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Thread: Good article about hood cleaning, interested?

  1. #1

    Default Good article about hood cleaning, interested?

    Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning

    Diversification is the name of the game, and kitchen exhaust cleaning may just be the way to go for contract cleaners and distributors looking to branch into a new area of specialization or to simply make an addition to their current offerings. Not to be taken lightly, however, kitchen exhaust cleaning requires a tenacity and conscientiousness not necessarily required by other applications. Dealing with a potential fire hazard (grease build-up in vents and hoods), kitchen exhaust cleaners must be aware of fire codes and specifications, as well as of the significance of their task. Not only must they complete the job in a timely manner to ensure that the restaurant or place of business is able to open for business, but they must also complete the job thoroughly and safely, both for themselves and for the owners of the business and their customers.

    Rod Getz, president of Getz Fire Equipment Company, a fire protection business of over 42 years, in Peoria, Ill., explains, "Exhaust cleaning is absolutely a requirement, especially in restaurant grease exhaust systems. Grease build-up in these exhaust systems can be excessive and can lead to a severe fire hazard due to the amount of fuel load present. Kitchen exhaust cleaning is a form of fire prevention and reduces the risk of a severe fire in the hood and duct work tremendously if cleaned at the proper frequencies." With these points in mind, read this article as simply an overview of the market. If you find that kitchen exhaust cleaning is something that you are interested in pursuing, please refer to the associations listed at the end of the article and seek proper training.

    The Market

    Just take a good look around you as you drive through your hometown. There must be fast food restaurants on every corner. Or, if you live in a smaller locale, there are surely independent restaurants with booming businesses or even retirement homes or hospitals in the area, all of which contain kitchens and all of which need their exhaust systems to be cleaned and maintained. Getz notes, "The most obvious market for exhaust cleaning is kitchen grease exhaust systems. This type of system is found in restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, large hotels or any place which has a commercial cooking operation." He continues to explain that dishwasher exhaust hood cleaning is another opportunity for cleaning, although it is not needed as frequently as is the grease exhaust cleaning. Industrial exhaust hoods also require exhaust cleaning services, as Getz notes that his company cleans a number of hoods in an automotive assembly plant on an annual basis.

    Why shouldn’t you be the one to take care of these necessary tasks? Bob Manning of Chem Spray International, Inc., in Englewood, Colo., a manufacturer of chemicals used in kitchen exhaust cleaning, says, "The kitchen exhaust cleaning market is growing because of the growth in restaurants. They all have to have their kitchens cleaned, and we generally recommend that it be done every three to four months, depending upon the type of restaurant."

    This growth in the restaurant industry means that there is opportunity for repeat business, as well as for multi-task jobs. By that, there are multiple services that can be performed while on a job site to clean an exhaust system. Jake Jarvis of B & J Cleaning & Coatings in Montgomery, Ala., has learned to offer as many services as possible while at one location. He says, "We do flat concrete cleaning for some of our customers — sidewalks, drive thrus, etc. We also do appliance cleaning, and we have done some ceiling cleaning." Another add-on service is preventative fan maintenance, which, according to Getz, includes replacing the fan belts and greasing the fan bearings (if applicable) on a semi-annual basis.

    It’s all a matter of establishing a client base, of obtaining accounts and keeping them, that builds a successful business. To get started, you must make an initial marketing effort and continue to follow up consistently. Jarvis’ marketing program consists of sending mailers periodically to restaurants located within a 70-mile radius of the city of Montgomery, Ala., followed by a visit to the restaurant and a meeting with the manager. During the early part of the company’s four-year tenure, Jarvis says that he would simply make the rounds of various possible clients, trying to make an appointment with the manager with whom he would explain who he was and what his company could do.

    Don Kallhoff of Don Kallhoff Mobile Wash in Omaha, Neb., markets the kitchen exhaust cleaning portion of his services through a one line bold ad in the Yellow Pages, as well as through flyers followed up with a phone call. Although he only cleans hoods as an add-on to help his company remain busy throughout the harsh Nebraska winters, Kallhoff thinks the market for the service is viable, if one if persistent enough to pursue it. Other marketing possibilities that Getz utilizes in his business include using a tri-fold flyer as an envelope stuffer and becoming active in a local restaurant association, of which he is on the board of directors.

