FAQs

Common Questions & Answers.

I have a kitchen emergency / there is smoke in my kitchen. Can HADPRO help?

If your hood is smoking, please check to make sure the exhaust fan is turned on. If your emergency is fire marshal-related, please call to check our last-minute scheduling availability. If you believe you have a mechanical or electrical-related fan emergency, please call KitchenTech at 703-221-9880 or 24-Tech at 855-373-1865.

How often should my hood(s) get cleaned?

It depends. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) 96 Standard requires your kitchen exhaust system be professionally cleaned between once per month and once per year depending on the volume of food cooked, the type of food served, and the type of fuel used.
HADPRO-designed maintenance programs follow the NFPA 96 Standard, but on a hood by hood basis instead of a system-wide basis. Why? Because it saves our customers money without compromising facility safety! For example, the hoods over the main grill line at a restaurant may need to be serviced every 2-3 months, while the prep hood or oven hood may only need to be serviced every 6 months. Please consult the NFPA 96 Standard chart below to get an idea of what frequency would be best for your facility, but remember that if you have multiple hoods and fans HADPRO can probably reduce your costs by setting up a custom cleaning frequency for each hood at your location.

System Description Cleaning Frequency HADPRO Advice
Systems serving solid fuel cooking operations Monthly (12x/year) In addition to monthly solid fuel customers, HADPRO has some standard high volume kitchen customers who prefer to have their facilities serviced monthly (12x/year) or bi-monthly (6x/year) due to the high quantities of grease vapors they generate.
Systems serving high-volume cooking operations, such as 24-hour cooking, charbroiling, or wok cooking Quarterly (4x/year) This frequency is appropriate for most restaurants and hotels, although some high volume restaurants will find that every 1-2 months is necessary.
Systems serving moderate-volume cooking operations Semi-annually (2x/year) Many of our school system customers fall in this range since they only serve lunch and school menu foods tend to generate fewer grease vapors.
Systems serving low-volume cooking operations, such as churches, day camps, seasonal businesses, or senior centers Annually (1x/year) Some of our low volume cooking customers prefer to have their duct work and fans cleaned once per year, and the hoods in the kitchen cleaned twice per year. Let us know if this is of interest to you.

How long will it take to clean my kitchen exhaust system?

The short answer is that most regular cleanings at typical restaurants take between 3-4 hours for thorough cleaning by two to three technicians (one of which will be a crew lead with at least one year of hood cleaning experience for HADPRO). If your facility is larger or if you have time constraints, HADPRO can send additional technicians to meet your timing needs as long as we are aware of them.
The longer answer is that service length depends on a couple of factors, including:

  • How many hoods, duct work access panels, and exhaust fans your system has
  • How much food is cooked at your facility daily and what cooking techniques are used
  • How long it’s been since your last cleaning

What days/times are available for cleaning?

HADPRO technicians can be scheduled for any time of day or night from Sunday to Friday morning based on your kitchen, building, and neighborhood schedule. Rush cleaning and Saturday cleaning are also possible depending on technician availability. Most private sector customers find that cleaning after their kitchen closes for the night or a few hours before their kitchen opens for lunch or dinner to be the most convenient. Government and school system customers tend to prefer Sundays and holidays. If noise is a concern, please notify HADPRO so that we can use our quieter electric machines instead of our more powerful but noisier gas machines. HADPRO is ready to meet your scheduling needs in any situation.

What discounts does HADPRO offer? Does a manager need to be on site during the cleaning?

HADPRO has a Flex Schedule Discount for kitchens that provide a building key to HADPRO and are flexible about the time of day that service begins. Managers do not need to be on site during service, but are welcome to observe the work as it’s performed and/or to inspect it afterwards if desired. Of course, all customers receive an email with a link to before and after pictures within 24 hours of service.

Concerned about theft? The unfortunate truth is that because service happens during off peak hours, less reputable hood cleaning companies have problems with employees stealing from customers. HADPRO pays its technicians significantly higher than minimum wage, has a promotion schedule based on technician experience and performance, and gives paid time off to full-time employees. As a result, HADPRO does not have a theft problem, and many customers trust HADPRO with keys to their facilities to make cleaning more convenient and to take advantage of HADPRO’s Flex Schedule Discount.

How much does getting my kitchen exhaust system cleaned cost? Does HADPRO provide price quotes via facility walk-throughs or over the phone?

The cost of cleaning your exhaust system depends on a number of factors (see list below). Depending on your preference, we can provide a price quote after a scheduled appointment at your facility or over the phone. Since HADPRO’s standard service includes cleaning your hood(s), exhaust fan(s), and duct work, the main information we need to provide a phone quote relates to those three areas:

  • Hoods: How many hoods do you have and how long is each of them (either # of feet or # of filters)? Do you want all of the hoods cleaned during every service or should each hood have its own cleaning schedule (for example: main grill line hood every 3 months, prep hood every 6 months)?
  • Fans: How many exhaust fans do you have?
  • Duct work: How many access panels are in the duct work between the hood and the fan? If you don’t know how many access panels there are, we can still provide an estimate for you based on other information (is it a 1 story building, what floor of the building are the fans on, etc.), but we may need to revise it after our first cleaning service if there are more access panels than expected.

