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What to Know About Commercial Kitchen Hood Cleaning in Québec, Canada?

Marie France
What to Know About Commercial Kitchen Hood Cleaning in Québec, Canada?

Kitchen hood systems have a crucial role to play in your commercial kitchen. They pull away smoke, heat, and odour from the cooking area and surfaces. They keep the employees safe by creating a comfortable environment. Over time, greasy build-up inside the hoods and ductwork can slow down the removal of smoke and create a safety risk. This is why periodic, professional commercial kitchen hood cleaning is important. 


Importance of Commercial Kitchen Vent Cleaning

Restaurant businesses are required to have an oven and commercial range hoods to vent smoke and grease, and the steam and heat produced by the dishwasher. The maintenance regulations can vary based on the type of equipment you have and the way and frequency of their usage. The cleaning and disinfecting procedure and schedule should be customized to the type of equipment and its use. 


It is important to carefully follow the recommended frequency for cleaning the system. Timely, professional commercial range hood cleaning and maintenance will help limit steam, odours, and grease. This will also help reduce the risk of fire and the spread of mould and mildew, and bacteria. Food safety depends a lot on the proper cleanliness and maintenance of the equipment used in your kitchen.


Protecting your restaurant business, employees, and customers against this safety hazard requires regular and careful kitchen exhaust cleaning. This requires cleaning the exhaust hood, ductwork, and exhaust hood filters. The build-up of grease inside the hood duct system is one of the most common causes of fires in restaurants. Timely and professional cleaning and maintenance can significantly reduce the chances of fire.


Besides these benefits, regular commercial kitchen hood cleaning should also help lower your insurance premiums. Regular and proper cleaning by professionals reduces risks and the need for more frequent repairs. Insurance companies require that commercial kitchens comply with all the relevant fire safety codes.


NFPA Requirements for Commercial Kitchen Hood Cleaning

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards clearly lay down the requirement of professional commercial kitchen exhaust cleaning. When you fail to meet these requirements, you are increasing the chances of fire and your business facing a big penalty. In some cases, it is also likely that your food business may be shut down until you address the requirements.


The requirements and best practices for exhaust hood cleaning have been clearly mentioned in NFPA 96. These guidelines also mention the frequency of cleaning for different types of kitchens. It is important that your business adheres to the following schedule based on the type of kitchen you have and its applications:

  • Monthly: If your kitchen systems involve solid fuel-based cooking, it will require monthly hood cleaning. For example, if you have cooking operations involving a lava stone grill, there should be monthly inspection and maintenance of all the cooking operations.
  • Quarterly: If your kitchen involves high-volume operations, including 24-hour cooking, wok cooking, or charbroiling, it will need quarterly hood cleaning. This also includes cooking operations for long-term care facilities and hospitals.
  • Semi-Annually: If your kitchen serves moderate volume cooking, it will need semi-annual vent hood cleaning. Such cooking operations usually take place just once or twice a week.
  • Annually: If your kitchen involves low-volume cooking, such as for seasonal businesses, churches, and day camps, it may require no more than annual cleaning. This also includes examples such as kitchens for senior recreation centers and summer camps.


Typically, employees are expected to keep the exterior surfaces of the exhaust hoods clean. This should be done as part of your normal hood cleaning process. The comprehensive cleaning process under NFPA must be handled by licensed and trained kitchen exhaust cleaning experts. 


Why You Need Professional Restaurant Kitchen Hood Cleaning?

Comfort and hygiene are the most important factors in any kitchen. The importance of comfort is even greater in commercial kitchens where cooking takes place at a much larger and more frequent scale. Commercial kitchen hoods build up grease at a much faster rate than their residential counterparts. Besides, these hoods tend to build thicker layers of grease and smoke inside. All this requires commercial-grade restaurant hood cleaning.


Professional commercial kitchen hood cleaning helps provide the following results:

  • Blocking unpleasant odours
  • Improving the circulation of steam through range hoods
  • Preventing the staining of your ceilings and walls


Professionals can provide a more thorough cleaning job, something your employees can never do on their own. They will clean the hood from the rooftop. The hot water is heated to advanced temperatures to achieve more effective results while the work is done on a schedule that is convenient to you.


