Welded Vs Modular ADA Handrails
Welded railings are more commonly seen out in the world of accessibility. However, it begs the question, why is that?
The most common answer I hear is cost and availability. Finding someone in a garage with the capabilities to weld is easy and generally speaking, the cost including installation can look appealing. However, there are several factors that if not considered will lead to further costs, complications, and yes, needing to replace that same railing sooner than you’d like.
Below are three reasons why using a modular, fittings-based ADA railing system is the longer-term, more cost-effective solution for your ramp and stairs.
1. Designed to Last
Using Kee Klamp for your ADA railing means you have the quality, engineering, and corrosion resistance built in to keep your railing around for several decades.
Being around for over 80 years, the Kee Klamp fittings have become widely used in the area of guardrails and access railings that both provide public access and protect lives while working at heights. Over the years the quality of these fittings has been tested in extreme conditions and continues to prove superior.
All our fittings are pre-engineered to be strong and create a permanent connection to the pipe. Each set screw, when torqued down to 29 ft/lb can withstand a 2,000 lb axial load. This has proven to be stronger than a weld and certainly more consistent.
Hot dipped galvanized fittings mean virtually no rust. Our tried and true fittings have been installed at Niagara Falls for decades, through rain, snow, and ice with little to no corrosion. Given that weld marks are your most susceptible areas for rust, eliminating those with hot-dip galvanized fittings nearly eliminates the possibility of decay on your ADA railing system.
2. Simple to Design Handrail
A wide variety of fittings make designing ADA-compliant railings a breeze. There is a fitting for almost any application, angle, or orientation. This means no matter the ramp, stairs, or combination of both, a handrail system can be designed to fit perfectly using Kee Klamps.
Welded railing systems break down most commonly at the foot of the posts. Not having a flange option, welded railing posts are core drilled and cemented into the ground. This means that the pipe has immediate contact with the concrete, stone, dirt, and whatever else you are walking on.
Water tends to pool around the posts and then it begins rusting out of the ground within a year or two.
Flanges remove your post entirely from the surface. There is nowhere for the water to pool, so the post remains intact for a longer, more solid connection. Also, with the variety of different flanges available, you can mount your posts into anything, at any angle!
The best news is that you don’t need to design anything if you don’t want to. We have a team of ADA railing experts on staff that can design the railing for you to be compliant.
3. Easy to Install Railing
Installing an ADA handrail doesn’t need to include a lot of hassle, engineering, or even specialized labor.
Any handy person should be able to install a Kee Klamp ADA handrail easily. Because of the set screw design, an Allen wrench is all you need to create a tight and secure connection with each fitting.
Though, if you are installing a lot of railing, having a drill will speed up your install time dramatically and allow you to properly torque each set screw.
Other than that, your tools required will be minimal. Typically, the hardest part is mounting the flanges. That could require drilling into concrete, which a hammer drill will make short work of. And having a way to cut pipe makes on-site adjustments possible in a matter of minutes. Once that is accomplished, the rest is piecing together pipe and fittings.
Frankly, this saves you on the cost of labor from a welder. Welders will need to include installs in their railing prices. This means they will likely need to visit your site, gather extensive measurements, and design the railing exactly to those specifications.
One wrong measurement and it is likely they’ll need to scrap part or all of the railing and come back another day. This way of building ADA railings only adds complications, cost, and room for error.
When you can install the railing yourself or hire it out to your preferred contractor, you are saving costs while still maintaining the installation of a tried and true railing system.
Get The Railing You Need Today
Modular railings are designed to be adjustable. They are also designed to be stronger than a weld. When you combine the two, you have an incredibly durable, long-lasting, easy to install, ADA-compliant railing. Not only that, but you can design it yourself.
We know that time is money, so our projects team is here to help. With years of ADA hand railing experience on the team, we are happy to design, advise, and piece out your next ADA hand railing project.