A-Mezz Ladder Install in Muddy Conditions

Springtime Muddy Ladder Installation

Ahh… Spring time in Ohio. The flowers, birds, oh and MUD.

A-Mezz Ladder Install in Muddy Conditions

A-Mezz Ladder Install in Muddy Conditions

We got a call from a builder with with a newly constructed structure – so new that there was no paved access yet – and they needed a ladder to gain access to their HVAC rooftop units. The building height was over 30’ and we had some options on how to access the roof based on OSHA’s new regulations.

The first option was a straight, uncaged ladder 35’ high with a personal fall protection cable. That is the new OSHA requirement on all climbs over 24’. The pros of the cable/track systems are that the climber wears a harness and clips onto the fall arrest system so that if he falls, the system stops his fall. The downside is those systems require the climber to have a harness and proper equipment to utilize the cable/track.

For this site the customer chose to go with the second option. We used a lower, uncaged ladder to get them up to a mid landing under 20’h. Then we used a second ladder with cage to climb from the intermediate landing to the upper roof. This setup was slightly more expensive up front but did not require the purchase of additional harnesses, trolleys and maintenance that the personal fall arrest systems required. Additionally, the cage is always there. This provides a safety benefit always, whereas the personal fall arrest systems only provide a safety benefit if the climber is wearing a harness and has the proper equipment. By utilizing the intermediate platform, no climb between platforms is over 24’ so the customer will not have to retrofit their ladders with personal fall arrest systems in 18 years when OSHA’s grandfather rules expire for existing ladder systems.

We had to hold off on install for a couple weeks as the ground thawed early in Ohio and there was way too much mud for our equipment to get to the install location. Luckily we caught a break and a few dry sunny days slightly helped dry out the site – being Ohio, if we didn’t get out to the site when we did, the spring rains could have pushed things off for months until things dried up.

Trying not to bury our axels in the mud, we got the upper ladder into place and worked down from there.

Upper Caged Ladder Being Lifted into Position

Upper Caged Ladder Being Lifted into Position

We fabricated the upper ladder with our self support walk-through handrail because the wall included a short parapet and we didn’t want to have the ladder setting on the metal capping.

Self supported walk-through handrail detail

Self supported walk-through handrail detail

On the lower ladder we included our lockable rung door so that unauthorized people could not climb the ladder.

Completed Installation of Ladder System

Completed Installation of Ladder System

With a crew of two men and one morning, the ladder system was installed (despite the mud) and the customer has safe, OSHA and ANSI compliant access to their roof. A-Mezz took care of everything from design, detail, fabrication and installation and we were able to educate the customer on all of their options and costs. The project was done on time for the amount budgeted.

Working around an Obstruction with Modular Wall Panels

Modular building with existing building column in the way

Looking to expand your modular office, but that I-beam is in the way of the wall panels?

One of the greatest advantages of using modular wall panels for your in-plant offices is their ability to easily change and grow as your needs change.  Back in 2010, we provided a customer with a 20’x12’ modular in-plant office with an internal wall, splitting the space into two separate offices.  A few years later they decided to rearrange the wall panels, taking out the dividing wall and creating one large office space.  Earlier this year, the customer contacted us again looking to further expand upon the room, adding an additional 16’ to the system.  This is an easy modification to make.  Typically you would just disassemble the end 12’ wall, add four new 4’ modular wall panels to each of the 20’ long walls, and then close it back off with the existing 12’ end.   But this extension offered a little twist that I thought we could talk about today.  There was an I-beam right where the wall panels would go through.

