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Also known as vertical platform lifts or, to some, “mini-elevators”, porch lifts provide safe and easy access to raised decks, porches or steps either outside or inside your home. Individuals with mobility issues and who require the assistance of mobility solutions such as wheelchairs and walkers make great use out of porch lifts. Naturally, they take away the potential dangers associated with climbing the stairs.

Your porch lift, however, requires maintenance in much the same way your car does. And although they are designed to withstand our harsh Canadian winters, it’s important to take steps to keep your porch lift in top condition all winter long.

Clear snow and ice off of your porch lift.

As mentioned, porch lifts are designed to withstand the harshly cold temperatures associated with winter. However, they don’t magically clear themselves of snow and ice. Treat your porch lift similarly to the way you’d treat your car. You clear your car of snow and ice before driving it, right? Well, even when the lift may not be needed for immediate use, it’s a good idea to clear it of all snow and ice.

“Make sure to clear snow and ice off the non-slip platform and ramp surfaces,” encourages John Burfield of Lifeway Mobility, “If possible, use a bristled broom instead of a shovel to avoid scratching the lift’s paint. Clear snow and ice from underneath and around the lift – A snow drift can interfere with safety sensors that monitor for obstructions under the VPL.”

Don’t leave the lift idle at either the top or bottom of the porch.

During the wintertime, it’s wise to keep your porch lift either slightly below the upper level or slightly above the lower level. This is an important practice in protecting the lift against the winter’s harshest elements. The “Mike The Access Guy” blog provides some insight.

“When you are finished using the lift, leave it parked 6” – 8” below the upper level,” the site advises, “ This way the upper landing gate will be locked so the wind will not be slamming the gate open and closed. Leave lift platform up off the ground 5” or 6” at the lower level. Because sometimes the platform will freeze to the ground and damage the under pan safety switches. This could be a costly repair.”

Put your porch lift through a few test runs.

It doesn’t matter if the idiom “better safe than sorry” is a cliché. It’s a statement that will always hold true and therefore, needs to be adhered to at all times. Don’t use your porch lift if you feel it may need some maintenance first. Test run it a couple of times before using it after particularly cold days or days when you’ve experienced huge rain or snow falls.

The “Mike The Access Guy” blog agrees. “If it is very cold outside (below 25 degrees) it is a good idea to run the lifts up and down a few times before anyone gets on it,” it reads, “This will help to loosen and warm things up and allows the lift to run smoother.”

For more information about the porch lifts offered by Advantage Home Health Solutions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!