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Ductwork Cleaning

Air quality relies on compliance

By | Ductwork Cleaning, Kitchen Extract Cleaning, News | No Comments

For a safe and healthy building, maintaining ongoing ductwork compliance with TR/19 is essential, and will be a legal requirement throughout a ventilation system’s lifetime, as Gary Nicholls, Managing Director of Swiftclean Building Services, and co-author of TR/19, explains.

 

In order to maintain a healthy indoor environment with good air quality, you need a well-designed, clean, TR/19 compliant ventilation system. The leading industry guidance document concerning ventilation hygiene is TR/19 (Second Edition) Internal Cleanliness of Ventilation Systems, which is issued by the Building & Engineering Services Association (BESA). Following this guidance also ensures that you stay compliant with British Standard and European Norm BSEN:15780 and BG49/2013, BSRIA’s guide on Commissioning Air Systems.

 

All ductwork needs to be cleaned, and the accumulated dirt in it completely removed, at regular intervals. The frequency of those cleaning intervals will vary, according to the purpose and usage of each of the ventilation systems. The system in each part of a property must be classified under TR/19 as high, medium or low. For example, in a hospital, operating theatres and laboratories which require a particularly clean environment will require a high classification and more frequent inspection and cleaning as necessary. Wards, offices and visitor areas will require a medium classification and slightly less frequent inspection and cleaning as necessary than the high classification areas. Less populated areas such as boiler rooms or workshops can be given a low classification and will need attention the least often.

 

Kitchen extract systems must also be TR/19 compliant. Cooking even the healthiest food causes airborne fat, oil and grease which, as the exhaust air stream cools, solidify, forming deposits on the inside of the kitchen extract ductwork. These pose a serious fire risk. The thickness of these deposits must be controlled to ensure that average thickness does not exceed 200 microns – approximately half the thickness of an average business card. To ensure this control, the grease must be completely removed on a regular basis.

 

TR/19 contains very helpful tables which indicate how frequently the system must be cleaned, depending initially on how often and for how many hours each kitchen is used and once historical grease accumulation rates are established frequencies should be adjusted to keep within TR/19 defined limits. In a stadium or shopping centre, there may be different catering concessions with widely varying patterns of usage. It is important, therefore, to have a management system in place to control grease levels adequately in each kitchen extract system.

 

A clean mechanical ventilation system is more efficient and therefore takes less energy to run, so TR/19 compliance can reduce your energy costs. Insurance companies expect that you will comply with industry best practice in managing your property, so it may compromise your buildings insurance if you don’t comply with TR/19 and provide robust evidence of your compliance.

 

You must have before and after photography to demonstrate that your system has been regularly, competently and effectively cleaned to make it TR/19 compliant. If the worst were to happen, a fire can spread through your kitchen extract system to other parts of the building. If negligence is proved in the event of a fire, and you haven’t maintained TR/19 compliance, the responsible person could face criminal charges and a potential custodial sentence; so evidence of your compliance will be vital.

 

In order to achieve TR/19 compliance, the system must be fully accessible. A new system must be tested and where necessary fully cleaned and commissioned before being handed over and put into use, but it does not currently have to include the full remit of access hatches or aids to access that TR/19 requires for ongoing compliance. In some instances, we find permanent features such as walls, ceilings and even staircases obstructing the ductwork, preventing access. Where we find inaccessible areas of a system, we can often retrofit additional access hatches to allow TR/19 cleaning to be carried out.

 

You will need expert help and guidance from a specialist provider to achieve and maintain TR/19 compliance.

 

www.swiftclean.co.uk.

 

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Swiftclean calls for safety over style in ceiling design

By | Ductwork Cleaning, Fire Dampers, News | No Comments

Swiftclean Building Services, expert provider of fire damper testing and maintenance, and ventilation cleaning in compliance with BESA TB001 & TR/19, has called for greater concern for safety over aesthetics when it comes to ceiling design in commercial and public buildings and multiple residence properties. “We are well aware that access hatches are not the most attractive items,” says Swiftclean Managing Director Gary Nicholls. “However, they are absolutely vital for safety.”

