Hood Boss Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning

Hood Boss

The Hood Boss team takes pride in providing outstanding service as an elite Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Specialist. Our goal is to create lasting partnerships with our clients and provide them with an effective maintenance program for their exhaust system. Each service we render your exhaust system free of all grease accumulation and down to the bare metal. Our service will not only prolong the life of your system, but more importantly it ensures that your system is safe from potential fire and in compliance with NFPA 96 Guidelines.

Hood Boss is a mid-size operation that serves over 500 clients in DFW and North Texas. We service 100’s more clients in Waco, Austin, San Antonio, and areas of Oklahoma and Louisiana. Our clients range for smaller restaurateur/owner operations to large chain operations. Hood Boss also provides Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning to hotels, nursing homes, and hospitals.

Hood Boss employs certified and background checked technicians to service our clients. We currently employ 10 technicians and have 4 operations managers that are available to respond to clients 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Customer service and response times to clients are in the forefront of our business model.

Our operation is bonded and insured, carrying over $2 million in liability coverage. We are able to meet insurance requirements for malls, corporate buildings, and hospitals. Insurance coverage is very important and all documentation is provided before we began service. After service is complete, your hood is tagged with a certificate of completion (Hood Boss sticker) stating the date of completion and work completed. This certificate holds Hood Boss accountable for the work performed.

Hood Boss has become an industry leader with its documentation practices. We have developed a photo documentation application that allows our clients to see before and after pictures of each service. This is included as part of the maintenance program for our client and is at no extra cost. Hood boss technicians are required to photo document each step of service and any deficiencies in the system. This documentation is then published in a picture presentation that is labeled and organized. This is then sent to the client the following day with a full report and invoice, in the form of a link that is accessible anytime you wish to view it. This web portal allows our client to view a complete history of services provided.

As mentioned before, Hood Boss takes pride in providing our elite service for you. Our goal is to create working partnerships with our clients to ensure all expectations are met. Our team works personally with each client to cultivate trusting relationships. All work is guaranteed and our client’s satisfaction and safety are Hood Boss’ main concerns. “We do our job, so you can do yours.”

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How long has it been?

How long has it been? When speaking with prospective clients, there is always an “interview” process to determine what individual needs are important.  During this brief Q & A, we try to understand several things like location, size, and condition of the kitchen exhaust system.  Inevitably, we ask the question, “How long has it been since the system was cleaned last?”  There really aren’t too many answers we get to this question; more often than not, the informed restaurant manager has had the vent hoods on their normal schedule and the last cleaning falls within the last three to six months.  On the other end of the spectrum, often times the restaurant will tell us the last time the hoods were cleaned was eight months ago, over a year, two years or, heck, we couldn’t tell you the last time the hoods were cleaned. One main reason, we find, there has been such a long gap in the kitchen exhaust cleaning is that the restaurateur has recently taken over the space from another tenant.  If this the case, congratulations.  Getting the kitchen exhaust cleaning service set up should be towards the top of the list of things to do.  From a safety standpoint, you shouldn’t do any type of cooking under a vent hood that has not been cleaned and inspected.  Typically, when a restaurateur is on the decline, maintenance expenditures are not a high priority.  He or she could have been neglecting that system, thus allowing unknown amounts of grease to accumulate in the system, and potentially causing a fire hazard for you, the new owner, that could... read more

Importance of a Kitchen Exhaust System Inspection

As a former restaurant manager, I relied on my Kitchen Exhaust Cleaner to help manage and maintain my exhaust system.  Making sure a restaurant is within NFPA 96 code and safe from potential fire, are two paramount responsibilities of any exhaust cleaning company. Like most front of house managers, I was naive to the importance of maintaining the exhaust system properly.  I had a maintenance program set up for our baffle filters and polished our hoods, but that was the extent of my involvement.  I put my trust in the hood cleaner to manage the rest. The “bottom line” is always at the forefront of running any business.  With that in mind, another exhaust cleaner approached me, and he was able to under bid my current vendor by a significant amount.  I was operating under the misconception that the service and product would be equal, so I went with the lowest bid and based by decision solely on price. The service seemed to be the same and both parties seemed happy with the relationship. After leaving this particular restaurant to come work with Hood Boss, the opportunity to inspect and bid my previous workplace presented itself.  Now, on the other side of the relationship as a vendor, I understand the meaning of, “inspect what you expect.” The previous company had not held up its responsibility to maintain the system properly.  Horizontal duct work had not been serviced and thus leaving the system at risk of fire.  The exhaust fans had been neglected which caused expensive roof damage.  There were inaccessible areas that had not been addressed that resulted in excessive grease build... read more