Why does HADPRO put a sticker on the hood after service?

The service sticker certifies that your equipment was cleaned by a company that adheres to NFPA 96 standard cleaning procedures, and it includes the company name, contact information, date of last service, and date of next scheduled service. This allows a fire marshal, local code enforcement agency, or insurance company to quickly assess whether the hood is in compliance with NFPA 96 when they are inspecting a facility. It also serves as a helpful reminder for facility staff who may not know the last time the system was serviced. After all, HADPRO’s goal is to leave no evidence in the kitchen that we were there other than a shiny, bare steel hood.

What is a Roof Protection System and does my facility need one?

It depends. HADPRO only recommends a roof protection system for exhaust fans that are leaking grease onto the roof. If you don’t see any grease on the roof, you probably don’t need one. However, if your facility’s roof has grease collecting on the surface, a roof protection system will guard your roof membrane against the damage grease causes, and potentially save you the tens of thousands of dollars it costs to replace a roof. HADPRO offers two types of roof protection system:

  • 1-sided protection using a grease box with an absorbent grease pillow. This system is primarily intended to capture grease from the fan drainage pipe that isn’t being adequately contained by a standard grease collection box. The pillow is disposable and will be replaced by our technicians on an as-needed basis depending on the quantity of grease your facility generates.
  • 4-sided roof protection systems with an absorbent filter surrounding the fan. This system is recommended when the fan is leaking grease onto the roof from other areas, such as a poor seal between the base plate of the fan and the duct work. 4-sided system filters are also disposable, and will be replaced by our technicians on an as-needed basis depending on the quantity of grease your facility generates.

What is a Hinge Kit and why do I need one?

Hinge kits are required on all upblast fans according to NFPA 96 Code 8.1.1.1. A hinge kit is very similar to a door hinge, and it allows an upblast fan (pictured) to fold open safely and easily so that technicians can clean the underside of the fan and the duct work beneath the fan. Without a hinge kit, technicians must completely detach the fan from the duct for each service and set it on the roof. This can cause a number of problems including:

  • Bent base plate of the fan or the duct work, which can cause gaps that allow grease to leak onto the roof and damage the roof or allow precipitation into the duct work and even into the kitchen. A loose connection between the fan base plate and duct work can also cause the fan to rattle, making noise and reducing the life of the fan.
  • Damaged fan wiring, due to stretching when removing the fan from the duct work and placing it on the roof.
  • Damaged roof and/or leaks, due to placing the fan on the roof repeatedly for cleaning and maintenance.

How many access panels are in my system?

If your kitchen is in a single story building with the fan on the roof chances are pretty good you don’t have any access panels. If your kitchen is located in a multi-story building you can either call HadPro for a free system evaluation, or you can count them yourself by tracing the duct work throughout the building from the hood to its point of termination at the exhaust fan. Fortunately, access panels are usually pretty easy to spot; just move the ceiling tiles and start counting!

How many access panels should my system have?

NFPA 96 states that access panels (also known as cleanouts) should be located every 12 feet of horizontal duct work and at every 90 degree turn in the duct work. International Mechanical Code and International Fire Code state that access panels on straight horizontal duct work shall not be more than 20 feet apart. HADPRO follows NFPA 96 code as it is the more stringent requirement (every 12 feet instead of every 20 feet) and is guaranteed to satisfy all fire marshals, insurance inspectors, and other relevant authorities.

What’s the proper way to clean access panels and duct work?

There are three main ways HADPRO cleans access panels and duct work, and each has its own benefits & drawbacks:

  PRO CON
Magnetic Scraper
  • Safe method for ducts with holes & leaks
  • More effective when removing extremely thick grease
  • Much more time & labor intensive than power washing, increasing cost of service
  • Limited reach
Power Wash
  • Much faster than magnetic scraping, reducing cost of service
  • Not suitable for leaky duct work because leaks can cause water damage to ceiling tiles and light fixtures, or contribute to mold
Spinner Jet
  • Very effective for cleaning long stretches of vertical duct work
  • Not suitable for leaky duct work because leaks can cause water damage to ceiling tiles and light fixtures, or contribute to mold
  • Not useful for cleaning horizontal duct work

What’s the proper way to clean filters?

Hood filters should be cleaned by soaking in a mixture of chemical and water to loosen up the grease and then wiped down by hand. Soaking is done in a large sink or tub provided by HADPRO, and grease water is disposed of in an approved grease trap after cleaning. Filters are never cleaned by power washing against a wall or on the ground, as this method leads to undesirable run-off water that is messy, difficult to contain, and an environmental risk. 

What’s the proper way to clean a hood?

First, tape is used to cover electrical outlets and sheet plastic is used to cover all cooking services and equipment in the immediate vicinity of the hood. This protects these surfaces from grease water spray back and chemical spraying during service. 

