Kitchen Vent Hood Cleaning: Doing it Right

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As important as cleaning your restaurant’s Kitchen vent hood system is, it’s important to know how it’s done properly. Hiring the wrong contractor to maintain your vent hood system could result in failing a fire marshal’s inspection and costly down-time. At quest, we take the time to vet and research each of our subcontractors to ensure that they are doing the job correctly and in accordance to NFPA 96.

The process for a PROPER vent hood cleaning is as follows:

1. Prep

After all pilot lights and gas valves for the cooking equipment are turned off, plastic sheeting is used to cover all equipment to protect it from run-off and the degreasing chemicals.

2. Cleaning the Baffle Filters

The baffle filters of the vent hood are removed and either set aside for power washing or placed in a soaking solution to break up any grease buildup. This allows full access to the vent hood system.

3. Wrap the Hoods

The hoods are wrapped with plastic sheeting and formed into a funnel so that the runoff from the cleaning process can be collected in a container.

4. Cleaning the Fans

The Hood fans are power washed with a degreasing chemical and then rinsed with hot water. This process is repeated until the fans are completely cleaned down to the bare metal. If required, the fan’s belt is also replaced.

5. Scraping the Ducts

Before the ducts are washed and rinsed in the same fashion the fans are, they are first scraped to remove any hardened grease deposits. This process is done just like the fans: down to the bare metal.

6. Washing the Roof

After the ducts and fans are completely cleaned and have been inspected, the roof is lightly power washed to remove any debris or grease from the process of cleaning the fans.

7. Cleaning the Hood

The vent hood is manually scraped to loosen any hardened grease buildup and is then sprayed with a degreasing chemical and rinsed with hot water. This process is repeated until the vent hoods are completely clean.

8. Re-Installing the Baffle Filters

Once the baffle filters have been soaked and/or power washed, they are rinsed with hot water and reinstalled into the vent hood. They vent hood is then wiped down and polished.

9. Inspection

The crew manager should inspect the entire system from rooftop to vent hood to ensure that every aspect of your ventilation system is clean and re-assembled properly.

10. Cleanup

After the system is confirmed as clean by the crew manager, all of the plastic sheeting is removed, and the floors of the kitchen are mopped. All equipment is wiped down and the kitchen is left as clean if not cleaner that when the crew started.

11. Certification

The final step in the cleaning process is the application of the certification sticker. This sticker is required by law to show fire inspectors, the health department, and insurance agents that the system was cleaned by a certified professional, and within the timeframe that is set by NFPA 96.
The process of cleaning the vent hood system in your restaurant is critical to keeping your locations safe. It is important to find a vendor that is certified by the NFPA and that will do the job thoroughly and correctly. This is why Quest takes to time to find only the best contractors so that you can rest assured that the cleaning is top-notch and on time. Also, keep in mind that we manage the entire process, including:

  • Scheduling your kitchen vent hood cleaning.
  • Reminding your staff of upcoming cleaning appointments
  • Making sure the cleaning is done to NFPA 96 standards
  • Providing detailed reports of the cleaning, along with a list of any parts that were replaced.
  • Scheduling your next cleaning based on the NFPA 96 requirements.
  • One simple invoice for all of your locations.

When the safety and performance of your restaurant matters, contact Quest to manage your vent hood cleaning program.

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