Unlikely things to find in ductwork

At Ductbusters our guys on the ground certainly see their fair share of the standard stuff when it comes to cleaning ductwork. But sometimes stranger things crop up that you perhaps wouldn’t expect to find sitting in an air duct! We put together some of our strangest finds below:

Sandwiches and packed lunches

We all forget things from time to time, it happens. At Ductbusters we’ve come across sandwiches and packed lunches left behind by builders or other maintenance workers. Let’s just say, several years sitting in ductwork (which could well be ventilating warm or moist air) doesn’t preserve sandwiches very well. Not particularly pleasant for us to deal with when we go out to clean and maintain the ductwork!

Remember to throw away and take with you whatever you don’t want – no one fancies picking up your two-year-old mouldy lunch, and those mould spores could be potentially very dangerous if they’re in the ductwork of a place with vulnerable people, such as a hospital or care home.

 

Flour

If you work in the catering or restaurant business you’d probably expect to find grease in your ducts rather than flour! But bakeries and mills are prime places to find flour in the ducts. One of our service maintenance staff recently opened a vent in a bakery to find it completed blocked wall to wall with solidified flour!

What’s more important to take away from this is that flour can be an explosive under the right conditions. Flour particles are small enough to hang in the air and become densely concentrated, which can lead to a large explosion, known as a dust explosion, with a very small amount of ignition (a single spark or gas flame are enough). Make sure your ducts are kept clean and well ventilated if you work in conditions like this to ensure safety in the workplace.

 

Birds and bird nests

If you have a traditional chimney at home or an older house, you may have experienced birds nesting in the attic, roof or chimney flue. Ductwork is a very attractive home for birds, particularly when they are looking to build nests (easy access to the outside, safe from predators, out of the rain and wind). But if not noticed in time, birds will return year on year to build nests, leading to large, flammable blockages in the ducts. Similarly, you might find nesting squirrels, or insects like wasps and bees aren’t above picking ducts as the ideal place for a hive!

Luckily the noise from baby birds in a nest or buzzing insects is a good giveaway of there being something in your ductwork, so if you hear anything suspicious, call Ductbusters to come and survey your vents.

 

 

Think your ductwork could use some maintenance? Call Ductbusters today or visit us at http://ductbusters.co.uk/


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