Next, the hood’s filters are removed for separate cleaning and sheet plastic is attached to the hood to create a funnel system that channels grease water into large trash cans. Smaller hoods may only need one trash can, while medium or large hoods may require 2 or more funnels and an equal number of trash cans.
Then, HADPRO applies a chemical degreaser to the hood, allows it to soak into the grease for a couple of minutes, and pressure washes the grease and chemical off the steel surface of the hood. This process is repeated as necessary depending on how heavy the grease buildup is. If necessary, technicians will also use a spatula to clean out grease troughs and other areas that are not easily accessible with a pressure washer.

When the hood (and the rest of the system) has been cleaned to bare steel, the plastic is removed, and the technician cleans any spots that were missed by the pressure washer by hand using a towel with chemical degreaser or a spatula. Finally, the hoods are polished to a high shine using a stainless steel polish, and the floors are mopped clean.

Can HADPRO install a hinge kit on non-standard up blast fans? What about hinge repairs?

Non-standard installations such as tapered duct work, fan base plate overhangs, elevated fans on angled roofing, and horizontally mounted fans are all problems HADPRO can solve with a custom hinge kit installation. HADPRO can also do hinge kit replacements and repairs, provided your hinges are not welded on and your fan is not welded shut. Give us a call and let us help you today!

What’s the proper way to clean a fan? What kind of fan do I have?

Fan cleaning technique varies according to the type of fan installed at the facility. HADPRO technicians are trained to clean all fan types, such as upblast fans, in-line fans, utility set fans, etc. In cleaning a fan, technicians always clean the entire accessible portion of the fan, as well as the duct work below the fan or feeding into the fan. Chemical degreasing, pressure washing, and magnetic scraping are all used according to the fan type, amount of grease buildup, fan condition, and the technician’s discretion.
<Pictures of upblast, utility and in-line fans>

What is the difference between a dry scrubber and a wet scrubber?

Dry scrubbers and wet scrubbers both remove particulate matter (like grease vapors) from exhausted air flow. Dry scrubbers do this with disposable filters, which must be replaced to maintain their filtering efficiency and prevent the filters from becoming fire hazards themselves as grease builds up. Wet scrubbers remove grease matter by passing exhausted air flow through a spray of ionized water particles that bond to the grease in the air. Wet scrubbers tend to be more effective at removing fine particulates, but have relatively high maintenance costs and must be protected from freezing if located outside.

How are UV hood systems different from standard ones? Does HADPRO recommend UV hood systems?

UV hood systems rely on a chemical reaction with UV rays to convert grease vapors into water vapor, CO2, and other non-grease particulates. As a result, an exhaust system with a UV hood may need to be cleaned less frequently than a standard system. However, UV system cleaning is more time intensive due to the additional procedures technicians must follow to avoid damaging the equipment, and maintenance costs for UV hood systems are significantly higher than those of standard hood systems. Whether or not a UV hood system makes sense for your facility ultimately depends on your budget and how important controlling grease vapor emissions is at your facility (i.e. tight spaces, relevant environmental regulation or standards, etc.)

Does HADPRO install exhaust hoods, duct work, or exhaust fans or do mechanical work, duct work repairs, etc.? If not, who does HADPRO recommend?

In addition to maintenance cleaning, HADPRO offers the following installation and mechanical work:

  • Hinge kits on upblast exhaust fans
  • Access panels in NFPA 96 non-compliant duct work
  • 1-sided and 4-sided roof protection systems

For all other installation and mechanical work, HADPRO recommends contacting one of the following providers:

  • EMR Company: 410-467-8080
  • KitchenTech: 703-221-9880
  • RM Thornton: contact Mike Apperson at 301-350-5000

Does HADPRO do plumbing or install grease traps? If not, who does HADPRO recommend?

HADPRO does not offer plumping services or install grease traps. Please contact Mike Apperson at RM Thornton for such services (o) 301-350-5000.

What is HADPRO’s cancellation policy?

Cancellations are free of charge up to 24 hours prior to scheduled start time of service. Within 24 hours, HADPRO may assess a 50-90% Cancellation/Lockout fee. As such, it is important to make sure relevant stakeholders such as engineering, security, restaurant and building management, and/or ownership are on the same page regarding the date and time of service.

What quality control practices are in place? Will I get pictures?

HADPRO maintains a detailed customer database that tracks every customer location, their cleaning maintenance schedule, and a host of other account details and account history. As a result, HADPRO will track your maintenance cleaning schedule for you and schedule cleanings when they are needed. Our customer database also ensures that technicians will show up with the right equipment for your facility based on the work order generated for each shift.  During service, technicians will note any system deficiencies (such as exposed wires, leaky duct work, etc.) and take before and after pictures of the exhaust system, which will be shared with you within 48 hours of service. Such photos can be used to inspect the quality of work remotely, to inspect identified system deficiencies and make repair decisions, and also for insurance and other documentation purposes.