Using angle and an internal steel stud to tie a modular wall panel to  an I-beam

Conceptual sketch showing how the wall panels would be secured to the I-beam

If the wall panels fall between the flanges, the most cost effective method would be to terminate the wall on both sides of the webbing and secure it to the I-beam using some 1”x6” angle and an internal stud.  This is not the cleanest method though, as the I-beam appears to cut through the wall and typically leaves a gap in the grid ceiling inside the I-beam.

conceptual model of using modular wall panels to box around an obstruction

Conceptual sketch showing how the wall panels can could be used to box out the I-beam

In this particular case the flange of the I-beam lined up with the outer sheet of gyp-board, creating an obstruction.   Because of this we simply boxed around the I-beam with wall panels, closing it off.  While this method requires a bit more in the way of materials, it allows for a very clean and uniform appearance.

modular wall panels boxing out an obstruction

The view from inside the finished modular office extension.

Custom Crossover Bridge

This past year we were called out to a company who had some sprawling equipment. Because of the space required, their employees would be working on the second floor of the left hand mezzanine, and would have to climb down two flights of stairs, cross the forklift aisle, and climb up two more flights of stairs to access the left mezzanine to continue their work. As you can imagine, that was a huge inefficiency.

A-Mezz Crossover Platform loaded for delivery to install location

A-Mezz Crossover Bridge loaded for delivery to install location

We designed, fabricated, and installed a crossover bridge to allow them to quickly go from one machine to the next without requiring four flights of stairs to be climbed each time, and it also kept them out of the aisleway between the structures. Due to the elevation change between the two structures, we incorporated a stair at the left hand side of the bridge and fabricated the bridge stringers as one piece to allow it to safely reach each side without requiring any additional supports.


The left side was designed to mount on top of that mezzanine’s edge framing members and at the right we had to add additional steel to allow the crossover bridge to safely and securely attach to the side of the right hand mezzanine.

Installed A-Mezz Custom Crossover Platform

Installed A-Mezz Custom Crossover Bridge


Everything was painted to match their existing equipment. Ultimately, the customer liked the setup so much that they called us back a few months later to do another crossover just like the one we had completed for another location in their factory.  For more information on our custom fabrications please visit our website, email or call. 

Drain Thru Rubber Matting for Snowy Entrances

Winter is fast approaching, and for many of us that means frigid cold temperatures, snow, and dangerous ice.

All around me I see neighbors battening down hatches to prepare for a long and dark few months. However, preparations aside from plastic window coverings often go forgotten. With the holidays just around the corner, many of us have family on our minds, and it personally has me worried about slip prevention, especially for our youngest and oldest members.

Solutions to combat slipping can be time consuming as well as expensive; luckily, there are many simple preventive measures that can be taken to ease this worry. In my opinion, the simplest preventative measure is a drain thru mat for each of your entryways — and don’t forget your garage entrance after all of that snow shoveling!

Our Olympian series drain thru mats are 100% recycled material made from trim rubber used in tire manufacturing.

Olympian series drain thru rubber mats

These mats are built to withstand the most extreme conditions. While other drain thru mats will crack and fall apart with the cold, these will last and last and last. Olympian mats show no visible cracks or fractures in temperatures as low as -45 degrees Fahrenheit! Then when the spring and summer months come, there is no need for them to be replaced, as our Olympian series shows no signs of deterioration at even 400 degrees Fahrenheit! Whether it’s hot or cold, this mat is built to take it!

detail of drain thru rubber mat

We are already late in the year, and while most slip prevention projects require tedious installation and warmer temperature for adhesives to adhere, this mat is heavy enough to simply be laid out, while still being light enough to hang dry when needed.

Floor Door, Angle Frame, Features

A floor door is a great way to gain access to a mechanical pit or well. Floor doors are much safer than just laying a steel plate or wooden board over an opening, and they allow unimpeded traffic flow while not in operation.  Compare that to locations that have permanent handrails installed around an opening and always reduce traffic regardless of use. Also, floor doors are counterbalanced to help open and close the door safely.

Open floor door view of components

Interior floor door  view of components

Above you can see the counterbalance springs — they are the three cylinders mounted to the open door. Their quantity is dependent on the hatch material and size (i.e. weight of the door). There is also a hold open arm on the left side of the door to prevent the floor door from closing accidently. It also makes closing the floor door easier. At the top of the door is the slam latch. Simply close the door and it is securely latched.

