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​Roof Hatch Fundamentals for 2022

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​Roof Hatch Fundamentals for 2022

Posted by Best Roof Hatches on 2022 Feb 16th

Industrial and commercial buildings have several internal components that require constant maintenance and inspection. Hiring expert contractors or technicians ensures the building’s daily operations by keeping the system in working condition and identifying minor issues before becoming more severe and expensive.

However, none of these components will be fully protected if your roofing system is old and worn out. Not only is your commercial roof acting as a barrier, but it is also an area where you can place bulky equipment such as HVAC systems, water tanks, and building generators.

Therefore, contractors and technicians must conveniently access the rooftop — ladders are not cut for the job since it is unsafe and unsuitable for high-rise buildings — to which the solution is a roof hatch installation. Roof hatches provide a safe entry to the top and are often designed with several features to ensure safety and versatility to cater to various needs.

When dealing with roof hatches, it would help to understand or know about basic specifications and things to consider when choosing a commercial roof access hatch. It would also be beneficial to know the following:

  • roof hatch sizes
  • OSHA roof hatch size requirements
  • roof hatch clearances
  • do roof hatches need to be fire-rated
  • unoccupied roof access requirements
  • roof access ladder requirements
  • roof access stair code
  • roof access ladder code
  • minimum roof hatch size

We will thoroughly discuss all you need to know about roof access panels to understand roof hatches better. From the right size, factors to consider, OSHA guidelines, and many more — so that you can adequately take care of your commercial roofing system.

Types of Roof Hatches

Providing a secured ingress point on your rooftop is one of the primary functions of roof access panels. But did you know that some products offer insulation, weather protection, and even serve as a skylight? Allow us to discuss the different types of roof hatches.

  • Aluminum - Aluminum hatches are proven to have a high insulation value. They are made with coated galvanized aluminum and provide economical access in residential and commercial buildings. They also feature longevity and ease of operation.
  • Steel - While steel hatches are more durable than aluminum, they are essentially heavier with about triple the weight of aluminum. Steel offers higher energy efficiency, weather tightness, and corrosion prevention.
  • Fire-rated - From the term itself, fire-rated hatches come in insulated or non-insulated forms built to help prevent the fire from entering through the opening. Many fire-rated hatches offer an easy one-hand latch operation and grip handle to prevent the door from accidentally closing.
  • Recessed - One of the highly durable hatches to use; recessed products are resistant to rust and corrosion. They offer convenience and reliability with a heavy-duty design and insulation, which requires a low level of maintenance.

All hatches generally have the same primary purpose of providing access to your roof. However, determining the ideal hatch starts with understanding your needs. Follow the requirements for adequate installation and only choose quality products such as the Bilco roof hatch to ensure that your hatch unit will last longer and work as it should.

Buying Considerations

Understanding your property’s needs is just the first step in buying the proper flat roof access hatch for your business or home. Here are some key features you need to consider when looking for a commercial roof hatch.

  • Size - Roof hatches come in a wide variety of sizes. Identifying the purpose of the roof hatch is critical in buying a unit of the correct measurement. If the hatch is used for entry purposes only, then single-cover models are what you need. However, if the roof will be regularly accessed by people who carry more extensive tools, then a larger hatch with stair access would be ideal. Roof hatches designed for equipment access generally have two covers and are highly customizable.
  • Material - Choosing its built material is essential when buying a roof hatch. Choosing the materials is often based on several considerations, including cost, aesthetics, ease of maintenance, and location.
  • Operation - A roof hatch’s door operation is essential in equipment access units since workers often need to raise the cover with one hand while the other is carrying the tools. The hatch must have uniform lift assistance and an automatic hold-open arm to ensure smooth and easy access.
  • Energy Efficiency - Everyone aims to become more sustainable nowadays, and a properly installed roof hatch can significantly reduce your energy expenses. To improve your building’s energy performance, choose a unit that has curb and cover insulation as well as fully welded corners.
  • Safety Measures - While roof hatches provide an opening in the roof, it still poses a significant safety risk or falling hazard. OSHA reports that falling hazards remain the leading cause of workplace fatalities, with 566 out of 1623 occupational deaths in America. Because of this, OSHA has strictly enforced fall protection regulations to protect workers from such incidents on roof access steps. They now require that each hatch has safety railings for additional worker safety.

Selecting the most suitable roof hatch for your building or facility is highly beneficial in many ways. Either you or your contractor must identify the hatch’s intended purpose, among other things, to set you on the correct buying path.

Roof hatches are equally important as your roofing system since roofers will have a challenging time maintaining and inspecting your roof without them. Careful selection of the product, including its built material, ease of operation and maintenance, safety features, and efficiency, will determine its longevity and reliability.

Finding the proper roof hatch may seem overwhelming, but Best Roof Hatches is here to help you find what you need. We have several types of hatches available with different sizes and features. If you have a question about a specific product, contact us or give us a call at (800) 431-8651.