Cleaning your vent hood by yourself vs. hiring professionals: what’s best?

Vent hood cleaning is a necessary part of the overall kitchen hygiene. Whether is performed by your staff, yourself or hired professionals, a frequent, thorough cleaning in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association specifications is mandatory for numerous reasons, some of which are:

  • Neglecting the kitchen’s maintenance may incur penalties and expensive fines. It’s not only risky for your employees and guests but can also cause your license to be suspended.
  • The buildup grease in vent hoods and exhaust systems is a fire hazard. Grease fires endanger the life of staff and clients as well as cause material losses that can be very expensive.
  • Having a clean kitchen helps you save money. Like avoiding fines and even closures wasn’t enough, keeping the exhaust systems clean also increases the life of its components and saves you from buying costly replacements or making long time repairs.
  • Letting the grease build up can lead to blockages and damage to components.

So, letting the grease build up is not a very good option. The next step is to choose between doing the hard work manually or hiring a professional company to do it for you.

Here’s a list of everything you have to do if you choose to do your vent hood maintenance manually:

  • Prepare your kitchen: turn off all valves, electric appliances and clear your area of work as much as possible. This is a dirty job, so you’ll need to cover every surface with plastic sheets and be prepared to have grease spills all over the place. Be careful not to fall. You’ll also need to find degreaser products potent enough for the task, and be ready to put some elbow grease into scrubbing. Remember your personal protection equipment because these products can be very irritating.
  • Remove and clean filters: especially dirty filters must need to be left soaked overnight in water and degreaser concentrate and then scrubbed with non-abrasive pads or brushes.
  • Clean grease traps: this part can be very messy. The collected must be poured into a separate container and discarded safely. It must not be dumped into the drain –this can lead to blockages. Then every component must be scrubbed and thoroughly cleaned with degreaser solution. These traps are often very big and difficult to handle by yourself and might need to soak overnight just like the filters.
  • Clean fans and blades: removing these components need some unscrewing and patience. After you’ve done it, gently scrub them and clean them with degreaser solution. They might need soaking as well.
  • Clean all the ducts: depending on the size of your kitchen exhaust system, this might be the most tedious part of the job. Using the same degreaser solution, non-abrasive pads or brushes and without forgetting your personal protection equipment, start to scrub the inside and outside of the ducts. Duct access doors might be very helpful to complete this task.

Hours later, when everything’s finally clean and dry –and given all screws are found after this whole ordeal- you can finally reassemble the system. Hopefully, you won’t have to replace or repair any component. Remembering the exact order of reassembling might be tricky, so taking pictures or even recording the process could help a lot.

Now you can finally throw yourself into bed and rest for a week, and chances are you won’t schedule another cleaning any time soon, however you should know about the consequences of inappropriate Vent Hood Cleaning here.

What are the advantages of hiring a company like ProTech?

As an established and experienced company, we offer a range of services in Houston that include:

  • Commercial vent hood cleaning
  • Commercial restaurant equipment cleaning
  • Pressure washing
  • Commercial oven cleaning services
  • Grease trap and dumpster area cleaning
  • Duct access panel installation
  • And other facility solutions

As you see, we’re taking care of everything for you. Rest assured regarding the pricing of the commercial restaurant equipment cleaning services as we charge competitively. Save yourself the time, effort and possible mishaps in the making.

We have a long list of satisfied clients that have taken our annual maintenance programs. You don’t even have to schedule or call us for routine cleaning as we have an automatic scheduling system. However, we are always available for emergencies or specific cleaning requirements. Trust us for all types of commercial kitchen cleaning services in Houston and let our work speak for ourselves.

Consequences of inappropriate Vent Hood Cleaning

Among all the responsibilities a commercial kitchen entails, it’s easy to overlook the maintenance of the exhaust system. It requires periodic maintenance, but depending on its use, you might not look at it twice in days or even weeks. The vent hood, pipes and exhaust fans are very gradually getting a coat of grease, which represents a risk of fire that endangers the life of customers and employees and could possibly lead to very expensive material losses, all this caused by inappropriate Vent Hood Cleaning.

A grease fire can wreak havoc in a kitchen unexpectedly and without warning. If a collection of oil or grease on a stove is left unattended, or if your vent hood is not properly cleaned, it could heat up rapidly and ignite. Because grease and oil are very mobile this type of fire is exceptionally dangerous, causing the fire to spread quickly throughout the kitchen.