Trouble Shooting Your Kitchen Exhaust Fan

Vent hood cleaning can be a very invasive process.  The process includes using power washers and heavy duty degreasers.  Our work includes working on the roof top, in the sub ceiling, and downstairs in the kitchen. From time to time, issues arise after a cleaning has occurred.  The most common call we get is that the exhaust fan is not turning on, or it is not working at its full capacity.  Here are a few frequently asked questions and resolutions.   Fan is not turning on at all. Check main switch on canopy hood – flip on and off to make sure that it is getting power. If no power is getting to the hood – check the breaker box. Flip switches for fans back and forth, even if they do not looked tripped. If fan is getting power – check switch on roof top fan – these are sometimes accidentally left off after the cleaning process – if you are not comfortable with the location of the fan – call the last service provider. Fan is still not turning on after these trouble shoots were completed. Check for any exposed wiring on or around the exhaust fan. Check switches and ground wires.  Call an electrician to accomplish a thorough inspection. The fan motor makes a humming or clicking sound when turned on, then shuts down. The motor takes twice as much power to start up, than it does to run normally. This may cause motors that are already worn out to fail.  Call an HVAC company to either install a new motor or repair it. The start-up of... read more

Evaluating the Cause of Grease Build Up on Your Roof Top

There is a common misunderstanding between kitchen exhaust cleaning service providers and facility managers regarding grease build up on their roof tops. Most restaurant or Facility Managers feel that if there is grease on their roof top then there must be a deficiency in the work being performed by their service provider. Often this can be the case. However, there are some cases that grease can accumulate on your roof top in between services. There are three different ways that grease can accumulate on your roof top. It is important to be able to evaluate whether the service being performed is below par or if there is a need for preventative maintenance at your facility by knowing how grease accumulates and what to look for. The first way that grease can accumulate on the roof top is through poor waste water management during the cleaning process. This is the easiest of the three to evaluate, though it does require follow up by the restaurant staff. During the cleaning process there are a few ways that grease can accumulate on the roof top. An example of poor waste water management is when a technician is spraying the bottom of the fan blades with the fan off the duct or when the fan is held open by the hinge kit. What typically can happen in this example is the technician sprays the bottom of the blades while allowing them to spin. By doing this, the blades spin and grease and water are slung out of the fan on to wall, roof top, A/C units, etc. This can cause multiple problems but typically can be detected easily.... read more

How Often Should My System Be Cleaned?

Frequency of kitchen exhaust cleanings is always a matter of concern when discussing service with new clients and building relationships with current clients. The ultimate goal of the Fire Protection Act is to reduce the risk of a fire in your commercial kitchen.  As we all know, though, there are always going to exceptions to any rule, and the NFPA 96 addressed this in Annex A: “A.11.6.2:  When to clean: A measurement system of deposition should be established to trigger a need to clean, in addition to a time reference based on equipment emissions. The method of measurement is a depth gauge comb…which is scraped along the duct surface.  For example, a measured depth of (0.078 in.) indicates the need to remove the deposition risk.  The system would also include point measurement in critical areas.  For example, (0.125 in.) in a fan housing requires cleaning.” What does this all mean?  Basically, there are guidelines and then there are specifics to getting the hoods cleaned.  Let say your restaurant used hickory wood in the grill.  By code, you should expect the hood over the grill to be cleaned on a monthly frequency.  Now let’s say you are killing it volume wise, and the grease and creosote levels in the system are reaching the .078 in. (which is 1/8”) faster than a month between cleanings.  You could potentially be at risk for fire spreading one week, two weeks, or maybe longer before your next scheduled vent hood cleaning. Most of us are getting our hoods cleaned on a quarterly frequency, and in most cases, this is accurate timing based on code... read more

