Commercial Roofing Advice On Selecting A Roof Hatch

Unlike residential homes, commercial buildings typically necessitate accessibility to rooftops and equipment such as solar panels and HVAC systems. The quickest and safest way for maintenance workers to do so is through a roof hatch. Commercial roofing experts recommend answering a few questions before choosing the right roof hatch for your business’s commercial roofing requirements.

What Is A Roof Hatch?

A roof hatch is a structural opening designed for commercial roofing projects to provide direct access to the top of a building. Most business owners choose roof hatches as a safety precaution as it features components that enable maintenance crews, government workers, and contractors to work safely without having to climb unsafe ladders or using the roof’s edge to support workers as they transcend it.

Choosing A Roof Hatch For Your Business

Before you decide on the right roof hatch for your business, you should decide on a few critical things.

Commercial Building Type

The type of business you have will affect the type of roof hatch you require. Do you want to enjoy natural light? Do you operate a secure facility like a correctional facility or bank and need a heavy-duty roof hatch with safety lock mechanisms? Do you operate in an area with high humidity and want a stainless steel product? Do you want a darker workplace environment?

Roof Hatch’s Primary Usage

You’ll soon discover there are a lot of different types of roof hatches to choose from, so it will help to identify the primary reason you will use it. This will help you reduce the options when shopping to only include certain designs, sizes, or styles.  While most are designed for allowing your workers to enter and exit, you will want a larger size if you need to take up equipment.

Commercial Roofing Type

Will this be a new commercial roofing construction or will you be replacing one? If it is a new construction project, you can choose from any style and design. If you want to replace a roof hatch, you will need to decide on whether you want to make changes or keep the current style.

As the goal is to properly waterproof the roof during a replacement, we’ll need to ensure the new unit can be fit without having to disturb any roofing material. With roof hatch designs like Type S and F, EPDM rubber gaskets and mounting flange properly insulate and seal the area.

Size Requirements

If you only need a roof hatch for limited access, a compact design will work fine.  If your workers carry tools, equipment parts, or heavy gear, you’ll need a bigger hatch size unit.  An important factor to consider is your current needs versus the things your business might do in the future.

The difference between a single and double cover model vary but manufacturers will gladly manufacture a roof hatch for a business based on commercial needs and required dimensions. North Shore Roofing can also examine an existing roof hatch to see if it can be refurbished.

Roof Hatch Material

Roof hatches have two primary parts: the curb and the cover. Common roof hatch materials include aluminum, copper, stainless steel, or galvanized steel with a white Cool ECO coating. Galvanized steel is an affordable roof hatch option, but you should think about usage first.

Accessibility Options

You will need to decide on whether you want to access your roof via a ladder, a ship stair, or a service stair, which can include handrails for safe accessibility. As a business, you will need to adhere to OSHA requirements regarding safe accessibility. Ease of access is also important.

Our commercial roofing experts will be glad to visit your business and inspect it for professional recommendations by calling (978) 977-3816 or visiting