Astonishingly, if you try to use water to put out the fire, you will only add to the problem as water causes droplets of grease to splash and move around further. Also, because your exhaust system hood fans are drawing air out of the kitchen and up to your roof, this will also aid the fire in climbing through your duct work. Moreover, if your exhaust system[R1]  is not being cleaned regularly to NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) 96 standards, this will speed up the fire spreading process significantly and chances are, the Fire Department will not be able to put out the fire in time to salvage your facility.

So what is the best way to prevent a grease fire and an inappropriate Vent Hood Cleaning ?

The most important thing you can do to prevent a grease fire is to train your employees to fully monitor any grease or oil that is being heated at all times and make sure all surfaces in your kitchen are free of grease, especially your vent hood and exhaust system.

According to the NFPA, inappropriate vent hood cleaning is the leading cause of fire in the kitchen. Staying by the fryer or grill is key. Heat oil slowly, as oil heats up rapidly and can burst into flames when over-heated, and always make sure other liquids or grease are not sitting close to the stove, grill, or fryer.

If a grease fire does occur, what are the best steps in putting it out?

Always have a fire drill plan in place and train employees to react immediately. Assign specific responsibilities to each of your employees. Although carefully coordinated and timely response by your employees can put out grease fires, remember that safety comes first. Never put yourself in danger and always evacuate the area if there is even the slightest doubt in mind.

  1. Remind your employees never to use water to put out a grease fire.
  2. Call 911 immediately. Do not wait to see if you can handle the fire on your own. It is always better safe than sorry.
  3. Turn off your exhaust system fans if you are able to do so. Make sure your employees are aware of how to turn them off.
  4. Attempt to smother a grease fire with a pan lid. Be careful with glass lids as they may shatter from the heat of an open flame.
  5. If the pan lid does not work, smother the fire with baking soda. It will probably take large amounts of baking soda to quench a raging fire.
  6. Use a fire extinguisher only as a last resort as they may contaminate your kitchen and food. You may find Class K fire extinguishers specially used for grease fires at commercial kitchen supply depots.

Prevention will always be the best way to avoid this terrible experience. Making sure all your kitchen surfaces are free of grease is a taxing task that is best performed by professionals. It will save you time and effort and will guarantee a flawless job.

Check out ProTech Vent Hood Cleaning services. We have over 35 years of experience in the field. Our experts will take care of all the exhaust systems with impeccable results. Stop the consecuences of inappropriate Vent Hood Cleaning, learn here why you should choose professionals for restaurant hood cleaning. Our 24/7 response team will be happy to help, just contact us.

How to Properly Clean your Kitchen’s Vent Hood

In order to be efficient, employees must be able to make the most out of their kitchen equipment. That means working with clean, well-maintained and perfectly functional appliances, which in turn means reducing to the minimum the risk of accumulated grease to become an extreme fire hazard and pass with flying colors and excellent scores every restaurant inspection.

By performing a kitchen exhaust cleaning or vent hood cleaning, the goal is to remove all the grease that has accumulated in ducts, hoods, fans and vents. How often is necessary to perform a thorough cleaning of your kitchen’s exhaust system? It depends on the type of cooking and the volume your restaurant produces, being fast-food restaurants with long hours of cooking as the ones that require the most frequent cleaning. Frequent inspections are therefore necessary to determine the right time to clean the system. Common cleaning intervals are monthly, every two months, quarterly, semiannually and annually, but it ultimately depends on usage to determine the amount of grease before it gets to accumulate and poses a threat to the employees’ safety.

Kitchen Vent Hood cleaning process

The cleaning process that we follow at ProTech is exhaustive and thorough, and it’s divided in several phases:

Preparation: All gas valves and pilot lights are shut off before we start any work. The vent hoods are wrapped in plastic and a funnel is created to allow the flow of greasy fluids into a bin. Plastic sheets are wrapped on all equipment to prevent any grease splatter during the cleaning process. Baffle filters are removed so that the exhaust ducts can be accessed. Once everything’s in place, we begin the cleaning process.