    Flexibility may be one of the key elements in running a successful kitchen exhaust cleaning operation, due mainly to the fact that most restaurants need to be cleaned during late night hours when closed. Jarvis says, "Our normal work week runs Sunday through Thursday because most restaurants are open later on the weekends, so it makes it tougher to get in. All of this work is done after the restaurant is closed."

    Getting Started

    Before starting any job, however, you must certainly be aware of the guidelines in your particular area. The National Fire Protection Code 96 (NFPC 96) Standard is what most counties, cities and states adopt as their fire code, according to Jarvis. Chapter 8-3.1* and 8-3.1.1 in NFPA 96, Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations 1998 Edition state the following: 8-3.1* Hoods, grease removal devices, fans, ducts, and other appurtenances shall be cleaned to bare metal at frequent intervals prior to surfaces becoming heavily contaminated with grease or oily sludge. After the exhaust system is cleaned to bare metal, it shall not be coated with powder or other substance. The entire exhaust system shall be inspected by a properly trained, qualified and certified company or person(s) acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction in accordance with Table 8-3.1 (See Figure 1). 8-3.1.1 Upon inspection, if found to be contaminated with deposits from grease-laden vapors, the entire exhaust system shall be cleaned by a properly trained, qualified, and certified company or person(s) acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction in accordance with Section 8-3.

    To learn more about NFPC 96, consult the kitchen exhaust certification programs available through various industry associations. As is stated in the information presented above, certification is now required per NFPA 96, 1998 edition, and the programs available through the International Kitchen Exhaust Cleaners Association (IKECA) and the Power Washers of North America programs provide the information and tools necessary to responsibly work in the kitchen exhaust cleaning field. In addition, Getz, who serves on the IKECA board of directors, reports, "A new program which will be available this fall at the IKECA Technical Program in Dallas, Texas, will be an inspectors certification program, as required in Paragraph 8-3.1.

    Education provided by such training and certification programs may very well be the most important tool a kitchen exhaust cleaner can have. When asked what equipment is necessary to get started with this type of work, Jarvis wisely notes, "The biggest thing in my mind is training. Anybody can go out and buy a pressure cleaner. They don’t necessarily know how to clean hoods. As far as equipment goes, it doesn’t take a lot — you get a pressure cleaner, some wands, plastic and a mop bucket, and you can clean a hood. Whether it’s cleaned correctly or not is another thing."

    But with a little training and education under your belt, you’re ready to get started with just your basic equipment. However, "basic" can get a little complex, depending on the circumstances of each job. Getz explains, "The basic equipment needed to clean kitchen exhaust systems can be extensive and expensive depending upon the size and types of kitchen hoods and exhaust systems that you decide to clean. For example, if you market yourselves into the large hotel business, a lot of times they will have multiple floors, large exhaust ducts which require the OSHA approved devices to lower technicians into the duct work in order to properly clean the inside of the duct. This equipment can be expensive and a lot of training is necessary." Getz advises the use of a hot water pressure washer with ratings of approximately 3000 psi at 5 gpm, which range in cost from $4000 to $7000. In addition to a pressure washer, necessary equipment includes ladders, tools and other miscellaneous equipment —the cost of which totals approximately $12,000, plus vehicle costs. (Reference the Exhaust Cleaning chapter in the Power Washer’s Guidebook for a complete listing of necessary equipment).

    Chemicals are also an important tool in cleaning an exhaust system. There is a variety available, many specially formulated according to the severity of the grease buildup. Cardinal Chemical, a chemical manufacturer in Toledo, Ohio, actually makes a product that can be used for applications such as flatwork cleaning in parking lots and drive thrus, as well as any type of exhaust cleaning, including the tough buildup found in the kitchens of Chinese food restaurants. This could be useful for those interested in performing as many applications as possible at one location.

