Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Air Conditioning Duct Work Cleaning – Rats in Ductwork

How To Tackle Rats In Your Duct Work

From pollen to mites, mould, and household dust, all sorts of nasties can be lurking in your duct work…including rats and mice. If you have rats you might have already heard the patter of tiny feet, but as you get preoccupied with day-to-day activities this may well go unnoticed until a foul smell emerges from your ceiling. Regular air conditioning duct work cleaning, however, will ensure that your business premises stays in pristine condition – even the areas not visible to staff or customers.
Duct work cleaning is so vital because unclean duct work will impinge on the health of staff and customers. As unclean air circulates through your business, it can aggravate existing problems such as asthma and allergies, which has a knock on affect through staff sickness and absenteeism. According to NHS statistics, as many as 5.4 million people in the UK receive treatment for breathing problems or asthma. Research shows that air quality inside homes and buildings have higher levels of certain pollutants in comparison to outside air. Since we spend the majority of our working day – and nights – indoors this can worsen the problem.
So, to keep your staff healthy and happy, it’s important to prioritise air conditioning duct work cleaning and not to leave it on the back burner. Here we take a look at what you can do to solve the problem of rats in the duct work.

Why Rats Get into the Duct Work

Rats and mice are attracted to duct work as it creates the ideal conditions for survival. Duct work is not only colder in summer and warmer in winter, but it also keeps rodents safe from predators and, of course, rats like to inhabit places that are close to where humans live as it means easy access to food.

Why it is a Problem

Rats in your air conditioning can cause a number of problems: firstly they may chew holes in your duct work making your air conditioning less efficient, secondly there are a number of health problems associated with rats. For a start, rat faeces are toxic, and the excrement can attract other rats to inhabit the area, thus escalating the problem; also, if there is a dead rat in your duct work, not only is the smell hard to tolerate, but the carcass will attract flies which creates further health and safety issues. Thirdly, rats can urinate up to three gallons a year, and breathing in rat urine can put your staff or customers at risk of contracting diseases such as Hantavirus, which is deadly to humans.

How to Tackle it

There are several ways to tackle rats in your duct work. One is by organising regular duct work cleaning from a reputable company such as Ingot Services. During the cleaning process they will check for holes in the duct work to ensure it is in full working order. Regular duct work cleaning will improve the air quality in your building, ensure your duct system runs at a more comfortable level. It saves money in the long run as you won’t have to carry out major repairs.  However, if your building frequently attracts rats or mice, it is also time to think about calling in the pest control services who will tackle the problem at source.

Over the years Ingot Services has seen a number of incidents at first hand where rats and mice have chewed holes in the ductwork and generally created havoc. Although it is tempting to tackle the problem yourself, a proper cleanup is essential and is best tackled by the experts. 

Call Ingot Services for a free quotation on 0800 731 7892.

Cleaning Kitchen Service – 9 Kitchen Hygiene Essentials

Nine At-a-Glance Rules for Commercial Kitchen Hygiene

Complying with health and safety rules is vital in any kitchen, particularly in commercial kitchens where it is important to eliminate risk of the sickness and injury to protect your establishment’s reputation.

Here Ingot Services, who offer deep kitchen cleaning services, has compiled a list of nine commercial kitchen hygiene essentials that should never be ignored. These include the day-to-day requirements – such as keeping surfaces clean – and activities that are less frequent but none-the-less still necessary, such as organising professional duct work cleaning.

We have only just covered the basics as there are a host of ways to keep your commercial kitchen healthy. For more information on up-to-date commercial kitchen hygiene, view the Health and Safety website.

Personal Hygiene

Keeping yourself clean, wearing clean clothing, and washing your hands often is one of the top tips to prevent the transfer of bacteria and viruses onto food, crockery or kitchen surfaces. Bacteria can spread quickly, so to comply with health and safety rules it is vital to wash your hands at every stage of the food preparation process, including before and after preparing food, touching raw food, handling waste or chemicals, eating or touching your face, and after every work break.


If you have illnesses such as cold or flu, a skin related disease, infected wound, diarrhoea or stomach problems, you should tell your supervisor in advance of attending work. If you don’t inform your supervisor, you are breaking the law. Staff who handle food and are ill are advised to stay off work until they are symptom free for at least two full days.

Kitchen Surfaces

The best way to keep on top of cleanliness is to clean equipment and food surfaces as you go along. For a more thorough clean, Ingot Services offers a deep kitchen cleaning service, where all equipment is dismantled and cleaned and all areas of the kitchen – including hard to reach places – are thoroughly cleansed.

Reheating Food

If you are reheating food, it is important to heat it to the right temperature and ensure that it is piping hot before serving. Red meat should have a temperature of 70C in the middle and white meat, 80C. You shouldn’t reheat food more than once, and any leftovers should be thrown away.

Raw Food

It is vital for health reasons to keep the preparation of fresh and raw food entirely separate to prevent any contamination. Use colour coded chopping boards to prevent any mix-ups when food is being prepared.


It goes without saying that food shouldn’t be left out and should be covered and refrigerated overnight. Keep a record of storage and expiry dates so you know exactly when food should be thrown away.

Duct Cleaning

Regular duct work cleaning should be organised to prevent the build-up of grease and grime, which can pose a fire risk. This is a legal requirement for commercial kitchens and can prove life-saving.


Handling sharp knives can lead to minor injuries. If you do get a small cut or wound during food preparation, you are obliged to cover it with a waterproof dressing. Highly visible blue plasters are available for this purpose.


It is vital to follow procedures when making food and to work safely so you don’t put yourself or anyone else at risk. Equipment – such as sharp knives – should be stored safely and deliveries shouldn’t be left in corridors where they could be a tripping hazard. If you feel something is wrong, flag it up with your supervisor.

To find out about more duct work and deep kitchen cleaning, contact Ingot Services