Tips for Choosing the Right Aluminium Access Hatch

May 23rd 2017

If it’s time to make getting to a home, commercial building or other structure’s roof safer and more convenient, an aluminium access hatch can make achieving the goal simple. This sleek upgrade is installed to provide straight access to the roof from a building’s interior by creating an inset into the roofing system directly. When used with a properly set ladder, an aluminium access hatch functions in a similar fashion to an attic access point. Since, an aluminium access hatch will be exposed to the elements and must be sealed water-tight, choosing the right design for the space does require some advance consideration.

These tips can help make selecting the right aluminium access hatch for a space much easier:

  • Make sure size requirements are known – Aluminium access hatches designed to create entry and egress points directly to the roof are available in many sizes. At the smaller end of the spectrum, these hatches merely serve as an access point to enable people to pass through. Larger designs, however, may be more suitable when an aluminium access hatch is being installed to facilitate roof maintenance and other work. Many commercial and industrial buildings, for example, have their HVAC systems installed atop their flat roofing spaces. In this type of scenario, a larger hatch would more readily accommodate the movement of tools and small equipment.
  • Determine if safety railings are needed – Not all aluminium access hatch designs come with safety railings, but they can be a wise addition to prevent accidents as people move into and out of the hatches. These bars simply provide handholds to make climbing into or out of hatches a more secure process.
  • Be sure aluminium is the right material – Aluminium access roof hatch designs are highly favoured in many settings, but if fire-rated materials are demanded to meet building code requirements, this material may not be the right choice. To gain roof access while staying in compliance, it is advised to select a galvanised steel hatch instead.

Picking out an aluminium access hatch does not have to be a difficult process. As long as, compliance issues are addressed and the right size is known, the purchase should be a sound one. Do be certain to understand what is involved with the installation process before moving forward, or consider hiring a professional installer to protect the integrity of the roof and the hatch during and after installation. 

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