6 Things You Want to Know Before You Buy an Access Door

6 Things You Want to Know Before You Buy an Access Door

Access Doors and Panels on 10th Aug 2022

6 Things You Want to Know Before You Buy an Access Door

Are you planning to install an access door on your property? There are so many benefits, and we encourage you to do so! If you're in a hurry, you can go with a general-purpose access door, but we encourage you to consider six critical factors before you order to help you get the most out of your access door!

#1: Location and Quantity

Start by mapping out the locations of your plumbing, electrical, and HVAC components. Determine where the most logical access points are and note whether they are on the floor, the walls, or the ceiling. Access doors provide easy, secure, and safe access for maintenance and repairs, so choose wisely and ensure you know the exact number you need.

#2: Size

Next, you need to decide what size of the opening is most suitable. Access doors typically come in standard sizes for quick delivery and easy installation, but you can also order custom sizes configured to your exact specifications. Keep in mind that custom sizes may cost more and take longer to ship, but this is, of course, due to the care taken to ensure the high-quality fabrication by the manufacturer. Also, note that oversized access doors sometimes have different locks and hinges to support the weight of the panel, so carefully read the product description to make an informed decision.

#3: Construction and Material

If the location is on a fire-rated surface, check building codes for access door fire-rating requirements for that specific location. They differ for vertical and horizontal surfaces, so read the details carefully.

If you intend to install on the exterior of your building, decide if you need insulated doors or require specific properties like air/gas/water-tightness, corrosion resistance, or high security. If you're unsure what would be the best choice, consult a product expert to walk you through the requirements for commercial buildings.

Access door materials include aluminum, steel, stainless steel, fiberglass, plastic, and your choice of drywall inlay thicknesses. Be sure to choose a material compatible with the surface on which you will install the access door.

#5: Safety Requirements

The safety requirements of access doors may differ depending on their use, purpose, and location. Pay special attention so you can avoid accidents or injuries.

Ceiling: The primary safety requirement for a ceiling access door is the latch and how it opens. You would not want an access door suddenly pivoting open and hitting someone when trying to access the attic or the roof. For plumbing systems in the ceiling, you need to ensure that problems with your plumbing do not drip down to your access door and possibly leak out, so consider using gasketed doors. Roof hatches need 30 inches of clearance, and flat roof walkable skylights improve safety for maintenance and repairs.

Wall: For walls, be sure you have adequate clearance to open without obstruction—space the installation a reasonable distance from the floor to give maintenance personnel convenient access.

Fire Safety: Access doors do not stop fires or prevent them from starting, but they can help to slow the spread of fire for a limited time. Along with compliance with building code requirements, consider installing fire-rated doors in areas close to wiring and commercial kitchens where the fire risk is higher.

Security: In banks, prisons, and hospitals where security is a significant concern, consider installing medium or high-security doors with robust locking mechanisms and solid construction. You can also prevent accidents by using lead-lined doors in medical settings and anti-ligature doors in psychiatric and correctional facilities.

Choosing a decent latch for your access door also helps to discourage unauthorized access and tampering with your building controls.

#6: Features

As previously mentioned, choose features depending on the purpose. In high-profile locations and upscale interiors, you can choose access doors with a near-invisible finish designed to match the surface you plan to install it on.

The requirements might differ in manufacturing and commercial storage facilities, where the priority is function and convenience. A clearly-labeled stainless steel or aluminum door might be the best choice in this case.

Aside from the material and the finish of access doors, you can also choose between different types of locks, hinges, gaskets, and flanges.

With careful forethought and planning, you're in good shape to choose access doors that best fit your commercial building requirements. Once installed, you can enjoy the benefits of high-quality access doors for years to come!

Let our product experts guide you through the process of purchasing an access door. We are happy to provide options at various price points to fit your budget, and we have the answers to your toughest questions!

Request a quote from Access Doors and Panels today! 

10th Aug 2022 Access Doors and Panels