 

The company, which has won multiple awards for its expert air and water hygiene services, says that its technicians frequently encounter situations in which cosmetic features such as plasterboard ceilings have been added to improve aesthetics, but which inevitably hinder essential ongoing cleaning and maintenance. Compliance with TR/19, the leading guidance document on ventilation hygiene, issued by BESA, ensures legal compliance requirements are met in schools, hospitals hotels and a wide range of public and domestic buildings across the UK. The annual drop testing and maintenance of fire dampers in accordance with BS:9999 is also a legal requirement under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order for property owners and managers.

 

Despite this long term legal responsibility, in too many cases, says Swiftclean, additional bulkheads and false ceilings or other services are erected across installed ductwork, making it impossible for some buildings to comply with the law. There is already a potential tension between the ductwork construction standard, DW144 and the ventilation cleanliness guidelines TR/19 in that, in practice, ongoing compliance with TR/19 requires access at more frequent intervals than is stipulated in DW144. If some of the access hatches installed in compliance with DW144 are subsequently covered over or obstructed, this makes it even more difficult or, in some cases, impossible, to comply with TR/19, potentially throughout the lifecycle of the building.

 

If the ductwork itself is visible, exposed or accessible through false ceilings, it is possible to retrofit additional access doors in order to achieve compliance with TR/19 and BS:9999. However, if, once the ductwork has been installed, it has been hidden behind fixed ceilings and walls, compliance can be highly problematic or prohibitively costly.

 

In these cases, safety is definitely compromised, warns Swiftclean. “Not only does compliance become difficult, but buildings insurance policies may be compromised and the responsible person for the building may be liable to prosecution for non-compliance,” warns Nicholls. “In the event of a fatality, there may be criminal proceedings against the maintenance company and individuals could face a custodial sentence. It seems to us imperative that safety should take precedence over aesthetics in many more situations.”

 

Swiftclean has been campaigning for several years for greater awareness for the need to comply with safety guidelines on the cleanliness and safe functioning of mechanical extract and ventilation systems. Gary Nicholls is a member of the steering committee which advised on the drafting of the TR/19 guidelines, the leading industry document on ventilation hygiene, issued by BESA, the Building Engineering Services Association. From time to time he is called on to serve as an expert consultant and witness in legal cases where non-compliance has been identified.

 

www.swiftclean.co.uk

 

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A fresh look at ventilation maintenance

By | Ductwork Cleaning, Fire Dampers, Kitchen Extract Cleaning, News, Swiftclean | No Comments

Air quality within social housing is an increasingly important issue; fire safety even more so.  Adequately cleaning and maintaining the ventilation system in multiple occupancy buildings is essential for legal compliance, and for ensuring the health and safety of the property, as Gary Nicholls, Managing Director of Swiftclean Building Services, explains.

 

Multiple occupancy poses a potential for fire to spread from home to home, yet although multiple occupancy housing has been with us for well over a century, it is only for just over a decade that we have had fire legislation for this type of housing, thanks to the passing of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which came into force in October 2006.

 

Within multiple occupancy buildings, much care has been given to ensuring that each dwelling is effectively a separate compartment, so that the risk of fire spreading from one to another is greatly reduced.  Sharing ventilation and extract ductwork for kitchens and bathrooms, however, means that a potential route for fire is re-introduced, leading from one apartment to another, or from the apartment to the building’s communal areas.  Communal ductwork represents a potential weakness in terms of the spread of fire and also a possible cause of widespread poor air quality.

 

In order to restore some of this compartmentation when needed, fire dampers can be installed in the ductwork at the point where ductwork passes through a fire resistance-rated wall.  These are essentially a set of steel louvres which remain open to allow free air flow under normal conditions, but which are triggered by sensors to close automatically in the event of fire.  The closed louvres form a barrier to the spread of flames and hot gases, this barrier helps to delay the spread of fire from its point of origin to other parts of the property.

 

Where fire dampers are fitted, they must be tested and cleaned on an annual basis in accordance with British Standard BS:9999 2017, using a method called drop testing, which confirms that the louvres close effectively.  It used to be the case that the frequency of testing depended on the construction of the fire damper, but the 2017 revision to BS:9999 made it mandatory for annual drop testing, cleaning and any necessary repairs for every type of fire damper.