Photo of open floor door

Exterior floor door tread plate

Around the bottom of the floor hatch there is an angle frame, as well as removable concrete anchor straps. This allows flexibility with the installation into existing locations as well as locations with a fresh pour of concrete.

Photo of closed floor door ready for packaging

Closed floor door ready for packaging

The outside of the door is a checker-plate pattern to provide some slip resistance.  Some floor doors are also available with a recessed well in the door to allow carpet squares to be installed. Which way is best is up to the install location. The check plate is easier to take a rolling load like a cart. The recessed well for floor tiles allows the hatch to blend in more with interior locations that already are carpeted. When used in an existing opening, the cover will sit above the mounting structure by ¼” – the thickness of the angle frame. Some installers leave that 1/4″ lip and some notch the floor slightly to make the floor door entirely flush. 

Angle frame floor hatch packaged and ready to ship

Angle frame floor hatch packaged and ready to ship

We can put all the greatest features into our floor doors but that doesn’t matter if the door arrives to you damaged, so they are never shipped loose. Above you can see the floor door safely wrapped in cardboard and banded onto a pallet with notes not to stack by the carrier. A little more time taken to make sure they’re packaged securely has helped eliminate almost all of the headaches that happen with freight damage and resulting freight claims.

The New Pallet Rack Gate System: Improving the Safety on Your Pick Units and Pallet Rack Mezzanines

pallet rack gates protecting two bays of pallet rack

The Pallet Rack Gate automatically closes off the edge as the pallet clears the bay, protecting your employees.

We’ve been adding a number of gates to our mezzanine gate collection over the past year. Today I’d like to take a minute to talk about another of our newly added gates:  the Pallet Rack Gate.

The Pallet Rack Gate System is a self-closing gate designed to improve the safety of your pick modules with pallet flow systems or pallet rack based mezzanines, and are designed to meet or exceed OSHA railing standard 1910.23(a)(2) with a 42” high gate and mid-rail.  

As the name implies, it is specifically designed to integrate with your existing pallet rack. The universal hinge post brackets of the gate connect to the uprights of your pallet rack via U-bolts, minimizing the footprint of the gate, while allowing for an easy installation in minutes without the need for drilling.  The gates are designed to fit standard 60” wide or 96” openings in your rack system, but custom sizes are available. If you need something special we’ll be happy to look into it.

Then protecting multiple bays of rack, the intermediate gates would share a bracket at each upright to minimize the cost

The intermediate sections of the Pallet Rack Gate system combine both a left and right gate on a shared hinge bracket, minimizing the cost.

The gates are available as a single left gate with hinge bracket, a single right gate with hinge bracket, or if covering multiple connected bays of pallet rack, both a left and right gate connected to a shared hinge post bracket.  This helps keep the footprint and your costs down by minimizing the amount of material required.    

These gates are designed to stand up to the rigors of heavy use and require little to no maintenance.  They are constructed out of durable mild steel and have a safety yellow powder coat finish baked on.  The four stainless steel torsion spring hinges connected to each gate assure a safe and reliable operation.

The Pallet Rack Gate System is a simple, durable, and cost effective method of increasing the safety on your existing pallet rack mezzanine systems and pick units.  Give us a call and we’ll be happy to assist in laying out the design of the gates and working up a quote.  And if you’re looking to protect the base of your pallet rack from fork truck damage, or looking for a pallet rack itself, we’ll be happy to help with that as well.

Use Nose Caulk To Get The Most Life Out Of Your Stair Treads

Improperly installed stair tread

The most common reason for replacing rubber or vinyl stair treads is that the nosing is cracking or falling off. This type of damage is almost always due to the installer missing one very important step, drastically shortening the lifespan of a tread – not to mention also voiding your tread warranty due to an improper installation.

