Things To Consider When Installing A Roof Access Hatch

Open Hatch For Roof Access

Things To Consider When Installing A Roof Access Hatch

A roof access hatch allows workers to get onto the roof of commercial buildings from an internal point. This minimises the risk of falls and reduces the need for ladders or other external or temporary access aids that can pose safety concerns. Having a hatch is a highly beneficial feature for roofing projects.

There are different models and designs of roof access hatches, so it is important to know what is available. It is also crucial to choose the type that best suits the building type and the purpose of your hatch in terms of the typical jobs and people accessing the roof.

Australian Height Safety Services have over 25 years of experience in height safety and fall prevention. We can advise you on the most suitable hatch for your requirements and provide high-quality products and installation. Read on to learn more about roof access hatches, and contact AHSS for assistance.

9 Tips For Installing A Roof Access Hatch

1. Who Will Be Using The Roof Access Hatch?

The specific purpose of the hatch changes which design you should have installed. You must consider who should and should not have access to the roof.

A building that requires protection against unauthorised people, such as a bank, should have a hatch more suited for high security than some other types. These have heavier gauge material with enhanced security features, such as bulletproof windows, deadlocks, and gun ports.

If the hatch is for general personnel access, you may only require a small, single-cover design, possibly with the addition of service, ship, or fixed stair access. If workers will be using the hatch and carrying equipment for roof repairs and maintenance, a larger, double-cover hatch may be more suitable.

2. What Is The Type Of Building?

The type and use of the building can affect which hatch and materials are used. A hospital, for instance, may require a hatch near an area with equipment such as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine. In this situation, the hatch should consist of non-magnetic hardware material.

If the building is one that may face corrosion issues, such as a chemical plant or a building in coastal areas, the access hatch should be made of corrosion-resistance materials, such aluminium.

Aesthetics may also influence the choice. Materials such as copper or stainless steel may suit certain buildings better than others.

3. What Kind Of Roof Will The Hatch Be Installed Into?

The roof needs to be assessed prior to choosing a hatch. This includes analysing the ceiling height and design, and the roof’s pitch and materials. Deciding whether a walkway is required is also relevant, as is fire-rating, insulation status and colour preference.

4. Sliding or Hinged Access Hatch

Sliding hatches are generally easier to use with their more ergonomic design. They can also avoid the risk of the lid unexpectedly shutting in strong winds, unlike hinged hatches. Hinged hatches can be automatically opened and closed but can be harder to deal with.

There are features that make hatches easier to open, such as mechanical elements. Items like compression springs can provide a counterbalance, and automatic open locks can minimise the risk of the cover suddenly shutting. This can be particularly useful for larger hatches, workers carrying tools and resources, and people who will struggle to lift the weight unassisted.

5. Are Extra Safety Features Required?

Hand grabs, guard rails, and walkways increase the safety advantageous of hatches, making it easier and more convenient to access the roof.

6. Lighting

The primary goal of the hatch is to allow for safe access to the roof, however, some can provide similar features to a skylight. A design such as one involving a polycarbonate dome cover lets natural light enter the building. This can improve the working environment, increase the building’s energy efficiency, and help reduce costs.

7. Insulation And Water Tightness

The hatch should be correctly installed to ensure the corners are fully welded, and insulation is adequate in the cover and the hatch curb. Thermal features can also be added if required. Features such as the gasket should fit perfectly to ensure the elements, such as rainwater, do not enter any gaps.

8. Is There An Access Hatch Already In The Roof?

If a hatch is already in place but is no longer suitable, it can be removed and replaced. The new hatch can be put into the existing hatch curb. Rather than making do with an old or inappropriate hatch, this can be a useful way to improve access without having to create a whole new area.

9. Will The Hatch Meet Safety Specifications?

It is crucial that the type of hatch and its installation will fulfill requirements. Otherwise, you may breach safety laws, and put workers and personnel in danger. The hatch may also break or cause damage to surrounding structures.

Installers must also be appropriately qualified. Our technicians are experienced and licensed and will make sole use of high-quality resources and products.

Roof Access Hatches Can Improve Roofing Projects

Roof access hatches can be a beneficial feature to many buildings to improve safety and make roof maintenance easier to undertake. Our technicians can assess your building, consider your requirements, and install a hatch that will fulfil Australian height safety standards and regulations. Contact AHSS for assistance and to find out more about roof access hatches.


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