    As was mentioned earlier, one type of grease that is particularly difficult to remove is that found in the exhaust systems of Chinese food restaurants. Manning explains, "I think the primary reason that grease from Chinese food cooking is so difficult to remove is because the woks that they use [to cook with] are very hot. They probably cook at a higher temperature than what normal grills cook at. So, the heat generated and the vapor from the oils will rise and that causes it to accumulate on the hoods and the vents. And then, based on the heat, it will adhere just like glue."

    There are products available that will cut through this tough Chinese grease, and those exhaust cleaners who are willing to tackle the job can end up reaping great financial rewards. Don McGraw of Cardinal Chemical explains, "Chinese oil is something that a lot of kitchen exhaust cleaners avoid. The guys that are able to do that type of job pretty much have the corner on the market because a lot of the other exhaust cleaners don’t want to do it." Other types of restaurants may also experience more grease buildup than will others, depending on what is being cooked and the temperature that it is being cooked at.

    Because many of these chemicals are caustic (meaning they will burn skin), it is important to wear protective clothing, including (at the very minimum) rubber gloves, chemical safety goggles and shoes with rubber soles. Jarvis notes, "We wear chemical resistant wet-type rain suits, hard hats with full face shields and chemical resistant gloves to keep the chemicals off of our workers, as well."

    The Process

    There are certain steps to be followed in the process of cleaning a kitchen exhaust system. Jarvis explains that when they first arrive on a job site, the first thing they do is check in with the management, letting them know that they’re there and ready to begin working. After they take all of their equipment out of the van and get their hoses stretched out, they go inside the building to move all the appliances, if possible. If it is not possible to move the appliances, then plastic sheeting is used to cover all the remaining exposed surfaces. This protects surfaces from overspray — many of the chemicals used in the cleaning process are not safe for surfaces other than stainless steel of which most systems are constructed.

    The next step is to set up a funneling system, which funnels wash water into big trashcans. The trashcans are then taken and dumped into the grease traps. Since the water doesn’t leave the building, it does not have to recycled as long as it is disposed of in a sanitary sewer, the contents of which will eventually be treated. Getz notes, "Depending upon the geographical location of your market, different states and communities are more strict with environmental concerns with any type of pressure washing. It is our policy to dump any grease deposits and the wash water into the customer’s drain, which goes through their grease trap. However, each individual company should check their local community’s requirements through their sanitary district or EPA for their particular regulations."

    The next step in the kitchen exhaust cleaning process is to go up onto the roof where the fan is taken apart and sprayed with chemical. After the chemical has been given time to penetrate, the fans are cleaned, and the ductwork is cleaned down to the bare metal. While one person is on the roof cleaning, another person remains inside to monitor the funnels — ready with a wet vac in case the funnels happen to break. Once the roof is clean, all come inside to clean the inside of the hood, after which one person takes the filters outside to clean and another remains inside to remove the plastic coverings and to take care of any water that was captured. That same person will also wipe down and dry the hood and clean any areas that could not be reached with the pressure washer. A stainless steel polish is then used to shine the hood. The final step is to uncover the appliances, remove the plastic from the building and mop the floor to clean up any overspray.

    The entire process can take from three to five hours for a two-man team to complete, with set up being the most time consuming part of the process. However, some time can be saved, according to Kallhoff, by arranging a filter exchange program with the customer. With the filter exchange service, the filters are removed and replaced by clean ones instead of being cleaned on-site. He says, "You take the old filters back to the shop and soak them in the dip tank. You then bring back the clean filters, take back the old ones, reversing the process. That seems to save a lot of time."

    Hazards and Safety

    In addition to the potential fire hazards involved with kitchen exhaust cleaning, there are other dangers and precautions that must be taken. One of the most obvious is the threat of electric shock that exists any time water and electricity enter the same environment. In kitchen exhaust systems, most of the hoods have lights in them and there is electricity that goes through the fans. To prevent electric shock, Jarvis explains that he actually places a locking mechanism over the electric breaker that controls the hood switch. This prevents the switch from being accidentally flipped back on — the person who placed the lock is the only one who can remove it.

