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Home > Technically Speaking > Concealing the ceiling – No More

Dirty, dark, and unpainted ceilings in factories, plants and warehouses can be dangerous. They are known to be great hiding places for contamination and can cause spontaneous combustion due to oil residue, paper dust, ink and solvents generated during the manufacturing process. These and other remnants make their way up to the ceiling where they settle. An unclean ceiling can contaminate products during the manufacturing process with dirt or particles falling down into the production line.

When it comes to ceiling cleaning, the most challenging area to care for is in the restaurant or hospital kitchen. Grease spots and spatters on the ceiling are common. Commercial kitchen ceiling structures require a more intense cleaning method due to the effects of cooking oils being heated to the point that they become fume and rise with the air. Once they come into contact with a surface, they accumulate and cool. These are organic substances and contain sufficient moisture to be an attractive medium for microbial growth. Bacteria and mold spore exist everywhere at all times without exception. The only possible way to control their levels is to control the moisture required for them to grow. If oils are allowed to accumulate, the condensation from the hot oils provides sufficient moisture making it a good source of organic material used as a food source by microbes.

Why Clean Ceilings?

A 2009 study showed that a more open, lighter and spacious work environment presented many benefits to most employees. First, it improved group collaboration and productivity. Second, it increased employee pride in the workplace which leads to a sense of job satisfaction. Third, it enhanced work effectiveness and results. Lastly, company morale and individual employee satisfaction were also significantly increased. A bright and clean work area is necessary for both working in and for proving to customers that your company is capable of completing its jobs.

Cleaning Challenges

Dirt and grime on windows, walls and ceilings 40ft and higher presents a real challenge in cleaning which depends upon the type of ceiling and dirt deposits. An extension ladder is not considered a good option here while cranes and scissor lifts in shop floors, warehouses and factories limit maneuverability.

Telescopic Poles

The telescopic poles are often made up of high grade aluminium, are light weight, easy to maneuver and are expandable. When folded they occupy less space and are easy to transport. These are also durable and come at a fraction of cost of ladders or lifts. The user of these poles usually stays on the ground while cleaning and therefore is safe.

Poles can reach as far as 60ft from ground enabling various operations including dusting, window cleaning and cobweb & ceiling fan cleaning. The user can use various attachments like wall brush, fan brush, cobweb brush, pipe brush, Proflat duster and wool brush. Some of these brushes have Microfiber for hygienic & best results besides adhering to the green cleaning norms.

If the ceiling is a suspended one, a quality Proflat duster or static duster can be used across the suspended ceiling, paying special attention to corners. Cheap static dusters can become snagged and leave behind tiny fibres on the surface. Disposable dusting cloths should not be used as they can snag on textured surfaces, and may actually make tiles dirtier by grinding in the dust.

Breakthrough technology in poles

Though aluminium poles are good and provide economical solutions when it comes to rigid cleaning of windows, poles made up of carbon composite fibre are effective. These poles are manufactured from ultra-carbon fibre reinforced with glass fibre, are lighter than aluminium poles and have impact resistance. Two kinds of poles are available in the market: Modular & Telescopic modular.

A modular pole usually has a number of poles attached on top of one another to reach the desired height. Being modular, the user carries only the necessary weight. Each pole has connectors and threads at the top and bottom made of anodized high grade aluminium. These poles deflect 50% less and can withstand 58% more stress compared to aluminium poles.

Telescopic modular pole is actually a single telescopic pole that can be enlarged by adding poles at the end of the master pole (which is a basic pole). Every part of the system, from clamps and levers to brushes has been created to deliver the highest standards with cutting edge looks, better rigidity for more control, yet is up to 50% lighter in weight; thanks to its carbon fibre technology extensions. HiFloTM nLite can be used to clean glass and building facades. The use of modern design and technology means that even when extensions are added, rigidity is not compromised. The weight and ergonomics of the system still make it comfortable for use.

Cob web & wall duster: These dusters help in cleaning the cobweb without creating black marks, ensure the dustres are made from softer bristles. 

Pro ceiling fan cleaning brush: The outer covering is made from microfiber, the structure is such that the top part & bottom part of the fan blade can be cleaned simultaneously. For cleaning heavy deposits on blades suitable chemical can be sprayed on this before applying.

Pipe Brush: The bristles of these brushes are made of nylon so that it can remove stubborn dust and the structure is such that it can hug the rounded pipes and clean them.

Flat bendable duster with microfiber sleeve: The surface of the suspended ceiling can be cleaned by the microfiber sleeve easily. The sleeve can be applied with chemical solution if required.

Wool Duster: The delicate light fittings & valuable chandeliers can cleaned by these without damaging them.

Pad holder with micro fiber polished and scrub pad: Ceiling glass window and windows at the top can be cleaned by moistening the pads. This ensures that the dirty water would not fall on the floor or furniture or spoil the wall by running down.

Tips to remember while cleaning the ceiling

Protect furniture, fixtures and floors with drop cloths or plastic covering. Ceilings should be washed before cleaning walls and floors, to prevent soils from falling on them. Before washing the surface, duster brush should be used to clean the dry dust accumulated.

User should wear rubber gloves with cuffs, goggles & protective clothes when using liquid cleaning products on ceilings. Drops of cleaning agents/water should not be allowed to run down walls or drop onto furniture, fixtures or floors. Ceilings covered with wall coverings like paper, vinyl-coated paper or vinyl cloth should not be washed but should be cleaned by using microfibre cleaning tools and spraying cleaning solution with least moisture content on them.

The user should divide the ceiling into strips or areas and progress from one to the next in order to thoroughly cover the ceiling. If chemicals or detergents are being used then these should be spot tested in a hidden area for colourfastness. Cleaning a wall starts at the top of the wall, then from side to side and top down. Always overlap cleaning area and never use heavily soiled cleaning cloth. If cleaning solution becomes soiled, change it for fresh. The physical removal of surface material or substances from cooking service ceiling areas is done using hot water and microfibre washer or wipes and suitable detergent if required.

Debasish Behera


Unger India Pvt Ltd

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