 

Kitchen extract fire safety cleaning should also be a priority. It is an inevitable result of everyday cooking, that deposits of fat, oil and grease build up as a thin film of grease throughout the kitchen extract ductwork.  These deposits represent a very real fire risk and must be removed on a regular basis.  The frequency of cleaning is laid out in tables within TR/19, which is the leading guidance document for ventilation ductwork cleaning, issued by BESA (Building & Engineering Services Association.)  This also requires ductwork to be classified as high, medium or low.  Multiple occupancy shared kitchen extracts will carry a high classification, requiring regular thorough cleaning in accordance with TR/19.

 

In some multiple occupancy buildings, the ground floor is given to retail units; often fast food outlets.  In these units, kitchen extract fire safety cleaning must be completed regularly in compliance with TR/19, in order to reduce the risk of the spread of fire to the floors above.

 

In refurbishments, especially kitchen and bathroom replacement programmes, consideration should be given to updating the ventilation systems as well as the units and sanitary ware.  It should be remembered that a clogged or greasy extract fan will also consume more electricity to run than a clean one, so this should be included in energy saving plans.  Where a common warm air system serves the entire building, it should be replaced, where possible, by individual self-contained heating systems, so that common areas and dwellings do not share the same system.  Alternatively we can replace the original grills with fire rated valves which help to contain the spread of fire.

 

Bathroom ventilation systems often draw in dust, fibres and dirt particles which begin to clog the system.  This can make it less effective, allowing less air to circulate and causing unpleasant odours to circulate. Regular cleaning to TR/19 guidance is important to ensure a good indoor air quality.

 

Planned preventative maintenance is vital in multiple occupancy buildings.  Gaining access to dwellings in order to carry out this cleaning may be difficult, but should be a priority; it will be essential to communicate the importance of this regular maintenance to occupants so that access for cleaning is granted.  In every communal ventilation system regular cleaning, regular testing and cleaning is not only a legal requirement, but also a vital safeguard for residents and visitors.

How fresh is the indoor air in your golf club?

By | Ductwork Cleaning, News | No Comments

Fresh air is one the main attractions of taking up golf but, once inside the clubhouse, how fresh is your indoor air? Not certain? The Swiftclean team will help get you up to scratch on maintaining the health of your ventilation systems, ensuring that time spent in the clubhouse isn’t undoing all the health benefits of playing.

Clean your ventilation ductwork

The cleanliness of your ventilation system is vital; removing steam, condensation and airborne impurities; and providing an invaluable constant source of fresh air for those relaxing off the course and working in your property.

Good quality indoor air quality is essential for the health and wellbeing of everyone, especially those working in or visiting your property regularly. After all, the only place you want anyone to be under par is on the course.

It is a legal requirement, for the sake of your guests, members and employees, to keep your ventilation system compliant with TR/19, the leading industry guidance document on ventilation hygiene, issued by the Building Engineering Services Association. This means regular cleaning at intervals set out in TR/19 guidelines.  If you don’t comply with the law in this area, you could also compromise your buildings insurance.

Clean air, happy guests

By | Ductwork Cleaning, Kitchen Extract Cleaning, Legionella, News | No Comments

Clean air, happy guests

By providing expert ventilation cleaning, Swiftclean’s services help you to comply and allow you to focus on the many other priorities that draw on your attention, safe in the knowledge that you are safeguarding guests and employees alike and meeting Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations.

Read more about ventilation cleaning

Kitchen extract ductwork – A hidden fire risk?

The restaurant kitchens at your golf club are central to its success, but they come with a particular hidden risk. Cooking produces airborne fat, oil and grease (FOG), resulting in the formation of grease deposits on the inside of the kitchen extract ductwork which are a serious fire hazard.

Award-winning Swiftclean is one of the UK’s leading specialist Kitchen Extract Fire Safety Cleaning experts, providing full compliance with TR/19, the leading industry document covering ductwork cleaning. Failure to have ductwork professionally cleaned by a specialist, to remove grease deposits, can be perceived as negligence in the eyes of the law, leaving you open to prosecution and uninsured.

Read more about kitchen extract cleaning

Pouring compliance on cold water

Although golf clubs have many members and guests, all will share the same water supply and, therefore, the same water borne risks. Numerous types of bacteria can be present in water, including the potentially fatal Legionella; neglected tanks are extremely high risk areas for the spread of disease. When conditions in water systems are allowed to deteriorate, legionella and other bacteria can proliferate.

