There’s one thing that most commercial buildings have in common. They have a hatch that gives employees and contractors access to the top of a roof.
There are several reasons why you would want to have one. Contractors might need to use your roof hatch to carry up equipment and make repairs, for example.
You can’t buy any old roof hatch. You should have one installed that matches up to the type of facility that you run.
It’s also important to put some thought into the size of the hatch you get and the material that it’s made of. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is a Roof Hatch?
So, what is a roof access hatch? It’s a horizontal door that covers up an opening in a commercial roof. If someone needs to get on the rooftop to do some work, the hatch will give them access.
Despite the fact that commercial buildings are the ones that are famous for having these hatches, residential homeowners enjoy having them as well. They make for a nice skylight, and you’ll be able to get on top of your roof to relax.
The Type of Facility You Run
There are many factors that will go into your hatch buying decision. The first and main one should be the type of facility that you’re in charge of.
For example, if you run a prison, you’re going to need a door that’s on the sturdier side. You can purchase hatches that are bullet-proof and manufactured from thick materials. Most of these doors also come with a deadlock and gun ports for an extra layer of security.
Some retail stores and restaurants use hatches as a skylight. It gives off a nice aesthetic touch, and it can provide some natural light for the employees to see.
If you use a lot of chemicals in your line of work or your building is located in a coastal area, corrosion can be an issue. You’ll need to get a hatch that’s made with aluminum or stainless steel. These materials can stand up to even the most extreme corrosive conditions.
Think About Size
You don’t want to pay for more roof door hatch than you need. They come in a wide array of sizes to consider. To determine the right size for you, think about what you’re going to be using it for.
If you’re only going to be using it to get on and off the roof on occasion, you don’t need a large hatch. A standard 36 x 30 will do. It will be enough to allow yourself and a ladder through without being unnecessarily large.
If contractors are going to be bringing large pieces of equipment on and off the roof, you’ll have to spring for something a bit larger. Consider a 30 by 54 model or a 30 by 90.
The next thing to consider is the material your hatch is made with. Again, if you work with chemicals or live in a coastal region, you’re going to need to go with stainless steel or aluminum.
Stainless steel is the option that provides the most corrosion resistance. Aluminum can do the same, but it’s expensive. If corrosion isn’t a problem for you, galvanized steel is a good go-to.
It’s the most popular option because it comes with a primer finish, and it provides some basic resistance against corrosion. Copper is a gorgeous material choice, but you’ll pay a premium for it.
In most cases, when a contractor goes on your roof, they’re holding a lot of equipment while climbing a ladder. It’s not easy to hold a bunch of tools while lifting a hatch.
If the contractor has to fight with the door, they could end up falling off the ladder. To avoid this worst-case scenario, you’re going to need to put some thought into your hatch’s operation.
It should offer lift assistance and an automatic hold-open arm. You’ve also got to make sure that the door isn’t going to close behind someone.
You can’t buy an aluminum hatch with a nice finish if you can’t afford it. You’ve got to think about your budget before you start shopping around for roof doors.
Again, copper is going to be your most expensive option. After that, it’s aluminum. Galvanized steel is a good option for business owners who don’t have as much cash in their pocket.
If you need a custom-sized door, that’s going to drive up the price, as well. When you’re drawing up your budget, think about longevity. If the door is made out of a material that’s not going to last, you’ll have to replace it sooner than you would like, which is going to cost you more money in the long run.
The last item on the agenda is energy efficiency. To keep your power bill down, you’re going to need a hatch with welded corners and insulation.
A door with an overlapping cover is also a plus. Perimeter gasketing will ensure that your hatch is completely weatherproofed. Talk to Surespan Floor Doors about your hatch needs.
Choose the Right Roof Hatch for Your Company
Most commercial buildings come complete with a roof hatch of some kind. Having one can bring an aesthetic touch to a business while also performing a specific vital function.
Without one, it will be hard for contractors to get on the roof to perform maintenance. There’s a lot to consider when choosing a hatch. Use the tips we’ve provided to find the right one for your business.
For more tips that will help you build your commercial building from the ground up, visit the Business section of our blog.