    Another hazard exists because of the work that must be performed on rooftops, with the danger of falling off. To prevent ladders from tipping over, Kallhoff recommends securing the ladder with a rope or bungee cord to a fixed object on the building. Ladders that aren’t cleaned on a regular basis may also pose a risk. There is also the possibility that fans will tip over and pull wires out. To prevent this, a fan hinge kit can be installed by the business owner. Appliances, as well as cleaning inside the hood, may also present hazardous situations. Getz says, "A fire retardant treated plywood may be required to cover the appliances in order to stand on the appliance to properly clean the inside of the hood." Care should also be taken not to accidentally step into the hot oil of the deep fat fryer, and technicians should be conscious of the possibility that the appliances haven’t cooled sufficiently to the touch by the time they start the job. Also, hazards are to be noted if it is required that technicians be lowered into the ductwork.

    Working outside can also bring on some dangers. Common sense must be practiced when working in extreme cold, heat or stormy conditions.

    Opportunities Abound

    With the number of restaurants and other kitchen facilities growing by the day, the opportunity for kitchen exhaust cleaners is growing, as well. But others in the industry can also benefit from the growth. Distributors looking for new products to add to their lines should consider taking on chemicals and other products specific to kitchen exhaust cleaning. There certainly seems to be enough opportunity to go around in this expanding pressure washing sub-market.

    For more information on opportunities and training in kitchen exhaust cleaning, contact the International Kitchen Exhaust Cleaners Association (IKECA) at 312-923-8500 or the Power Washers of North America (PWNA) at 800-393-7962.










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    Ejoy and good luck hope this help all of you in some way
    Marko
    CLEANHOODS formally S&M Cleaning Services since 1997
    call 24/7>>>>>>> (828)632-7688 office
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  • #2

    Default Re: Good article about hood cleaning, interested?

    Is marko around?
    Quote Originally Posted by cleanhoods View Post
    Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning

    Diversification is the name of the game, and kitchen exhaust cleaning may just be the way to go for contract cleaners and distributors looking to branch into a new area of specialization or to simply make an addition to their current offerings. Not to be taken lightly, however, kitchen exhaust cleaning requires a tenacity and conscientiousness not necessarily required by other applications. Dealing with a potential fire hazard (grease build-up in vents and hoods), kitchen exhaust cleaners must be aware of fire codes and specifications, as well as of the significance of their task. Not only must they complete the job in a timely manner to ensure that the restaurant or place of business is able to open for business, but they must also complete the job thoroughly and safely, both for themselves and for the owners of the business and their customers.

    Rod Getz, president of Getz Fire Equipment Company, a fire protection business of over 42 years, in Peoria, Ill., explains, "Exhaust cleaning is absolutely a requirement, especially in restaurant grease exhaust systems. Grease build-up in these exhaust systems can be excessive and can lead to a severe fire hazard due to the amount of fuel load present. Kitchen exhaust cleaning is a form of fire prevention and reduces the risk of a severe fire in the hood and duct work tremendously if cleaned at the proper frequencies." With these points in mind, read this article as simply an overview of the market. If you find that kitchen exhaust cleaning is something that you are interested in pursuing, please refer to the associations listed at the end of the article and seek proper training.

    The Market

    Just take a good look around you as you drive through your hometown. There must be fast food restaurants on every corner. Or, if you live in a smaller locale, there are surely independent restaurants with booming businesses or even retirement homes or hospitals in the area, all of which contain kitchens and all of which need their exhaust systems to be cleaned and maintained. Getz notes, "The most obvious market for exhaust cleaning is kitchen grease exhaust systems. This type of system is found in restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, large hotels or any place which has a commercial cooking operation." He continues to explain that dishwasher exhaust hood cleaning is another opportunity for cleaning, although it is not needed as frequently as is the grease exhaust cleaning. Industrial exhaust hoods also require exhaust cleaning services, as Getz notes that his company cleans a number of hoods in an automotive assembly plant on an annual basis.