Swiftclean offers water tank compliance services to ensure your system is safe and remains compliant with L8, the approved code of practice and guidance for the control of legionella bacteria in water systems. Maintaining compliance requires regular inspection, the correct standard of cleaning, ongoing monitoring and, where necessary, full refurbishment or replacement of sub-standard water tanks. Swiftclean provides expert support in all of these areas.

Read more about legionella and water tank cleaning

Maintain your local exhaust ventilation

By | Ductwork Cleaning, News | No Comments

Keeping your local exhaust ventilation ductwork clean and compliant is vital. Where certain chemicals and other substances are used in industrial and commercial processes, COSHH regulations require that they should either be contained or safely dispersed through a Local Exhaust Ventilation system.  Your LEV must be tested at least every 14 months, more frequently in many cases, to ensure that it is working effectively; and cleaning and maintenance should also be carried out regularly.

You rely on your local exhaust system for reducing the exposure of your workers to dust, fumes and vapour which could be hazardous to their health. Our operatives provide fully compliant cleaning services nationwide and fully certified post inspection reports so you can demonstrate that you have fulfilled your legal obligations.

Clean your ventilation ductwork

By | Ductwork Cleaning, News | No Comments

In pharmaceutical manufacturing, the cleanliness of the ventilation system is especially important, as it should provide an invaluable constant source of fresh air for those working with chemicals and potentially volatile production materials.

Good quality indoor air is also essential throughout your premises for employee health and wellbeing, keeping absence levels at the minimum, while promoting good levels of concentration and productivity.

It is good business sense, as well as a legal requirement, to keep your ventilation system compliant with TR/19 the leading industry guidance document on ventilation hygiene, issued by the Building & Engineering Services Association. Swiftclean has over 30 years of ventilation hygiene experience.  All our work conforms to TR/19 guidelines and is fully documented to demonstrate your compliance.

Pressing on with ductwork cleanliness

By | Ductwork Cleaning | No Comments

Laundry extract systems need special care to ensure that they comply with TR/19, the leading industry guidance document governing the cleanliness of ductwork systems. They should be inspected every six months and meticulously cleaned to TR/19 guidelines if necessary. This is a legal requirement and a specialist task, but all part of the award-winning Swiftclean service.

Commercial laundry equipment and service expert Girbau designs, installs and maintains laundry extract systems and now recommends Swiftclean to provide ductwork cleaning to achieve TR/19 compliance. We also provide full documentation of your compliance and will help you stay compliant too.

Not surprisingly, in an environment in which dirt removal and cleanliness are vital, clean, TR/19 compliant ventilation ductwork is essential for removing water vapour and airborne impurities such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the chemicals used in the cleaning process.

Our highly trained technicians will completely remove all traces of dust, grease or other impurities to provide a safer, healthier air quality for laundry employees, and the kind of spotless finish that professional laundries strive to present to their own clients.

Call us today on 0800 1143 716 for a quote and get started on TR/19 compliance.

Paying attention in class – air quality is key

By | Ductwork Cleaning | No Comments

For effective learning you need good indoor air quality to help both teachers and students stay alert, so you should also clean your ventilation system as a whole.   This is because normal use of the ventilation system naturally leads to the accumulation of dust, dirt and other contamination.

Providing clean air for building users is also a legal requirement so we provide cleaning in accordance with TR/19, the leading industry document covering ductwork cleaning, as well as British Standard BSEN15780 and the BSRIA BG49/2013 Air Commissioning Guide.  Here are our handy compliance checkers for ventilation systems and air handling units.  Call 0800 114 3696  to get started on the path to compliance.

Ventilation ductwork cleaning for a healthy indoor environment

By | Ductwork Cleaning | No Comments

The ventilation system has a huge influence on a property’s indoor air quality. A clean ventilation system provides fresher air, which keeps occupants more alert and productive, while helping to reduce sickness and absence levels. Cleaning a ventilation system is an expert task. It requires compliance with TR/19, the leading industry guidance document on the internal cleanliness of ductwork systems. Under the latest version, your ventilation systems must be classified as high, medium or low, according to its usage and purpose; and must be regularly cleaned according to clearly laid out guidelines. Our handy compliance checker can help you find out how often your building needs our help.