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When Does Your Escalator Need Modernizing?

In the United States alone, over 245 million people take an escalator each day. While this large number may not seem to hold much significance for the average commuter, it is important to keep in mind when thinking about escalator care.

Even if an escalator never fully breaks down, wear and tear increase throughout the course of time due to the volume of passengers coming through. Something that seems minor such as a commuter holding onto the handrail will wear down the handrail over the years as they’re used thousands of times each day.

Getting your escalator regularly serviced and maintained will help to keep up the reliability of the machine, but how do you extend the lifespan? Modernization is the clear answer.

What is escalator modernization?

Elevator modernization is a much more commonly used term in the vertical transportation industry — but elevators and escalators aren’t so different. In fact, the word “escalator” itself comes from a combination of two words: “elevator” and the Latin word for step which is scala.

If it’s already widely known that modernization efforts have extended the lifespan of elevators across the globe — why can’t the same be true for escalators?

A modern indoor escalator.

Modernization for escalators is the process of installing new components into older equipment to upgrade the system and extend its lifespan. Other than designing and installing a brand-new escalator, modernization is the best way to ensure an escalator stays fresh and maximizes uptime.

When does your escalator need modernizing?

There are several reasons that an escalator might need to be modernized or updated. Let’s take a look at a few!

A render of an escalator handrail

1. Aging

Just like any piece of equipment, age matters. As time goes on, new innovations and code changes make it important to stay up to date on the latest technology for escalators. We all know that the safety of passengers is of the biggest importance in the world of vertical transportation.

One of the best things you can do to provide the safest and smoothest ride possible is to ensure that the equipment is as up to date as possible. Since 2004, most escalator modernization has not required a full replacement and many parts can be replaced on site. This makes it easy and simple to quickly modernize an old elevator without disrupting the normal function of a building.

2. Frequent Use

Per the handrail example earlier, wear and tear can occur quickly with frequent use. Escalators that see heavier foot traffic like those that are strategically placed throughout airports, shopping malls or large commercial buildings will see a gradual decline in their appearance and equipment.

It is smart to consider the improved performance that will follow from modernization of the escalator in this scenario. Changing out the handrails, steps or even deckings can help the machinery look as good as new for the many commuters that pass through.

3. Change of Scenery

Sometimes one of the best reasons to modernize an escalator is simply to move it into the modern era.

An elevator lighted with the TK Elevator brand colors.

Tenants and commuters have come to expect a picture-perfect aesthetic in all aspects of a building’s design. The look of a building can make or break its purpose with the consumer, so getting ahead of the curve by brightening up your escalator can make all the difference.

Escalator lighting naturally influences the mood of your building and lights up the balustrade to create that selfie-worthy atmosphere that everyone is looking for. Sleek, smooth and ready to carry each passenger to their destination floor in style — modernization can help improve any escalator design.

Does my escalator need modernizing?

Whether or not your escalator needs modernizing, it’s always best to check in on the latest technologies and options that you have with modernization. It’s important to stay on top of your escalator’s health so that it keeps passengers happy and safe at all times.

For more information on modernization, take a look at TK Elevator's modernization offerings and find the best fit for you and your building.