    Why shouldn’t you be the one to take care of these necessary tasks? Bob Manning of Chem Spray International, Inc., in Englewood, Colo., a manufacturer of chemicals used in kitchen exhaust cleaning, says, "The kitchen exhaust cleaning market is growing because of the growth in restaurants. They all have to have their kitchens cleaned, and we generally recommend that it be done every three to four months, depending upon the type of restaurant."

    This growth in the restaurant industry means that there is opportunity for repeat business, as well as for multi-task jobs. By that, there are multiple services that can be performed while on a job site to clean an exhaust system. Jake Jarvis of B & J Cleaning & Coatings in Montgomery, Ala., has learned to offer as many services as possible while at one location. He says, "We do flat concrete cleaning for some of our customers — sidewalks, drive thrus, etc. We also do appliance cleaning, and we have done some ceiling cleaning." Another add-on service is preventative fan maintenance, which, according to Getz, includes replacing the fan belts and greasing the fan bearings (if applicable) on a semi-annual basis.

    It’s all a matter of establishing a client base, of obtaining accounts and keeping them, that builds a successful business. To get started, you must make an initial marketing effort and continue to follow up consistently. Jarvis’ marketing program consists of sending mailers periodically to restaurants located within a 70-mile radius of the city of Montgomery, Ala., followed by a visit to the restaurant and a meeting with the manager. During the early part of the company’s four-year tenure, Jarvis says that he would simply make the rounds of various possible clients, trying to make an appointment with the manager with whom he would explain who he was and what his company could do.

    Don Kallhoff of Don Kallhoff Mobile Wash in Omaha, Neb., markets the kitchen exhaust cleaning portion of his services through a one line bold ad in the Yellow Pages, as well as through flyers followed up with a phone call. Although he only cleans hoods as an add-on to help his company remain busy throughout the harsh Nebraska winters, Kallhoff thinks the market for the service is viable, if one if persistent enough to pursue it. Other marketing possibilities that Getz utilizes in his business include using a tri-fold flyer as an envelope stuffer and becoming active in a local restaurant association, of which he is on the board of directors.

    Flexibility may be one of the key elements in running a successful kitchen exhaust cleaning operation, due mainly to the fact that most restaurants need to be cleaned during late night hours when closed. Jarvis says, "Our normal work week runs Sunday through Thursday because most restaurants are open later on the weekends, so it makes it tougher to get in. All of this work is done after the restaurant is closed."

    Getting Started

    Before starting any job, however, you must certainly be aware of the guidelines in your particular area. The National Fire Protection Code 96 (NFPC 96) Standard is what most counties, cities and states adopt as their fire code, according to Jarvis. Chapter 8-3.1* and 8-3.1.1 in NFPA 96, Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations 1998 Edition state the following: 8-3.1* Hoods, grease removal devices, fans, ducts, and other appurtenances shall be cleaned to bare metal at frequent intervals prior to surfaces becoming heavily contaminated with grease or oily sludge. After the exhaust system is cleaned to bare metal, it shall not be coated with powder or other substance. The entire exhaust system shall be inspected by a properly trained, qualified and certified company or person(s) acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction in accordance with Table 8-3.1 (See Figure 1). 8-3.1.1 Upon inspection, if found to be contaminated with deposits from grease-laden vapors, the entire exhaust system shall be cleaned by a properly trained, qualified, and certified company or person(s) acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction in accordance with Section 8-3.

    To learn more about NFPC 96, consult the kitchen exhaust certification programs available through various industry associations. As is stated in the information presented above, certification is now required per NFPA 96, 1998 edition, and the programs available through the International Kitchen Exhaust Cleaners Association (IKECA) and the Power Washers of North America programs provide the information and tools necessary to responsibly work in the kitchen exhaust cleaning field. In addition, Getz, who serves on the IKECA board of directors, reports, "A new program which will be available this fall at the IKECA Technical Program in Dallas, Texas, will be an inspectors certification program, as required in Paragraph 8-3.1.

