Frequently Asked Questions About Our Services

Question 1: Why is cleaning the entire kitchen exhaust system important?

Answer:  Cleaning the entire system is important because flammable substances like grease can contaminate ductwork throughout the system. Maintaining a clean kitchen exhaust system free of grease is a risk mitigation strategy. Exhaust systems are designed to contain a fire for 1 – 2 hours, depending on the size of the building and local fire codes. Thus, the amount of grease build-up that is acceptable and not considered a major fire safety hazard can be traced back to the amount of time it would take the grease build-up to burn off throughout the entire system. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Standard 96 is the governing body for kitchen exhaust cleaning frequencies and provides a guide for determining the acceptable number of days a system can go between cleanings. The BARE METAL STANDARD® Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Service process sets each of your systems on a predictable rotating cleaning schedule. Upon the completion of each service cleaning, the risk is thus mitigated (cleaned).

Consult your local BARE METAL STANDARD® office to receive additional information on your kitchen exhaust system and how we can help keep it up to code and fire safe.

Question 2: What exactly do you clean during a typical job?

Answer: The BARE METAL STANDARD® cleaning process is specially designed to clean grease out of the interior of exhaust systems. This includes the vent hoods from the filter tray up to the plenum and into the connecting ductwork. Some systems have minimal amounts of ductwork, creating a simple system to service. However, the exact same hood installed in a different building could have extensive lengths of ductwork. In both cases, the complete system would be the hood, all connecting ductwork included, and the fan. The pricing would then be different due to the large difference in connecting ductwork. The most challenging prospect when investigating a system, one which we are specially trained to discover and explain, is the complexity of an exhaust system usually hidden from view. After all, when standing in two example kitchens, they can have identical canopies (hoods) and identical cooking equipment under them but have vastly different duct lengths. Everyone can agree that cleaning one 3-foot duct is very different from cleaning one 172-foot duct with multiple twists and turns.

Question 3: How often does my system need to be cleaned?

Answer: There are 5 influencers to this question:

  1. Insurance requirements (guidance from NFPA 96 Chapter 11)
  2. Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) enforcement procedures (guidance from portions of NFPA 96 that have been adopted by the AHJ’s)
  3. Type of cooking equipment
  4. Your menu and cooking times
  5. Design of the grease exhaust system

The key to answering this question is to work closely with your BARE METAL STANDARD® service professionals. As a guideline for the minimum cleaning frequencies you can reference NFPA 96 Table 11.4: Schedule of Inspection for Grease Buildup.

Table 11.4 Schedule of Inspection for Grease Buildup

Type or Volume of Cooking

Inspection Frequency

Systems serving solid fuel cooking operations

Monthly

Systems serving high-volume cooking operations, such as 24-hour cooking, charbroiling, or wok cooking

Quarterly

Systems serving low-volume cooking operations

Semiannually

Systems serving low-volume cooking operations, such as churches, day camps, seasonal businesses, or senior lefts

Annually

In kitchens with multiple and independent kitchen exhaust systems, it is common to have each system on its own cleaning schedule. For example, a steam hood will have a different rotation than a broiler. However, a solid fuel broiler will have a different rotation than a gas fired broiler.

*If your kitchen exhaust service company is not asking you questions about your menu, kitchen design, and insurance requirements, you may not be getting the coverage necessary to remain in compliance with the AHJ and/or your insurance carrier. Don’t let noncompliance result in fines and/or uncovered losses.

Question 4: Will I need to schedule each appointment for cleaning?

Answer: We know that our customers have a business to run, so we’ve invested in developing scheduling software that allows our BARE METAL STANDARD® professionals to proactively contact each customer prior to their recurring service dates. This means that your BARE METAL STANDARD® service professionals are notified of upcoming cleaning dates and we will contact you – prior to the due date – to set-up an acceptable time for service.

Additionally, our scheduling software records your service history for you. You can always request this information from your BARE METAL STANDARD® service professional and then give it to your insurance company and/or your AHJ. Below you’ll find the recommended cleaning schedule, according NFPA 96.

Table 11.4 Schedule of Inspection for Grease Buildup

Type or Volume of Cooking

Inspection Frequency

Systems serving solid fuel cooking operations

Monthly

Systems serving high-volume cooking operations, such as 24-hour cooking, charbroiling, or wok cooking

Quarterly

Systems serving low-volume cooking operations

Semiannually

Systems serving low-volume cooking operations, such as churches, day camps, seasonal businesses, or senior lefts

Annually

Question 5: Will the rest of my kitchen be left clean?

Answer: Your kitchen will be returned to you in the condition we received it. Our BARE METAL STANDARD® service professionals will be trained and provided with the tools necessary to contain all of our cleaning activity. Our policy is to cover up all of your work surfaces, mop our footprints out and leave filters in the negotiated location. (Filters may or may not be cleaned depending on the SOW agreement between the BARE METAL STANDARD® service professional and each customer).