How To Protect Walls From Wheelchair Damage? (6 Different Ways)
Wheelchair use has its downsides, as wheelchairs can easily damage walls. Well, how to protect walls from wheelchair damage, then? The answer is installing wall protectors on the walls.
Wheelchairs can cause significant damage to walls, corners, and doors over time as most homes are not built as mobility-device friendly.
Therefore, consider the wall protection methods highlighted below to ensure you provide adequate protection against impacts to your property’s interior.
How To Protect Walls and Corners From Wheelchair Damage?
Here are 6 different ways to protect your walls and corners.
1. Protect the Wheelchair
Ok, where to start? Tennis balls on the handles and small felt balls on the adjustment levers can help fix the problem quickly.
When you are outside, you can remove them.
This way, you can get at least some protection before installing any wall protectors.
2. Corner Guards and Edge Protectors
The corners of walls are some of the most susceptible to damage. And protecting the corners is one of the easiest ways to start with.
Most of these products are easy to install with self-stick tape. Some are installed with screws.
Many people are not cautious around corners. When using wheelchairs or when doing activities like moving furniture; they end up hitting and scratching the corners.
Thus, you might find your walls’ corners are partially or completely chipped.
Corner guards and edge protectors offer the best protection to wall corners against chipping caused by unexpected impacts like that from a wheelchair.
Corner guards and edge protectors are made from materials like rubber, PVC, and metals such as stainless steel and aluminum, hence making it easy for property owners to choose guards that suit their tastes.
They are also permanent or temporary, meaning you can choose them depending on whether you have a long-term or a short-term need for them or you like experimenting with interior decor occasionally.
Some have contrast strips that make them visible, thus preventing people from getting too close to walls.
You can get corner guards and edge protectors easily from Amazon.
3. Wall Guards
Wall guards come in various sizes and types that you can install at different places on the wall. They are like strips that you put on the wall along the corridors (you can often see these in commercial buildings such as hospitals and hotels).
For instance, the smaller 3-inch wall guards prevent a wheelchair’s footrest from causing damage to the lower sections of the wall.
The 6-inch wall guards help avoid damage caused by wheelchair armrests, while the largest wall guards prevent damage caused by a wheelchair’s upper parts, like the hand grips.
Wall guards are ideal because they protect walls against scratches and prevent damage to wheelchairs. They are also easy to source as they are available in major retail stores and medical supply stores.
Additionally, they are easy to install, as some come with pre-drilled holes and screws, and all you need is a screwdriver to fasten them.
You can find a lot of small silicone bumpers on Amazon, but for bigger wall guards, you need to head to Home Depot or some specialty store.
Example of wall guards:
4. Wall Protection Panels
Wall protection panels are a solution that entails covering wall sections to prevent damage from various objects, including wheelchairs, doors, and furniture.
They are ideal for high-traffic areas like corridors, lounges, and kitchens.
You can customize wall protection panels to meet your specific needs. For example, the panels can cover the entire wall from top to bottom or up to shoulder height.
They can also come in sizes that can cover long hallways. Moreover, wall protection panels are easy to install and non-invasive. You can also customize them to match your interior decor.
Another reason to consider wall protection panels is their materials. Manufacturers use materials like stainless steel, aluminum, or PVC; thus, they are durable.
The panels also help lower your property maintenance costs by preventing wall damage.
You can find some small wall protectors from Amazon. For bigger ones, you need to head to Home Depot or some specialty store.
5. Wall Coverings
Wall coverings are another solution to protect your walls against damage like scuffs and dents caused by wheelchairs.
The coverings act like sacrificial surfaces whereby they absorb the impact from wheelchairs, thereby avoiding direct contact with walls.
Wall coverings can be anything from a simple bed sheet or cloth that you drape over a wall or wallpaper and wall stickers.
They are affordable and easy to place or replace after damage. However, they are only necessary for high-traffic areas where wall damage is highly likely.
6. Scuff-Resistant Paint
Many think of paint as something that only helps boost a property’s aesthetic appeal. However, paint can also be functional, for example, by helping prevent damage to surfaces.
Therefore, applying the right kind of paint can prevent scratches and scuffs on walls.
However, you should consult a professional painter before investing in a certain type of paint, especially if the area you want to paint gets frequented by wheelchairs, like a hospital.
The painter will educate you about different scuff-resistant paints designed to withstand impacts of varying strengths.
They will also evaluate your property before providing guidelines on the right paints to meet your needs.
Here is a selection of scuff-resistant paints from Home Depot.
Why Install Wall Protection?
Implementing wall protection can save money. If walls get damaged, you must repair them regularly to ensure they look presentable.
Corner collisions can even damage your walls structurally over time. The cost of repairing this damage could have been avoided by installing corner guards in the first place.
The Bottom Line
Protecting walls against impacts from wheelchairs that cause damage is vital to prolonging their lifespan while also preserving the appearance of the walls.
It also helps avoid damage to wheelchairs that can inconvenience wheelchair users.
Moreover, wall protections help increase a property’s cleanliness and provide a healthy living or working environment.
The other concern that might arise is whether a wheelchair user can pass through the doors without difficulty? You can learn more in our article about wheelchair widths and enlarging doorways for wheelchairs.
Here you can read more about the best flooring options for wheelchair use, and what flooring to avoid.