Have a Question? Frequently Asked Questions

  Visual contrast
  Comparison to similar products
  Slip Resistance vs. Non Skid
  Other brands failing
  About Concrete Recesses
  Product for New Concrete
  Pricing Comparison
  Repairs Comparison
  Why use Vanguard
  How to find Vanguard Installers


Simply submit our Request Information Form and we'll be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding VANGUARD products or ADA requirements.

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Please see our Resources page for important ADA information and links to other helpful Web sites. Also our Specifications section will answer many questions regarding VANGUARD's products and installation process.


DisposaCone temporary barricade traffic cone


 What needs to contrast visually with the surrounding surface…the domes, or the whole field where the domes are installed?

What the regulations state is that “detectable warnings must contrast visually with the surrounding…”. Because the ADA defines detectable warnings only as “truncated domes”, and don’t specifically mention the “field” within, many cities and building officials have incorrectly interpreted this to mean that only the domes themselves must contrast visually. The DOJ, DOT/FHWA and The Federal Access Board have all agreed that the term “Detectable Warnings” means the entire surface wherein which truncated domes are applied, not just the individual truncated domes themselves. (DOJ Accessibility Rights Div.: 1 800 514 0301)

As importantly, the feds also state that the color “be integral”. The suggestion is that this was written into the ADAAG such that cities, owners, etc. wouldn’t be out there every 6 months painting the surfaces (making them more slippery, and disallowed as of April 6, 2002) adding untold, unnecessary expense where a product with integral color would insure compliance for decades to come.

How do VANGUARD detectable warning features compare to other similar products?

Thankfully, VANGUARD products are NOTHING like the other products you've seen previously. That was by design. VANGUARD products are consistently less expensive to install as well as over the full life cycle of the product. There is no degradation of surfaces required to prepare for VANGUARD products (“zero clearance”).

VANGUARD products install over existing substrates AND over newly installed ramps. Over time, even as the applied surface changes, VANGUARD products continue to conform to the surface.


Price wise, VANGUARD products typically install for the same or less, and maintenance costs are less than that of all other systems! (Yes, really).

 I saw an installation video on another website showing detectable warnings being installed 6 – 12 inches away from the edge of the ramp on both sides leading a large void. Is this legal?

Very few catch that. The feds require that the surface applied is “full width”. There is no exclusion in the regs for getting it “almost to the edge” or “really really close”, in fact, ADAAG is quite clear; if the installation doesn’t reach the edge, a blind person could walk right through that unprotected section, and for practical purposes, it may as well have not been done at all.

To a blind person…it wasn’t.

The problem is, the tiled systems, wet set, even bricks and the like, are all “static” sizes. Installers tend to think “the mat is 2 foot by 3 foot…so that’s how big the detectable warning installation needs to be”. That couldn’t be more wrong, and it's seen every day, in every city, in every state. The detectable warning product doesn’t mandate how much surface area to cover with truncated domes…the federal law does.

Liquid applied VANGUARD not only follows every contour and subtle variation in the surface applied, but because it’s liquid applied, it can easily install right up to the very edge of a curb, even if that curb isn’t installed at 90 degrees to the detectable warning.

Regardless of the shape, dimension or contour, liquid applied catalyzed plastic VANGUARD detectable warnings are the only product that can be placed seamlessly and follow every nuance of the surface applied!

 What does “slip resistance” mean?

No one knows, but a lot of people claim to have met the criterion. It’s a term or requirement mandated by ADAAG for detectable warnings as well as other pedestrian surfaces. On the face of it, it’s fairly clear; it’s a non slip, stable pedestrian surface. Unfortunately, because it’s not federally defined, anyone can say their products meet that criterion (and many say they do) when in fact, at best, they’re often slippery when wet, and become even more so as time, abrasion and normal wear show the inherent limitations of these product types.

“Slip resistant” is kind of like “water resistant”. If I take my “water resistant” watch in the pool, I’ll be buying a new watch by the end of the day. Non skid is more akin to “waterproof”.

VANGUARD products are Non Skid and remain that way for the life of the product (which we estimate to be in the range of 20+ years).

 I’ve had other products installed and they either come loose, or the concrete crumbles below them, then the manufacturer tells me “the problem is clearly with the installation, I can sell you some more of our product, but you need to read the instructions carefully and have someone qualified install them”. Where do I get qualified installers for these products?

The question of the decade. Failure of these product types often occurs because the installer didn’t put enough epoxy on the product, or the hollow below the detectable warning allowed water to come in and, stagnating below, it degraded the concrete, or, it simply froze the concrete, causing it to effectively “blow up” (freeze/thaw heave). It happens all the time.

VANGUARD products are only ones installed by factory trained personnel.

EVERY other product in the market comes to you in a box, on a pallet or on a roll. With those products, it’s up to you to you to find someone capable of installing them, and…if you don’t, when a problem with the installation crops up (notice I didn’t say “if”), you can be assured of 2 people (the installer, and the manufacturer) pointing fingers at each other, each giving their all to convince you that “it’s his fault”.

And that “free replacement if there’s anything wrong with our product” warranty? You can be assured; there won’t ever be a “problem with (their) product”.

Which means, when it fails, you not only get to buy more of what didn’t work before…you get the privilege of paying for its re-installation all over again!

