As a property or business owner, you must ensure that your premise is ADA compliant. Detectable warning surfaces, or truncated domes, are a standardized warning feature installed or applied to walking surfaces to help the visually impaired with navigation. They consist of a pattern, usually a non-visual marker of critical points of public spaces such as transit platforms, curb ramps, escalator approaches, stair landings, and sidewalks.

Detectable warning surfaces play a critical role on public pavements. They help people with visual problems to know where pedestrian transitions are and navigate safely and independently. They also warn pedestrians of upcoming hazards, especially in high-traffic areas.

You have several options when installing a detectable warning surface on your property. But many people opt for one of the top choices: cast-in-place and surface-applied ADA pads. Another option is masonry paving stone but usually more expensive than the other two options and hence rare.

Cast in placemats

Cast-in-place ADA tiles are preferable for use on new concrete surfaces. Therefore if you have a new building whereby a detectable warning surface is mandatory, the cast-in placemats are an ideal choice. They are perfect for installing on newly poured concrete, providing a long-lasting surface that can withstand heavy use and severe weather conditions.

The best thing about the cast-in-place ADA pads is the ease of application, and you can quickly install them on fresh concrete. In areas where snow plowing is necessary during winter, these mats can be recessed to prevent damage to the plow. Since they are cast in place, these mats are incredibly hardy and durable; therefore, they can resist damage for many years.

Some manufacturers have a quick removal and replacement version for those concerned about replacing the mats in the future. Replaceable detectable tiles are designed with a bolt system that immediately locks the tile set up with the concrete coating. That means removing the bolts and lifting the tile off to replace it is easy.

Surface applied tiles

While cast in place truncated domes are suitable for new builds, surface applied tiles are ideal for use on old concrete in areas that need ADA compliance. Surface-applied tiles are perfect if you want to install a detectable warning surface in an existing place where concrete replacement is not an option.

They are usually thinner than cast-in placemats and can be installed quickly into parking lots and sidewalks. Installers use a mixture of glue and fasteners to ensure the tile is installed correctly onto the surface to prevent slippage and separation from the surrounding area for effectiveness and safety.

When the mats start to wear out due to weather exposure, you can quickly repair, repaint or replace them. A skilled contractor can remove the damaged tile, clean the area and install a new one for a lower cost than replacing the whole tile. Also, fading is not a worry since you can recoat and seal the mat repeatedly.

The bottom line

When investing in ADA dome tiles, it is crucial to make the right choice for easy installation, durability, and better performance.

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