    Education provided by such training and certification programs may very well be the most important tool a kitchen exhaust cleaner can have. When asked what equipment is necessary to get started with this type of work, Jarvis wisely notes, "The biggest thing in my mind is training. Anybody can go out and buy a pressure cleaner. They don’t necessarily know how to clean hoods. As far as equipment goes, it doesn’t take a lot — you get a pressure cleaner, some wands, plastic and a mop bucket, and you can clean a hood. Whether it’s cleaned correctly or not is another thing."

    But with a little training and education under your belt, you’re ready to get started with just your basic equipment. However, "basic" can get a little complex, depending on the circumstances of each job. Getz explains, "The basic equipment needed to clean kitchen exhaust systems can be extensive and expensive depending upon the size and types of kitchen hoods and exhaust systems that you decide to clean. For example, if you market yourselves into the large hotel business, a lot of times they will have multiple floors, large exhaust ducts which require the OSHA approved devices to lower technicians into the duct work in order to properly clean the inside of the duct. This equipment can be expensive and a lot of training is necessary." Getz advises the use of a hot water pressure washer with ratings of approximately 3000 psi at 5 gpm, which range in cost from $4000 to $7000. In addition to a pressure washer, necessary equipment includes ladders, tools and other miscellaneous equipment —the cost of which totals approximately $12,000, plus vehicle costs. (Reference the Exhaust Cleaning chapter in the Power Washer’s Guidebook for a complete listing of necessary equipment).

    Chemicals are also an important tool in cleaning an exhaust system. There is a variety available, many specially formulated according to the severity of the grease buildup. Cardinal Chemical, a chemical manufacturer in Toledo, Ohio, actually makes a product that can be used for applications such as flatwork cleaning in parking lots and drive thrus, as well as any type of exhaust cleaning, including the tough buildup found in the kitchens of Chinese food restaurants. This could be useful for those interested in performing as many applications as possible at one location.

    As was mentioned earlier, one type of grease that is particularly difficult to remove is that found in the exhaust systems of Chinese food restaurants. Manning explains, "I think the primary reason that grease from Chinese food cooking is so difficult to remove is because the woks that they use [to cook with] are very hot. They probably cook at a higher temperature than what normal grills cook at. So, the heat generated and the vapor from the oils will rise and that causes it to accumulate on the hoods and the vents. And then, based on the heat, it will adhere just like glue."

    There are products available that will cut through this tough Chinese grease, and those exhaust cleaners who are willing to tackle the job can end up reaping great financial rewards. Don McGraw of Cardinal Chemical explains, "Chinese oil is something that a lot of kitchen exhaust cleaners avoid. The guys that are able to do that type of job pretty much have the corner on the market because a lot of the other exhaust cleaners don’t want to do it." Other types of restaurants may also experience more grease buildup than will others, depending on what is being cooked and the temperature that it is being cooked at.

    Because many of these chemicals are caustic (meaning they will burn skin), it is important to wear protective clothing, including (at the very minimum) rubber gloves, chemical safety goggles and shoes with rubber soles. Jarvis notes, "We wear chemical resistant wet-type rain suits, hard hats with full face shields and chemical resistant gloves to keep the chemicals off of our workers, as well."

    The Process

    There are certain steps to be followed in the process of cleaning a kitchen exhaust system. Jarvis explains that when they first arrive on a job site, the first thing they do is check in with the management, letting them know that they’re there and ready to begin working. After they take all of their equipment out of the van and get their hoses stretched out, they go inside the building to move all the appliances, if possible. If it is not possible to move the appliances, then plastic sheeting is used to cover all the remaining exposed surfaces. This protects surfaces from overspray — many of the chemicals used in the cleaning process are not safe for surfaces other than stainless steel of which most systems are constructed.

    The next step is to set up a funneling system, which funnels wash water into big trashcans. The trashcans are then taken and dumped into the grease traps. Since the water doesn’t leave the building, it does not have to recycled as long as it is disposed of in a sanitary sewer, the contents of which will eventually be treated. Getz notes, "Depending upon the geographical location of your market, different states and communities are more strict with environmental concerns with any type of pressure washing. It is our policy to dump any grease deposits and the wash water into the customer’s drain, which goes through their grease trap. However, each individual company should check their local community’s requirements through their sanitary district or EPA for their particular regulations."