When installing rubber and vinyl stair covering, one of the most often overlooked but essential steps is putting in the nose caulking. Modern square nose stair treads have a channel on the inside corner of the nose which gives the nosing piece flexibility enough to fit any angle riser from 60° to 90°. Without filling that channel with nose caulking, you’re allowing the stair tread to flex in the most vulnerable spot. The more often that area flexes, the more vulnerable it becomes, and sooner than later, you’ll get a crack which spreads across the nose.

Epoxy Nose Caulk

Epoxy Nose Caulk

There are two options for installing nose caulking; you can find both options on our FloorMat Store website. The easiest option is to use a dual cartridge unit and a dual cartridge caulking gun, that covers 50 linear feet per unit. Just pop the cartridge in and squeeze a small bead along the inside of the nose bend. If you are taking your time with the installation, or breaking up a large job, make sure to order extra nozzles too, so you can cap the unit between uses.

nose caulk gun

Nose Caulk Gun – Dual Cartridge

The other method is a two part quart unit, which is a bit more difficult, but a lot more budget friendly. You mix the two parts as directed on the side of the cans, and using a trowel or putty knife, slip some in place along the nosing. A single quart unit will cover 75 linear feet if properly mixed, used before dried and applied correctly. Remember, once mixed, you’re fighting the clock; try not to take a break from installing, or you may come back to find your mixture has already set.

Quart Can of Nose Caulk - covers ups to 75 LF

Can of Nose Caulk – covers ups to 75 LF

If you are installing stair treads over steps that have worn edges, make sure that you use a heavy hand when applying the nose caulking, so it can properly fill out the area to give a solid backing to the tread.


Vinyl Bollard Covers Keep Your Bollards Looking New


old weathered bollards

These rusty bollards could use some sprucing up

Winter is beginning to subside. The snow and ice are melting away and all sorts of things are being unearthed — some terrifying. I’m talking about your bollards of course. And they look horrible. Everyone has been out and about enjoying the warmth, but they are also seeing some really nasty weather stricken bollards. Sure you are thinking, “Well I’ll just get someone out to paint that again,” just like every other year. But the fact of the matter is, between now and then, your business is looking shabby, and you are continually paying for product and labor just to keep up. I’m sure we have all heard the saying “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” This statement stands true for a lot more than just our personal appearance. I’m far more likely to feel confident about a bank handling my money that looks well maintained than one that has peeling paint and layers of rust. Sunlight and moisture can cause serious damage to bollards, and quickly. The more nicked and flaky they look, the less and less professional the establishment looks, leaving people less likely to trust the service you are providing them.


color chart for vinyl bollard covers and sleeves

Available in 10 standard colors, our vinyl bollard covers will help your bollards stand out in a good way.

There are so many benefits to a good bollard cover that I find it difficult understanding why I ever see them without one. Not only does it quickly (and I mean quickly as it often takes about a minute for installation) enhance the aesthetic of your business, but it can also keep your company’s name looking good. Vinyl bollard covers are some of my favorite for the simple reason that they are durable. If one of your trucks comes into contact with a bollard, it easily results in scratches, and even dents. A vinyl cover adds surprisingly effective impact protection. No longer are your vehicles getting an unwanted makeover by a solid metal pole; instead, they now have a sturdy bit of cushion that can far better absorb blunt force impacts. No more scraped rusty bollards, and no more scraped rusty trucks.

In the time that it takes you to tie your shoes, you can easily have eliminated years of maintenance, all while helping cement your place in your customer’s confidence. Your rusted bollards look horrible; it’s time to cover them up.

