Mar 21, 2022 8:00:00 AM / by Hughes

The Risks are High with High Surface Dust  Blog Image

Walking through a factory or warehouse it’s easy to see dust or dirt at eye level or below, but it’s not often that people look up when they think about cleaning these areas. An area can seem spotless, but unless high ceiling cleaning services have been performed there will still be incredible amounts of dirt present.

Even if the rest of a building is spotlessly clean, if the ceiling and rafter haven’t been cleaned there are many problems that can occur. Usually, once these high surfaces have been cleaned the problems that have left facility managers scratching their heads goes away.


High Risks From High Surface Dust

Quality Control Issues

Vibrations and air movement in the building can shake loose the built up dust, which will fall down to contaminate production areas below. This can lead to higher than expected numbers of quality control issues, or even damage sensitive machinery.

High surface dusting removes dust, dirt, grease, and other toxic materials commonly found on the rafters and ceilings of manufacturing and production facilities. The vibrations in facilities like these can shake built up dust loose, causing it to contaminate the production below.


Dust Explosion

Certain types of dusts can pose a fire hazard when they collect in large enough areas. Many secondary explosions in factories have been caused by an explosive dust cloud forming when dust is knocked down from high surfaces. The NFPA says that just 1/32 inch of dust over as little as 5% of the surface area of a room creates explosion hazards- rafters, ceilings, and other high surfaces typically add up to more than 5% of the surface area of the room.

Properly removing combustible dust with the right equipment and gear helps to lessen the risk of a dust explosion during the cleaning process. Industrial facilities, produce a lot of dust, and over time that dust collects on machinery, floors, and on high surfaces. These types of dusts can pose as fire hazard when they collect in large enough areas. Many secondary explosions in factories have been caused by an explosive dust cloud forming when dust is knocked down from these high surfaces.



Based on this NFPA requirement OSHA will inspect these areas for a build-up of dust, and will give expensive citations for any accumulations.

OSHA has been paying attention to the dangers that dust in the workplace can create and has been cracking down on companies that aren’t following housekeeping rules. The Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program was created by OSHA to deal with this issue, and has already cited almost five thousand businesses for dust accumulations, with fines ranging from thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands.


Employee Health Issues

Collected dust can create the ideal breeding ground for mites, mold, bacteria, viruses, and even insects or rodents. In just 1 gram of dust there can be between 100 and 500 dust mites, so just imagine the number of mites in all the dust collected in your rafters. These mites and mold cause allergic reactions in some people; bacteria and viruses spreading through the building make your employees sick. All of this contributes to poor indoor air quality, which the EPA says is a leading environmental threat and a major cause of airborne sicknesses.

Routine commercial duct cleaning can help improve indoor air quality by removing dirt, dust, other airborne contaminants and allergens out of the air from your facility’s HVAC system. 


Less Efficient HVAC System

Chucks of this dust build up throughout the ventilation, clogging the HVAC system and making it work harder to move air through the building. This can also cause it to create foul odors, and start to break down the surface it’s on. In some cases it results in rust or rot on the surface. If you’ve noticed an odd smell that won’t seem to go away, it might be dust rotting above your head.

Not only does duct cleaning also improves your facility’s air quality, but allows your facility’s HVAC system to run more efficiently.


Aesthetic Reasons

Visible dirt can make the workplace look unattractive and dingy, which is unappealing to employees and customers. It’s also important to clean these surfaces to prepare for painting or other maintenance work.


Hughes Environmental 

Rafter and ceiling cleaning removes dust, dirt, grease, and other materials commonly found on the high surfaces of manufacturing and production facilities. We specialize in cleaning projects for commercial and industrial facilities, with a focus on safety. Our cleaning technicians are OSHA trained, certified in high surface safety, and experienced working on high surfaces.

Contact Us Here or call 888-845-3952 for pricing or for more information on high surface, rafter and ceiling cleaning.


Tags: Ceiling Cleaning, Articles, Ceiling & Rafter Cleaning, Rafter Cleaning, Rafter & Ceiling Cleaning, Ceiling and Rafter Cleaning, High Ceiling Dust, High Surface Dust, High Ceiling Cleaning, High Surface Cleaning


Written by Hughes

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