A roof hatch is a must-have for every building to allow convenient and safe access to your commercial roof areas from inside your structure. You and your maintenance team can climb this installation onto the low-slope or flat roof well beyond the roof perimeter using a ship stair, inside ladder, or service stair.
Safety Is Top Priority
When you are a commercial property owner or manager, you understand how critical safety is to your inhabitants and all assets contained in the building. Roof safety, the movement of employees, and equipment transport from inside the building to the roof should always be a top priority.
Roof hatches are a secure and dependable means to access the roof. Roof hatches have the following safety features and unique details:
- A guard rail with a self-closing door system so that no one can fall through the opening in your roof while the hatch is open.
- A ladder safety post or telescoping post is an extension device permanently placed to the two top rungs of a permanent ladder that offers a stable handhold so workers may get in and out of the square aperture erect and steady.
- Angled sections or “cant strips” keep toes far from the hatch while allowing for simple water draining around the hatch’s curb.
Assessment of safety measures, operation at least once a year to confirm the hatch’s functionality, and lubrication of moving components should all be part of regular, attentive roof hatch upkeep.
When you have a commercial property with restricted access to the low-pitched roof, or your architect disregarded the demands of your facilities team, roof hatches are a perfect option. Most modern structures already have these installations because of their benefits and compliance with codes and regulations.
Roof hatches are available in various types and sizes, allowing personnel to easily access the roof, eliminating dangerous heaving from the roof edge. For example, the domed roof hatches can still accommodate most building requirements and functions to provide what’s necessary for your building upkeep and its occupants, despite the restriction of domed rooftops. In other instances where the manufacturers allow, you can customize the size of the roof hatch depending on what you need. During changeovers or upgrades, your team can also lower dismantled rooftop attachments or add-ons through the roof hatch.
If you own a commercial building without a roof hatch, you’re losing out on some of the following time-saving, energy-saving, and safety features:
- It provides fall prevention by safety doors and guard rails while providing perimeter safety by the hatch’s central location.
- Roof hatches include automatic open-lock configurations to protect personnel from becoming stuck on the roof.
- The inner side of the roof hatch will not freeze or condensate; thus, leaking water is rarely an issue.
- Safety hatches are light and designed for one-handed use, allowing even the smallest-framed individuals of your maintenance crew to transfer things up from within your facility safely.
- People can utilize roof hatches as skylights, allowing more light into your structure.
- Even in cold environments, the fully thermally insulated design and double sealing of cover and curb assure that the hatch can be energy efficient.
When working with your friendly neighborhood commercial roofer to install a roof hatch as a component for a new building, reroofing, or a renovation, you have three basic materials to choose from:
- Aluminum roof hatches are more expensive compared to other types like galvanized steel roof hatches. Still, they come with a mill finish, are more corrosion resistant, and need almost no finish upkeep.
- The most popular alternative, galvanized steel, offers a minimum level of corrosion resistance. It typically comes with a primer paint finish and color alternatives that you can discuss with your roofer (Some examples are: red for safety, white for PVC membrane, black to match BUR roofing).
- Stainless steel hatches are suitable or ideal for areas exposed to coastal regions with a lot of salt in the air, near chemical plants, or areas subject to extreme weather conditions. Stainless steel hatches cost more than aluminum or galvanized steel hatches, but they can provide the highest form of corrosion resistance.
Basic Installation Process
When you hire a commercial roofer to set up your roof hatch, you can have some form of satisfaction knowing that you will enjoy all of the advantages without worrying about water infiltration. Your roofer will do the following:
- Cut a properly positioned hole in the low-slope or flat roof.
- Secure the opening with an elevated metal curb secured to your roof deck.
- Securely fasten the roof hatch to the curb, sealing all gaps on all sides to prevent leaks.
- Install guard rails or safety barriers to the roof hatch using mechanical means (not your flat roof).
Doing roofing tasks might be an enticing prospect if you try to cut some corners for your project to save money. However, it is never an excellent idea to do such a thing. The price if things go south might cost you more than what you think you can handle, so instead of risking it, the best move is to let a specialist take care of the installation so that they can do it professionally.