-Reese @ Floormatstore.com

Two Wall and Three Wall In-Plant Offices

two wall modular building system

Two wall in-plant office system utilizing the customer’s existing block walls

Many of the in-plant offices we provide customers are located around the perimeter of their building, and we are often asked about the possibility of utilizing the existing wall.  Depending on the site conditions, a two or three wall system could offer a significant cost savings versus a typical four wall in-plant office.  Today, I’d like to talk a little about how an in-plant office can utilize your existing building walls and some of the factors to consider if a two or three wall modular building system is a good fit for your space.

Panelized building system connecting to existing block wall

By utilizing the customer’s existing block wall, they were able to design a row of offices along the back wall of their facility without needing to reroute their existing lines

One thing to consider when thinking about designing a two or three wall in-plant office is what kind of walls are in place.  If we are going to utilize your existing walls, we are going to need to tie into them in a couple different places.  We will need to attach a piece of channel called a wall start from the floor to the top of the panel, wherever the panel would connect to the building wall.  As we typically use a corrugated roof deck to form the membrane that holds the building together, we will also need to attach an angle along the enclosed length of the wall at the panel height.  Because of this, the walls need to be substantial enough to be tied into.  Block, stud and gypsum, or concrete walls are great.  Steel skinned buildings are not.  The wall should also be even across the locations where the building would tie in.  If there’s a significant gap, such as in some brick walls, you’ll need to add some flashing to seal off the gaps into the building.  In some buildings there has been a wall built in front of the steel skin wall.  Remember to make sure the height of the front wall is taller than the height of the building panels.

Modular wall system above and below a mezzanine

A four wall in-plant office above the mezzanine with a two wall modular building system below the deck

Recently, we have done a number of mezzanine supported in-plant offices along the perimeters of the customers’ buildings, and are often asked if we could utilize the existing building walls.  The issue here, though, is that even though you might not realize it, there is some movement on the platform different from the existing building wall.  These forces would weaken the structural integrity of the building system.  At the ground level below the mezzanine, we can potentially utilize the existing building walls, but we would need to go with a four wall system on top of the platform.

two wall building system below a mezzanine

This two wall modular building system allowed our customer to separate production from the employee entrance.

A two wall modular building system offers a number of advantages, such as the ability to utilize existing windows/wiring, as well as a cost savings from using fewer materials and labor.  If you are looking at putting in some in-plant offices, it might be worth your while to consider going with a two or three wall building system.

Catwalk Bridges Can Save Space and Improve Efficiency

Recently we’ve been out to a local shop for a lot of projects. This time we were called to supply some catwalk bridges. This helps them better utilize their existing space by gaining extra storage and workstation space from the areas they already had. They have several buildings in their facility that were capable of housing light storage on top of them. Ordinarily, the easiest way to access these spaces is through a pre-engineered steel staircase. The problem you run into when you have many buildings in relatively close vicinity to each other is that floor space is a premium; you can’t afford to block off aisle ways with stairs, and even if you have the space to accommodate multiple stairs to access multiple buildings, it is not very efficient having to run up and down stairs from one structure to go to another.

One stair was put in place to access a central building and then a couple of catwalk bridges were fabricated and installed to access the ancillary modular buildings. The catwalk bridges were fabricated so they could be lifted into place with a forklift truck. This allowed for quick, easy installation. This also allowed the customer to remove them relatively quickly should they need the additional vertical clearance to bring larger machinery through their aisles.

Catwalk bridges between block wall and modular building

Catwalk bridges between block wall and modular building

Attachment to their existing cinder block structure was easy, but mounting to their modular buildings required some extra consideration. Modular buildings are weakest at the panel locations. We supplied angle so the customer could span the angle from multiple posts on the building and then fasten the bridge to the angle. This distributed the load of the bridges across two sturdy posts per side instead of hitting a potentially crushable panel.  The catwalk bridges were not going to be centered directly over their panels so the angle was sent extra-long to allow flexibility in their bridge locations.

The customer now has access to multiple interior building tops for additional workspace and storage, and hasn’t sacrificed much room on their floor now that they utilized crossover bridges to open up their previously unusable  spaces.