You can find roof hatches as a feature on many residential and commercial structures. They are openings of a roof on a building that allow you to have safe access in and out of the establishment. While they are convenient, did you know they have other uses too?
Roof hatches are becoming increasingly popular as your clients look for more features to pack into their facilities. In this article, you’ll learn more about Roof Access Doors and how they provide extra safety and value to most structures.
Some people are not aware of what an access door is capable of or its purpose in the construction industry. While access doors, including the versatile 600 x 600 access panels, have been present in the construction world for centuries now, they remain as functional as before. From holes in the ground with covers to the white metal doors that we are now familiar with, access doors have come a long way in the industry. To help you better understand the different uses of access doors, we wrote an article that will tell you why access doors are essential in commercial buildings.
Before the Roof Access Door
Previously, the standard way you’d access roof areas would be using a fixed cage ladder. This ladder features a metal cage that surrounds an individual as they climb from the ground floor to the top.
While the enclosure did help you from falling off, it becomes difficult to maneuver, and it’s hard to see your footing. Additionally, the height you’d have to climb would wear you out if you had to service multiple buildings in a single day.
The Advent of the Roof Hatch
If climbing tens of meters on the side of a building isn’t something you’d want to deal with, roof hatches are precisely the solution you need. You’ll typically see roof hatches installed on the uppermost floor of a building.
Instead of scaling up the building outside, you can use the staircases to get to the roof hatch and only have to climb around 2.5 to 3 meters to reach the roof deck.
Types of Roof Access Doors
Regular roof access doors are already a fantastic choice for you to choose. However, there are numerous variants you can select. Below are three examples of unique access doors:
- Domed Roof Hatches
First off, the domed roof hatches. On top of allowing you quick access to the uppermost section of the building, domed roof hatches also have the benefit of having a transparent or translucent double-skin dome.
The dome allows natural light to flow into the building, saving electricity bills since you can turn off your indoor lights. The load-bearing capacity on these roof hatches won’t be an issue for you, as companies have designed these access doors to handle live loads flawlessly.
- Electric Actuation Roof Hatches
Hauling tools and equipment to roof areas can be troublesome on your job site. To compound this problem, you may have to deal with opening a larger (and heavier) hatch.
For this reason, you should get roof access doors with electric actuators. These motors allow you to control the opening and closing of the door remotely. Power outages won’t be an issue for you, as most Electric Actuation Roof Hatches feature a battery backup system.
- Smoke Vents
Fires are an unfortunate risk you must prepare for in all facilities. Installing the best active fire protection system is paramount to protecting your assets appropriately. As the smoke starts to build up in the event of a fire, they block a majority of your vision. Toxic chemicals may also be present in the smoke, which makes escaping more difficult.
For this, you can use a smoke vent to help redirect smoke away from the essential passageways, ensuring you can evacuate safely.
If you plan to install roof hatches on your building, you’ll need the proper fall protection system. OSHA has introduced a safety guideline for you to follow to prevent you or your workers from risk of falling by using a roof access door safety rail.
Roof Access Doors Are Phenomenal
With the convenience that the roof access door provides, getting a roof access door is a no-brainer if you plan on heading up to your roof often. When coupled with the suitable variant for your building and having the proper fall protection system in place, it’s clear why roof hatches are becoming more popular in the industry.