    The next step in the kitchen exhaust cleaning process is to go up onto the roof where the fan is taken apart and sprayed with chemical. After the chemical has been given time to penetrate, the fans are cleaned, and the ductwork is cleaned down to the bare metal. While one person is on the roof cleaning, another person remains inside to monitor the funnels — ready with a wet vac in case the funnels happen to break. Once the roof is clean, all come inside to clean the inside of the hood, after which one person takes the filters outside to clean and another remains inside to remove the plastic coverings and to take care of any water that was captured. That same person will also wipe down and dry the hood and clean any areas that could not be reached with the pressure washer. A stainless steel polish is then used to shine the hood. The final step is to uncover the appliances, remove the plastic from the building and mop the floor to clean up any overspray.

    The entire process can take from three to five hours for a two-man team to complete, with set up being the most time consuming part of the process. However, some time can be saved, according to Kallhoff, by arranging a filter exchange program with the customer. With the filter exchange service, the filters are removed and replaced by clean ones instead of being cleaned on-site. He says, "You take the old filters back to the shop and soak them in the dip tank. You then bring back the clean filters, take back the old ones, reversing the process. That seems to save a lot of time."

    Hazards and Safety

    In addition to the potential fire hazards involved with kitchen exhaust cleaning, there are other dangers and precautions that must be taken. One of the most obvious is the threat of electric shock that exists any time water and electricity enter the same environment. In kitchen exhaust systems, most of the hoods have lights in them and there is electricity that goes through the fans. To prevent electric shock, Jarvis explains that he actually places a locking mechanism over the electric breaker that controls the hood switch. This prevents the switch from being accidentally flipped back on — the person who placed the lock is the only one who can remove it.

    Another hazard exists because of the work that must be performed on rooftops, with the danger of falling off. To prevent ladders from tipping over, Kallhoff recommends securing the ladder with a rope or bungee cord to a fixed object on the building. Ladders that aren’t cleaned on a regular basis may also pose a risk. There is also the possibility that fans will tip over and pull wires out. To prevent this, a fan hinge kit can be installed by the business owner. Appliances, as well as cleaning inside the hood, may also present hazardous situations. Getz says, "A fire retardant treated plywood may be required to cover the appliances in order to stand on the appliance to properly clean the inside of the hood." Care should also be taken not to accidentally step into the hot oil of the deep fat fryer, and technicians should be conscious of the possibility that the appliances haven’t cooled sufficiently to the touch by the time they start the job. Also, hazards are to be noted if it is required that technicians be lowered into the ductwork.

    Working outside can also bring on some dangers. Common sense must be practiced when working in extreme cold, heat or stormy conditions.

    Opportunities Abound

    With the number of restaurants and other kitchen facilities growing by the day, the opportunity for kitchen exhaust cleaners is growing, as well. But others in the industry can also benefit from the growth. Distributors looking for new products to add to their lines should consider taking on chemicals and other products specific to kitchen exhaust cleaning. There certainly seems to be enough opportunity to go around in this expanding pressure washing sub-market.

    For more information on opportunities and training in kitchen exhaust cleaning, contact the International Kitchen Exhaust Cleaners Association (IKECA) at 312-923-8500 or the Power Washers of North America (PWNA) at 800-393-7962.










    Most Recent Advertisers
    SCHIEFFER CO INTERNATIONAL
    GREAT LAKES EGLINTON
    A.O. SMITH
    BE PRESSURE SUPPLY
    GENERAL PUMP
    HOTSY - C-TECH
    HYDRAMOTION CLEANING SYSTEMS
    JTI TRADE INC
    KEYSTONE CLEAN-X
    MI-T-M CORPORATION
    Thanks for supporting CT!
    Complete Listing


    Ejoy and good luck hope this help all of you in some way
    Marko

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