There is a lot of history that goes with access panel doors, and in a primary sense, they’ve been around nearly since man existed. They began as simple blockades at the entrance of a cave or a set of guards. Over time they’ve progressed to the metal secured ones we see today.
If you’re not familiar with them, you may be wondering what the heck is an access panel door? What is its use? How do I select one if I need one?
These are all great questions, and we’re going to take a look at each one here along with a lot more about them.
What is an Access Panel Door?
In every building, some areas need to have their access restricted. Some examples include where the furnace, generator, plumbing, or electrical panels are kept. Access doors are the entries to areas that you enter only intermittently.
Another use of an access panel door is to make an entrance to an area that might be sealed off with drywall or floors. These include crawl spaces, vaults, basements, attics, and storage areas as a few examples.
Usage of Access Panel Doors
Different purposes for access panel doors have been derived since the start of the last century. The type of access panel needed mainly goes to the use planned to determine which door is right for the job. For example, the most suitable kind for areas that demand extra strength and endurance are flush access doors due to the built-in welded trim of the door.
Access Panels for Ceilings
For ceilings, either access panel doors or access panels can be used for access. You will find these most often in use to get into attics and crawl space areas.
Access Panels for Roofs
You want it to be simple when you want access to a roof. Roof hatches and roof access doors can be a quick solution to that problem. There are many reasons you might need to get onto a roof.
At times you may need to access building equipment or a swamp cooler. In residences, roof access doors will allow you to get onto a roof patio.
A roof access panel door must be heavy-duty and weather-resistant for commercial buildings and frequent use. A roof door that won’t rust and is strong is essential so that it can last for years, not needing to be replaced.
Access Panel for Ducts
Kitchen and laundry ducts are the most common that use access panel doors for entry. These are used when cleaning, maintenance or repairs are needed. A hinged type of access door is recommended for this use on small ducts. It is since they give walk-in access to a much larger space using this specification.
How do You Choose an Access Door / Access Panel?
Many people find it challenging to choose the best access doors for their intended usage. The primary thing that you need to do is to make sure that you are well acquainted with the specifications recommended for the door type you plan to buy.
There are several things to consider when to ensure you make the right choice.
- Location: Access doors are rated on where they will be used, so knowing where it will be installed is an essential factor.
- Material: What is the wall, ceiling, or floor made of that where it will be installed? This fact can affect the outcome, so it is another essential factor.
- Fire rating: If one of the primary purposes you are buying an access door is that you are improving the security of your essential things, the fire rating is an important detail. Choosing an access door that has a high fire rating will make it difficult for your employees to be harmed by fire.
- Weight: How strong are you, and will you be able to lift a weighty door? If you believe like most people that you need to choose one that is heavy, that is a wrong idea and that you need to forget it. Heavy access doors are not usually suitable because you will not be able to handle the door.
- Size of the door: Make sure you know what size door you need. The size of the door relies on where you will install it and your budget. So, before buying your door, you should know where you are going to set it.
Fire Rated Access Doors and Panels
Most access panels are made for privacy and quick access to areas behind walls or ceilings. Yet, fire rated access panel is manufactured explicitly with compliance to fire safety standards.
Commercial or residential construction projects rely on the right fire rated door for protection in case of an outbreak of fire. When choosing a product, always refer to standards from the National Fire Protection Association to understand what panel works best for a given area.
A fire is one of the most catastrophic events that can happen in a residence or business. Even if a fire doesn’t consume your business or home entirely, the damage done to your building could be a disaster if the items in your building weren’t up to code. A great place to start protecting yourself is getting the right fire-rated access doors.
Why are Fire Ratings Important?
Fire ratings on access panel doors are the main specification you should be looking at when buying one. Why? With the right rating, you have a door that can withstand fire for hours. This rating could be the difference between damage and disaster if there is a fire in any commercial or residential building.
Buy the Right Access Door Panel
Buying the right access door panel could save you in a significant way if the worst happens, but also keeps your building inspectors happy, too. Arming yourself with the building codes, project requirements, and the correct door specifications for your job puts the right foot forward.
An access panel door has many applications, and with the right information, you will get the right one. We want to help put you on the right path, so to make sure you choose the best door hardware, follow our guide for tips.