A construction project is a risky endeavor that needs commitment and a detailed plan. If you need to upkeep the building’s structure to ensure its integrity and long lifespan, installing access doors and panels is one of the best ways.
Access doors and panels have been around for many years. Still, their utilization has become a requirement for current construction projects, not just to comply with codes but because they are essential for the building’s systems and equipment inspection, installation, and maintenance.
What’s in It for You?
There are several advantages when installing an access panel to your building space. It is an essential component in ensuring that all systems function as intended. If issues need an immediate response, your personnel can deal with them promptly, safely, and efficiently, mitigating damages and losses.
These access doors and panels function as an entry point for your maintenance crew to inspect any issues, replace broken installations or equipment, and transport equipment vital for the building’s upkeep. It protects your building from possible hazards and allows access to deal with such problems whenever it arises.
Depending on its type, it may have a different material composition to protect against the elements. Take the fire-rated floor hatch, for example. Some may utilize it to access the lower floors or basement areas, while others may use it as an entryway to floor storage. However, due to its unique feature, it can temporarily seal off the effects of heat if there is a fire.
Depending on your building requirements, there are many other panel variations with different features. You can customize how they function by selecting the correct type for a particular need and getting the right dimensions. It would be an excellent move if you had the opinions of a licensed professional to ensure that your decision is a solid one.
Types of Access Doors and Panels
Access panels typically come with an all-around framing, different from a standard frame that does not extend to the bottom of the door. They usually come with a lock and cylinder that allows proper locking of the door with a key, but can also be with a triangular locking mechanism to make entry more convenient.
The variations might confuse people without knowing the products’ uses and features. Most manufacturers have a categorized list of access doors and panels containing the details and other products’ information. Here are some types and their uses:
Airtight/Watertight Panels: You can install these panels in areas where you need to seal off the room. It typically prevents water, air, or any particles from getting in or out. These panels undergo air penetration and water infiltration testing to ensure they function as intended. It is suitable for isolation rooms, laboratories, operating rooms, and more.
Its typical material composition can be steel or stainless steel, making them robust and resistant to physical damage. It may also come with a coating to further enhance its resistance to corrosion and other elements. There are various sizes, and you can also request a custom size from the manufacturer.
Fire Rated Panels: There are various types of fire-rated panels available. Generally made from heat-resistant materials, these products buy you much-needed time to delay the effects of heat when a fire happens. They have different fire ratings, so you need to check first to determine what best suits your requirements. You can typically find these panels in hot locations with a high chance of fire.
General Purpose Panels: It is arguably the most widely utilized type of access panel. You can install it on most surfaces, typically for walls and ceiling applications. Its versatility makes it a popular choice for many contractors, and you can choose a wide array of added features if your building has other requirements.
Security Panels: There are two main types of security panels: medium or high. Their feature mechanisms enhance their capabilities to secure an area from unauthorized or forced access. Galvanneal steel is typically the primary material of this panel type, making it robust and resistant to most damages and environmental effects.
You can typically find this type in buildings that require enhanced security like government buildings, psychiatric facilities, educational institutions, hospitals, jewelry shops, and banks.
Exterior Panels: As the name suggests, it is a well-suited panel for external use. Since the outside environment usually wears most materials, this type has features that reinforce it to ensure it lasts and functions as intended. In many humid locations and coastal areas, you can find this type of corrosion due to water damage.
Codes and Regulations
Installing access panels will help your building meet the standards set by various regulatory bodies or commissions like OSHA or LEED. It helps to guarantee that your structure is operational and serviceable and gives peace of mind to your occupants.
Do not delay calling an expert for possible insights and for your queries into the suitable type that will fit your building’s requirements. Never consider a DIY if you lack skill, knowledge, and experience because it might result in a costly mistake.