You should choose a hood-cleaning expert certified by the NFPA. They must have a RBQ license and should provide you with a certificate of compliance for insurance needs during each visit.


The NFPA has laid down guidelines to prevent fire hazards that can result in injury, losses, or death. It sets standards and codes to help in fighting fire hazards. The ideal commercial kitchen exhaust cleaning service should use biodegradable degreasers that conform to environmental regulations.


The Process of Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning

Once you hire the services of a commercial kitchen hood cleaning company, you should expect them to follow a strict procedure in accordance with the guidelines mentioned above. The main steps involved in the process are as follows:

  • Preliminary inspection of your kitchen hood system and make-up air unit
  • Installing plastic films perimeter to keep the hood environment safe
  • Taking measures to protect the surrounding electrical outlets
  • If required, lubricating the fan motor nuts
  • If required, changing the belt
  • Visually inspecting the ducts for tightness and emptiness
  • Conducting hot water pressure wash
  • Degreasing the filter
  • Degreasing and stripping the extraction turbine and fan, extraction tube, and range hood interior 
  • Degreasing and polishing the exterior of the range hood
  • Removing the protective plastic films for disposing of in landfill
  • Reinstalling clean filters
  • Restoring your premises to the same or even better condition
  • Providing NFPA certificate of compliance


The certificate shows the company name, the certified personnel that performed the works, and the date of cleaning for each hood. While the above-mentioned list provides an overall picture of what you should expect your commercial kitchen hood cleaning company to do, the scope of the work includes the following steps:

  • The hoods are disassembled, cleaned, and degreased. This includes all the different parts including hood filter tracts, removable grease cups, and grease troughs.
  • The roof and/or wall-mounted fans are removed from the ductwork for degreasing the blades, base, and shroud.
  • The exhaust fans are inspected for loose or worn-out fan belts.
  • All hood filters, parts, and accessories are cleaned, degreased, and replaced, if required.
  • All the accessible parts of the ductwork are cleaned.
  • Food-safe polish is applied to the ductwork.
  • All the affected areas are then carefully cleaned.


All this is followed by providing a detailed report of all the restaurant hood cleaning works completed and any deficiencies in your exhaust system. The report can also include any suggestions for addressing any issues.


Duct access doors allow the experts to conduct a thorough cleaning of the exhaust systems. These experts have in-depth knowledge and understanding of the NFPA requirements. They can assist you in ensuring your equipment functions properly, stays up-to-date, and meet all the compliance requirements.


Requirements for Cleaning Commercial Kitchen Hoods

Besides the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards, health and safety standards for food service businesses require that the entire hood assembly is cleaned thoroughly and regularly. Manufacturers suggest cleaning the filters and exteriors of the hoods at least once per week to enable the system to work at its optimal efficiency. It is common for businesses to neglect filters, but proper cleaning, maintenance, and disinfection are important. 


Similar to other materials, the filters are also subject to regular wear and tear and will need to be replaced at the end of their lifespan. The replacement filters must be chosen in accordance with the latest fire prevention standards and the health and safety standards related to your business. Besides, many other factors need to be considered on a regular basis. Various other components, including fire sprinkler heads and fuses, will also need to be replaced on time.


Your consumers deserve maximum food quality and safety. This requires commercial kitchen-based establishments to observe high standards of hygiene. All the safety and hygiene regulations and commercial kitchen hood cleaning requirements mentioned above apply to all types of kitchens including those in hospital cafeterias, senior residences, childcare facilities, and schools as well. 



If you have a commercial cooking operation, it is essential to get licensed professional hood cleaning to reduce the risk of fire and prevent noncompliance. A certified and reputable kitchen hood cleaning service must explain their procedures to you and share information on the safety and compliance steps they follow. You should also check their portfolio, including before and after photos, to determine the quality of their work. In taking this step, you will be ensuring the safety and comfort of your staff and guests. It is important to ensure that all the hoods are cleaned and maintained regularly.

Marie France
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