Servicing: The practices we follow in the vent hood cleaning process are outlined in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the organization that creates and confirms abidance of the standards for fire prevention in the United States of America.
The exhaust system components are sprayed and rinsed many times to ensure that they are thoroughly clean. Cleaning agents are sprayed on the blades of the exhaust fans so that the excess grease dissolves. These are then rinsed in hot water. The process is repeated with the ducts and other parts to ensure thorough cleaning.
Different methods of cleaning can be applied to the filters: they can be scraped, cleaned by hand using hot-water pressure washing, using a high-temperature industrial dishwasher, or soaked overnight. Food-safe caustic chemicals are used to dissolve the grease and are thoroughly rinsed out after the cleaning process. Our teams will always check the manufacturer’s recommendations of your filter to ensure proper cleaning without deterioration of its components -some cleaning agents may affect filters made with special materials, such as galvanized steel or aluminum, which in turn lead to discoloration or corrosion-.

Clean-up: Once all the components are cleansed, we ensure that the floors, countertops and other areas are also thoroughly cleaned. We dry out the equipment and reinstall every component. Our technicians will leave your facility only when everything is in order and you are satisfied with the service.

Check out ProTech Vent Hood Cleaning services. We have over 35 years of experience working with restaurants, restaurant chains, hotels ans school disctricts across the state of Texas. Our experts will take care of all the exhaust systems with impeccable results. Our 24/7 response team will be happy to help, just contact us. Hood vent cleaning in Texas now!

Choosing the right Vent Hood Cleaning Service

You are taking a big chance with your commercial kitchen if you have not got the exhaust hoods cleaned in a long time. keeping the commercial kitchen, whether it is that of a restaurant, hotel, school, office or shopping facility, clean is very essential to prevent any fire mishaps.

Grease buildup in the exhaust hood and the ducts increases with time and can lead to blockages. This is not only risky for your employees and guests but can also cause your license to be suspended.

Further, cleaning the fan filter would prove to be a herculean task and might require expensive replacement.

Are you looking for the best company for vent hood cleaning in Houston? We at ProTech Restoration should be your first choice when it comes to getting the exhaust hoods and the commercial kitchen equipment cleaned. And if you’re still hesitant, learn why choose professionals for restaurant hood cleaning.

What do we offer?

As an established and experienced company, we offer a range of services that include:

  • Commercial vent hood cleaning
  • Commercial restaurant equipment cleaning
  • Pressure washing
  • Commercial oven cleaning services
  • Grease trap and dumpster area cleaning
  • Duct access panel installation

We understand that no two commercial facilities are the same. The techniques and equipment for commercial vent hood cleaning might differ with the type and size of the facility. For this reason, we provide customized services.

Rest assured regarding the pricing of the commercial restaurant equipment cleaning services as we charge competitively.

Why choose us?

When looking for the best commercial kitchen exhaust hood cleaning Houston, you might like to go through the following checklist to ensure that you are making the right choice.

Contractor Details

  • Qualification of the company and the technicians
  • Experience of the company in the industry
  • Other clients
  • Provision of service certificate by the company
  • Provision of reports regarding mechanical issues, safety concerns, accessibility issues and cleanliness

It is not a surprise to know that we are the ideal company for the required cleaning services in Texas as we qualify on all these aspects. We are well experienced, have the best trained and skilled technicians and we have the license and certification to provide cleaning services as per the NFPA standards.

We have a long list of satisfied clients that have taken our annual maintenance programs. They need not schedule or call us for routine cleaning as we have an automatic scheduling system. However, we are always available for emergencies or specific cleaning requirements.

How often should a restaurant kitchen be cleaned?

The choice of the best company for kitchen hood cleaning also depends upon the usage of the kitchen. A kitchen that is always too busy will require cleaning too often as compared to one that is not as busy. The volume of food prepared in the kitchen will also be a factor to consider when looking for the ideal exhaust hood and equipment cleaning company.

We will schedule your cleaning service as required by your facility. Trust us for all types of commercial kitchen cleaning services in Houston and you will never regret your decision. Contact us now and schedule an appointment with one of our pros.

How to put out a Grease Fire

By Venecia Malagon

February 10, 2010

A Grease fire can wreak havoc in a kitchen unexpectedly and without warning. If a collection of oil or grease on a stove is left unattended, it could heat up rapidly and ignite. Because grease and oil are very mobile this type of fire is exceptionally dangerous causing the fire to spread quickly throughout the kitchen.

Astonishingly, when your ancillary system (safety sprinklers) are engaged during a grease fire,  they will only add to the problem as water causes grease fires to splash and move around further.  Also, because your exhaust system hood fans are drawing air out of the kitchen and up to your roof, this will also aid the fire in climbing through your duct work. Moreover, if your kitchen exhaust system is not being cleaned regularly to NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) 96 standards, this will speed up the fire spreading process significantly and chances are, the Fire Department will not be able to put out the fire in time to salvage your facility.