The Importance of a Hinge Kit on Your Kitchen Exhaust System

Although kitchen exhaust system fans are supposed to be supplied with a hinge kit when installed, we still see a lot of fans without them. Hinge Kits are an important part of the make up of an exhaust fan although it has become an item that is typically not enforced by the authority having jurisdiction in each area. In order to walk you through the importance of the hinge kit, I want to list the three main reasons that you need a hinge kit. Those reasons are listed below. Code: NFPA 96 8.1.1.1  States that “Approved up-blast fans with motors surrounded by the air stream shall be hinged, supplied with flexible weatherproof electrical cable and service hold-open retainers, and listed for this use.” Material that the fan is made of: The up-blast fan on your roof top is made up of spun aluminum. Spun aluminum is a very light weight and pliable material. To give an example of how pliable its is, you can take a pair of pliers and bend the frame. Cleaning Process: In order to clean your kitchen exhaust system to code, your exhaust cleaning company has to access the bottom of the blades of the exhaust fan and the vertical duct leading down to the hood in the kitchen. Most cleaning companies try and treat your equipment as if it was there own. However, if your system does not have a hinge kit installed, the technician has to maneuver a 125 plus pound fan off the duct curb that is covered in grease as well as water from the cleaning. In summary, even with the... read more

Does Your Kitchen Exhaust Fan Meet Code?

Does your Kitchen Exhaust Fan meet code? Most restaurant managers are so tied up with the day to day operations inside the kitchen that they have no idea of the potential hazards that are occurring on their roof tops. There are a few simple things to look for that can help assure your fan is up to code and that you avoid potential down time for your restaurant or damage to your exhaust fan. The first thing to inspect is to see if your up-blast fan (or bowl shaped fan) has a hinge kit installed. The Importance of a hinge kit is to allow access to the vertical duct of your exhaust system by allowing the fan to open to a ninety degree angle. This provides proper access to the duct to clean your kitchen exhaust system properly without harming the mechanics or structural integrity of the fan. A typical exhaust fan weighs around 125lbs and is made of spun aluminum. The material can be bent very easily in the cleaning process even when extreme precaution is taken. The next thing to inspect is the electrical conduit on your exhaust fan. You want to look for two things. The first is that the electrical conduit is run externally from the duct curb into the fan housing of the fan see photo below. The importance of this is to insure that the wiring for the fan is not exposed to grease build up within the system and keep the wiring from becoming damaged from taking the fan on and off during the cleaning process. The removal of the exhaust fan... read more

How to Select your Kitchen Exhaust Cleaner

Regular maintenance and cleaning of your Kitchen Exhaust System is one of the most important services provided for your facility and is often the most overlooked as well.  Maintaining your exhaust system not only prolongs the life of your system, but more importantly it ensures that your facility is safe from potential fire.  When selecting a provider, there are a few important elements to consider. Insurance Coverage – (Liability and Workman’s Comp Insurance) Any reputable provider will carry between 1 and 5 million dollars in liability insurance.  Insurance coverage is one of the first questions that should be asked when selecting a provider.  Once your provider has completed service they are required, by NFPA 96 code, to mark the system with a certificate (usually a sticker) stating the date the system was cleaned.  This certificate holds the company liable if the system does in fact catch fire.  This also covers any of your equipment and your system in the event that any damage occurs during regular services.  The amount of insurance that the provider carries is very important when a claim is filed for damages caused by poor work.  The workman’s comp portion of the insurance is to cover the provider’s technicians if they are injured while working on your premises. Documentation Practices As referenced above, all work must be documented and certified by the provider.  Local fire departments, health departments, and insurance companies require documentation that regular maintenance is occurring in order for your facility to operate.  Besides the sticker, most companies will leave you with an invoice or form stating what work was performed.  This should be... read more