Roof hatches that provide access to roofs present an inherent fall hazard if left open, potentially leading to serious injury and even fatality.
Weather proof roof access hatches that are secure and weatherproof offer greater safety than exterior wall ladders, which anyone can use. Various factors play a part in deciding on an optimal size hatch.
Roof hatches come in many varieties, with material selection playing an essential role. Galvanised steel is often the go-to material, while aluminium and stainless steel have excellent corrosion resistance. Which material best fits a building will depend on factors like its environment and occupants – for instance, a chemical plant in an exposed coastal location may need higher corrosion-resistant materials than normal.
Another key consideration when choosing a weather proof roof access hatches is design. Some hatches are intended for new construction, while others can be retrofitted into an existing system; any installation or retrofit must be simple to operate, with OSHA-compliant railing fitted ideally to prevent falls through any openings on a rooftop roof system.
Roof access hatches are typically constructed from steel and come in standard sizes, featuring louvres for ventilation and polycarbonate dome covers to let natural light in. In addition, many feature an automatic hold open arm and hinge mechanism for ease of operation and various finishes such as Kynar, Tnemec or powder coat finishes to match building exteriors. Furthermore, energy-saving insulation should be added along with interior and exterior padlock hasps for security.
Roof access hatches are frequently installed in buildings to gain access to equipment for service and installation, depending on its type and dimensions. A smaller roof hatch may suffice when providing ladder access only, but larger hatches with stair access might be required for larger equipment to be brought onto a roof for installation or removal.
Hatches come in various materials, including galvanised, aluminium and stainless steel. When selecting one for a project based on cost, aesthetics and maintenance considerations. Galvanised steel provides basic corrosion resistance, which is often specified for construction projects located near coastlines; aluminium offers higher levels of corrosion protection with typically less finish maintenance requirements, while stainless-steel hatches may be necessary for chemical plants or industrial facilities requiring high levels of protection from corrosion.
Roof hatches provide a safe way for maintenance staff to safely access commercial building roofs without ladders, helping reduce work hazards while making regular inspections and maintenance much simpler. Furthermore, eliminating this need eliminates falls caused by falling objects on top of them – another advantage.
Weather proof roof access hatches come in various sizes to fit the specific egress needs of buildings. Galvanised steel hatches are often the go-to choice, as they provide elemental corrosion resistance with their prime paint finish and come complete with basic primer paint maintenance needs. Aluminium hatches may cost more but offer superior coastal corrosion protection while needing no surface finish maintenance; stainless steel or copper hatches may also be considered, although usually at a significant premium price point.
Hatch doors come equipped with various options designed to increase energy efficiency and protect against weather damage, including insulated hatches that can help facilities retain heat during winter and repel it in summer, as well as reduce fire damage by providing easier access to HVAC, natural gas fixtures, and flammable materials stored in storage rooms. In terms of safety features, they include compression springs. These automatic hold-open arms lock into 70-degree positions automatically and have positive latching systems – while some models even feature contact switches for integration into alarm systems.
Roof hatches provide a secure and convenient means of accessing any building’s rooftop or flat roof, whether new construction occurs or existing hatches have become worn and damaged over time. Roof hatches can provide safety and convenience if regular rooftop access is required for maintenance work or simply enjoying a rooftop terrace’s sunshine.
Most commercial buildings need access to their rooftops for various purposes, including HVAC maintenance, water/electrical installation and other tasks. While caged ladders were once the go-to method for rooftop access, this often presented several safety risks; unauthorised people could use them, resulting in dangerous falls.