So what is the best way to prevent a grease fire?

The most important thing you can do to prevent a grease fire is to train your employees to fully monitor any grease or oil that is being heated at all times. According to the NFPA, unattended cooking is the leading cause of fire in the kitchen. Staying by the fryer or grill is key.

  1. Heat oil slowly. Oil heats up rapidly and can burst into flames when over-heated.
  2. Make sure other liquids are not sitting close to the stove, grill, or fryer

If a grease fire does occur, what are the best steps in putting it out?

Always have a fire drill plan in place and train employees to react immediately.  Assign specific responsibilities to each of your employees. Although carefully coordinated and timely response by your employees can put out grease fires, remember that safety comes first. Never put yourself in danger and always evacuate the area if there is even the slightest doubt in mind.

  1. Remind your employees never to use water to put out a grease fire.
  2. Call 911 immediately. Do not wait to see if you can handle the fire on your own. It is always better safe than sorry.
  3. Turn off your exhaust system fans if you are able to do so. Make sure your employees are aware of how to turn them off.
  4. Attempt to smother the grease fire with a pan lid. Be careful with glass lids as they may shatter from the heat of an open flame.
  5. If the pan lid does not work, smother the fire with baking soda. It will probably take large amounts of baking soda to quench a raging fire.
  6. Use a fire extinguisher only as a last resort as they may contaminate your kitchen and food. You may find Class K fire extinguishers specially used for grease fires at commercial kitchen supply depot.

 

To avoid any grease fire and keep your exhaust system cleaned regularly to NFPA, hire our Exhaust Vent Hood Cleaning services in Texas and our technicians will keep your commercial kitchen cleaned! Our 24/7 response team will be happy to help, just contact us.

Why Choose Professionals for Restaurant Hood Cleaning?

Owning a restaurant in Texas or any place entails a lot of responsibilities. Ensuring that every surface, appliance and utensil is clean and every step of the preparation of food follows food safety regulations is one of the most important ones. These norms are meant for the security of employees and guests, and are mandatory to stay in business. Ignoring or overlooking these norms can be costly, resulting in penalties from the pertinent authorities and expensive fines. This information about your restaurant’s safety standards can also be known by the public and tarnish the reputation of your restaurant. Therefore, a restaurant owner should spare no efforts in cleaning.  

Some areas of the kitchen prove to be more troublesome than others, such as the vent hoods. It is not only mandatory to keep the exhaust hoods clean at all times by the authorities, but it’s a trademark of good restaurant management and practices.

Why is regular kitchen hood cleaning necessary?

Preparation of food involves the release of greasy particles in the air along with smoke and vapors all over the kitchen. Over a period of time, these particles and vapors settle on the vents, hoods and other parts of the ventilation system.

Improper cleaning or cleaning after prolonged intervals can result in the blockage of the vents and hoods. This blockage will then prevent further exhaustion of the fumes released during cooking. The blockage can then lead to kitchen fires that can spread rapidly to other parts of the restaurant. The presence of inflammable materials like cooking oils, gas, furniture and upholstery can trigger and spread the fire very quickly. Regular cleaning is essential to ensure that there is no grease buildup in the vents and hoods of the kitchen ventilation system.

 

Why choose a professional hood cleaning service?

This task proves to be a challenge if grease has already built upon the structure, to the point it might not be enough with regular efforts to clean it up.

The best option is to choose an experienced company like ProTech to do this task for you, with results that far exceed those achievable by standard cleaning. This is possible because professional cleaning does not only have the expertise but also the equipment necessary to perfectly clean the ventilation system. 

The ProTech Restoration team is qualified and experienced. You can trust our team of well-trained and skilled technicians to assess all the details while providing cleaning services across the state of Texas.

Other reasons to choose us include:

  •     Timely services
  •     Convenient schedules
  •     Reasonable pricing
  •     Use of the latest cleaning equipment and techniques
  •     Cleaning as per the NFPA standards
  •     Provision of emergency services

Services we offer to Restaurants, Restaurant Chains, Hotels, and School Districts:

  • Kitchen exhaust vent hood cleaning
  • Kitchen equipment and floor cleaning services
  • Exhaust fan kit installation services
  • Duct access panel installation
  • Concrete deep steam pressure washing
  • Grease trap and dumpster area cleaning services
  • Grease containment system and services
  • Commercial oven cleaning services

 

Give us a call and let our work speak for ourselves.