without using a professional, finding the right parts is essential.
In many cases, you’ll be able to order replacement parts directly from the manufacturer. If that’s possible, it’s strongly recommended. You’ll be sure to have the perfect part for the job. If time doesn’t allow for that or if the parts are unavailable, you can check in with specialty retailers who supply parts and repair kits for a variety of mobility products.
Often, especially in the case of minor repairs, you can find the parts you need at any well-stocked hardware store. This is particularly true when making improvements or repairs to outdoor wooden ramps. Even most of the more involved modular aluminum ramps utilize standard-sized bolts and other parts.
Your ramp won’t stay “as good as new” if you don’t maintain it and handle necessary repairs. Doing so entails an understanding of what you can and can’t do yourself and finding the right wheelchair ramp parts for the job!