Nowadays, nearly every building has an attic, and of course, attic access doors and panels. However, there are still some who don’t have attics– whether residential or commercial, thus overlooking the aspect of heat loss and air drafts that attics can provide.
Moreover, when it comes to attic hatches, they can impact the overall proper operation of a building and space when not fully insulated or cared for. An attic hatch can often be found in walk-in closets or hallways but wherever it is situated, it still functions to allow one access to attic space.
Types of Attic Access Doors
You probably didn’t know this but there are actually different types of attic access doors. It is a good thing that we included some of them in this article.
- Simple attic hatch – This kind of attic access door is also called a scuttle hole and is quite common in homes. A simple attic hatch is the most common and widely-used attic door by homeowners. This can be seen as a removable part of the ceiling that is typically in the shape of a rectangle or square. Accessing the attic would entail the homeowner to just simply push up on this ceiling cut-out and move it to the side. A ladder also goes with the simple attic– once the access door is open and out of the way, the ladder will be used for entering the area.
- Spring-loaded attic access door – For some buildings, a pull-down stair attic access door is usually installed. Because this type of door is spring-loaded, once the door is pushed up and a nearby cord is pulled, stairs can just easily come out. The stairs are typically made of either wood or metal and can be folded up just as easily as they fold out. Although this type of attic access door looks similar to a simple attic hatch, it is more convenient with the already built-in ladder.
- Knee-wall attic access door – Another way to access the attic is through the use of a knee-wall attic access door. This type of door is usually located at mid-height on a short, vertical wall instead of on a ceiling. Typically found within a small room on the top level of the house, this type of attic access door can be used as a loft, storage area, or even a bedroom. Usually, the ceiling in this room is sloped.
Insulation and Security of Attic Access Doors and Panels
For attic access doors, one concern is the amount of insulation. It doesn’t matter what kind of door the attic has– without insulation, many houses still lose heat through the area. It is for this reason that all attic doors are recommended to be outfitted with some insulation, such as foam board and weather stripping.
Additionally, it is also important to keep in mind that the method of adding such insulation aids varies depending on the door type.
There is also another consideration that one has to make when thinking about an attic access door which is the level of security. Fortunately, a homeowner or building owner can also add a lock to any kind of attic door. In fact, it is recommended for doors on outer walls when it comes to both office buildings and homes.
It is also important to know about door options to help in getting the right attic access door and utilizing what an attic can offer
Purchasing the Best Access Doors
Because there are so many options out there, it can be really difficult when purchasing an attic access door. Take note that a proper attic hatch is one that has a weatherstrip around the perimeter to allow for the appropriate amount of insulation. This helps in reducing any loss of heat from the inside while also preventing any air from coming in.
When purchasing an attic access door, it is important to take the proper measurements, as well as considering the other environmental elements which can be everything from ensuring the correct climate inside the attic itself and the surrounding space. Having proper ventilation and roofing insulation is one way of helping with this.
An attic that does not have proper insulation, ventilation, or even the proper hatch can accumulate mold or mildew. Not purchasing the proper attic access door or taking care of the attic can really impact the space and even affect one’s health in case mold or mildew becomes severe.
Maintaining Your Attic Access Door
Aside from investing in the right attic hatch, it is also a must that it is installed properly. When an access door or panel is not installed correctly, it can result in a heating and cooling creation of condensation when warm or hot air is flushed through a vent.
Once the attic access door is already installed, it is also essential to check for drafts and ensure that there is no mold or unwanted and unnecessary condensation and pest infections.
Regular maintenance is also important given where the attic is. As it is not always convenient to access and is a truly “out of sight, out of mind” component of any commercial or residential building, pests and molds may affect the attic. That’s why it is important to have regular maintenance for attic access panels.