With VANGUARDS liquid applied (following every nuance of the installed surface), non skid, surface mounted detectable warnings, you can be assured of the longest lasting, longest warranted (“95% of the installed characteristics will remain after 5 years or an VANGUARD installer will fix it for you for free”), easiest to repair or maintain (average cost, including labor to fix Vanguard detectable warnings: $25.00. Average cost to fix wet set tiles by replacing the entire ramp: $2,500.00), you can be confident that because VANGUARD “becomes one” with the surface it attaches to, there is NO chance for water to get underneath and cause “freeze/thaw” heave, no chance of adhesion failure, and in fact…the surface surrounding VANGUARD will fail years before any VANGUARD installation will.

 Someone told me I have to recess the concrete before I install tiled systems. Is this true?

Almost every tile, glue down, wet set or similar type of detectable warning has a tile backing. The top side of this thickness, by federal design standards, can be placed NO higher than the surface grade at which they’re being installed at. In short, the ONLY surface feature that is allowed to be above grade is the truncated dome texture itself. Anything causing the domes to be more than 0.20 inches higher than the surrounding surface would make the installation a trip hazard creating untold liability. (DOJ Accessibility Rights Div.: 1 800 514 0301).

VANGUARD products are “zero clearance” products. What this means is, even though VANGUARD is a liquid plastic, as rigid and durable as Plexiglas, the base background color is effectively the thickness of paint for practical purposes, so there’s no need for expensive recesses or surface prep. Simply provide the VANGUARD installer a medium or better concrete broom finish, let it cure for 15 days prior to a VANGUARD installers arrival and they’ll take it from there.

 I’ve been using products that can only be used on new concrete. Does VANGUARD have a product that works on existing surfaces?

Yes! In fact, several cities only allow VANGUARD products on “retrofit” situations, and VANGUARD products will work as well on new as they do on existing surfaces. If you have ramps that, but for the fact they don’t have detectable warnings on them, meet every other criterion of the ADA, VANGUARD is uniquely capable of meeting your needs, and for new concrete surfaces, you simply provide a broom finish, call a local VANGUARD installer and we’ll provide you with the most durable detectable non skid warning on Earth!

How does VANGUARD compare price wise to the other products?

Excellent question! At any price VANGUARD would be a superior investment, however, VANGUARD products install for the same or less than every other product and last anywhere from 5 – 10 times longer than others. If all that wasn’t enough, VANGUARD products are the only non skid monomer applied detectable warning available…and VANGUARD guarantees their work with a 5 year full replacement warranty!

 When I repair the glue down products, I have to grind the surface (without damaging the surrounding tiles), pressure wash to remove the concrete “talcum”, let it dry for a few days, barricade, etc., etc., to the tune of $600.00 to $900.00. How does this compare to VANGUARD repairs?

VANGUARD detectable warnings we’re developed from the ground up not only to avoid repairs, but when the rare occasion does come up that a repair is needed, it’s the least costly method of repair known in the industry.

You won’t be repairing VANGUARD detectable warnings unless someone drops a bowling ball on them (they’re guaranteed to rip up the applied surface they’re attached to, or we’ll fix them for free). Secondly, even if the local utility company runs a new cable, TV or phone line through the ramp and disturbs a few domes, the maintenance kit is nothing more than a flexible plastic “catsup squeeze” bottle, some of the liquid plastic (already in the bottle) and some catalyst. You simply mix the two together, shake for 2 minutes, squirt a few domes down wherever there aren’t any, put traffic cones on those locations for 3 hours and you’re done!

$25.00 versus $900.00! (And your own crew can do it all!)

And at all times you’ll have an entirely non skid surface as opposed to the exposed glass smooth epoxy, plus…with VANGUARD, it’s a zero clearance system. There are no trip hazards made of the surrounding tiles, and you never need to hire a contractor to fix it for you. Anyone will be an expert in 3 minutes or less.

Even though repairs needed for VANGUARD products are only necessitated by abuse (snowplows, etc.) as opposed to natural forces (such as “freeze/thaw” heave, curling or warping, early wear of the “slip resistant” nibs making them potentially dangerous even in a light fog, etc.) that other brands can be subject to, when repairs are required, the cost savings in using VANGUARD products are absolutely stupendous.

 Why should I use VANGUARD over all other products?

Simply put, VANGUARD products are superior in every way: Same price or less to install, longer lasting, non skid as opposed to slip resistant, full replacement warranty instead of more product that you get to pay (again) to re-install, lowest maintenance costs in the industry, and when repairs are necessary, you don’t need to hire specialty contractors to do so.

Initially installed by a trained expert insuring every installation is done accurately, average lifespan of 20+ years as opposed to 5+ for others, color integral insuring you’ll never need to re-coat the surface due to wear. For architects or clients that have national properties, when you specify VANGUARD products, with VANGUARDS nationwide network of trained installers, you know that no matter which state, or which city, every installation will be installed correctly, every time…just like the last one (and the one before that, and the one before that, and….).

 How do I find local installers of VANGUARD products or information on becoming an VANGUARD installer?

VANGUARD ADA Systems of America is training new installers in every state, across the country and we need more! Within a short period of time, we expect to have several installers in every state of the United States, as well as Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Britain, and a variety of countries across the globe.

Your closest VANGUARD installer can be found at our Installers page on our web site. Click on your state, and call the VANGUARD installer in your area.

If you are a potential installer, we have a training process and kit all ready for you. See how easy it is to become an Installer today! 

We need you!


There’s no reason to use any product but VANGUARD.

VANGUARD. The best there is. Period.


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