Silo Cleaning 101
Silos are towers or pits that can commonly be found at food manufacturing facilities. These silos are typically used for bulk storage of items such grain, flour, cement, coal, woodchips and other products that require bulk storage. Silos come in many shapes and sizes. From 80 foot Cylindrical Silos to Hoppers as small as 10 to 15 feet. All types of silos must be cleaned on a frequent basis. This is to ensure the removal of excessive buildup and food contaminants. The cleaning of silos also serve to reduce microbial contamination, which is the unintentional or accidental contamination of some sort of infections material such as bacteria and yeast; just to name a few.
Flour is another product found in silos and is a substantial ingredient in many baked goods. Flour silos are most typically seen at baking manufacture facilities. The flour inside the silos must remain fresh in order to ensure that consumers are receiving the best quality product. Unfortunately, flour silos attract various rodents, insects, and mold. One of the most common insects the flour silos attract is the Red Flour Beetle. These particular pests are prone to attacking food items such as cereals, crackers, beans, spices, pasta and of course flour. These insects possess the ability to turn the flour grayish, and can also contribute to rapid mold growth.
Not maintaining a proper silo cleaning schedule can lead to a higher risk of mold development. Mold growth is fostered by moisture and warmth. Food manufacturing and baking companies avoid these issues by having their silos cleaned on a regular basis. Action Duct Cleaning Company is based in Los Angeles County and has performed silo cleaning services for many food manufactures across the country. Food manufactures like Nissin Foods, San Luis Sour Dough and Ruiz Foods.
Silos can be cleaned in a variety of different ways, but for the most part, the cleaning process involves brushing the insides of the silo, and scraping the insides. Technicians must take special care to avoid scratching the silos and therefore, on many occasions, they use plastic scrapers in place of the more abrasive metal scraper. A combination of both scraping and vacuuming is us to ensure a full and proper cleaning. The vacuum is used to clean the excess remains from the bottom of the silo. This is known to sometimes generate static electricity which can quickly become a very dangerous situation for the technicians. In order to prevent electric shock technicians typically attach a wooden pole to the vacuum’s hose.
Even with the grounding of the vacuum hoses to prevent electric shock, Silo cleaning can be incredibly dangerous for workers, therefore, all persons who enter or work on a silo must be highly trained in proper safety protocols to avoid injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency of the United Stated Department of Labor and is partially responsible for regulating safe work environments. According to OSHA, workers must test the air inside of the silo prior to entering. This is to make sure there are no combustible and/or toxic gases within the silo. They must also ensure that the oxygen levels within the silo are sufficient. If any hazardous particles are detected then workers must vent the silos atmospheres to ensure that the combustible and toxic gases are reduced to a non-hazardous level.
In conclusion, it is vital for food manufacturing companies to get their silos cleaned, because regular cleaning can help prevent mold, along with pest infestations. If you are interested in learning more about silo cleaning, Action Duct has been in business since 1978, and cleaned many silos throughout Los Angeles, in addition to other western states. You can call us at 626-791-7870.