Industrial cleaning involves the specialized personnel, methods and special equipment needed to clean potentially hazardous areas of a facility.
This highly specialized cleaning service is important because a safe and clean industrial environment keeps you compliant with state and federal contaminations laws and promotes a safe and healthy work environment, productivity and product quality. A clean environment is also critical for operational efficiency, compliance and avoiding legal issues.
However, it’s common to confuse industrial cleaning with commercial cleaning services. Especially concerning industrial plant cleaning. Below, we’ll dive into what industrial cleaning is, whether you need these services and how they benefit you, your employees, customers and the environment.
What Is Industrial Cleaning?
Industrial facilities are no stranger to having complex, potentially hazardous environments. Yet industrial cleaning services aren’t reserved only for industrial plants or manufacturing facilities. They are also often needed in other types of settings such as:
- Distribution centers
- Power plants
- Pharmaceutical production facilities
Industrial cleaning companies are prepared to work in dangerous settings while maintaining safety standards that protect both your business and theirs.
An industrial cleaner may offer services that sound similar to those that a commercial cleaner offers, like deep cleaning, disinfection and pressure washing. But it's important to note that if you manage an industrial facility, you need these services specialized around industrial needs. Commercial cleaning is not the same as industrial cleaning.
Similarly, janitorial services are not the same. Janitors and custodians clean and sanitize regularly, usually during office hours or in the early evening. They clean bathrooms, floors and may perform general maintenance. They often work in office buildings, schools and other facilities that don't have the same risks as an industrial building. These cleaning services are not equipped to manage an industrial project at a manufacturing plant. Those who work there would likely feel inadequately trained to work in an industrial setting.
Another clear distinction is that industrial cleaning companies recognize that you have tight deadlines, may run operations around the clock and that shutting down operations is costly. They have the tools to both quickly and thoroughly clean a space, but can also work with your production schedule to minimize downtime.
What Are Types Of Industrial Cleaning Services?
If you’re wondering whether your company requires industrial cleaning services, it’s helpful to take a closer look at the many different types of services a professional company can provide.
Deep Cleaning Services
General cleaning often occurs in high-traffic facilities like distribution centers and hospitals, but deep, heavy-duty cleaning is different. That requires precision, time, moving and even dismantling heavy equipment. It also requires attention to detail that employees or janitorial services don't have to spare daily. If people can't see it, it often goes uncleaned.
But these out-of-sight and out-of-mind sources of buildup become breeding grounds for mold, rodent and insect infestations, allergens and pathogens. An industrial cleaner uses specialized techniques and equipment to target these hidden and sometimes not-so-hidden (windows, loading docks, etc.) locations to achieve a complete clean.
This can include pressure washing, disinfection and exhaust system cleaning, among other services.
Tank Cleaning Services
Dirty tanks can impact the quality of your product and reduce the machine's efficiency. Regular cleaning between batches is essential, but on a schedule, it's important to have someone get in there to tear away at the scale, sludge, sediment and crystallization that can build up.
Some situations warrant industrial cleaning immediately, including:
- Whenever indicators alert you that there might be a problem going on inside
- If you have an upcoming tank inspection and need to take the tank out of service
- If you are swapping contents inside
- A mechanical failure has occurred
Qualified industrial tank cleaning companies have the specialized equipment to achieve a thorough cleaning and put you on a routine cleaning schedule.
Storm Drain Cleaning
Storm drains do not only collect stormwater. In an industrial setting, runoff can include all kinds of gunky oils, chemicals and even solid materials that stop up the drain and make it ineffective.
Regular storm draining cleaning ensures these drains stay clear and work as they should. Because oil and chemicals can spell a slippery, toxic, dangerous mess, it’s important to send in trained crews who are experienced in storm drain cleaning.
Mold is a common burden for many buildings. All you need is a little moisture that rarely dries and a bit of light, and you’ll get mold spores. Once mold finds its home, it can be difficult to remediate.
It’s important to understand that mold remediation is not the same as mold removal. Mold can never be completely removed because one spore left behind will replicate if the growth conditions remain. And most often, these are unavoidable.
Mold remediation is a multi-step plan to make your space less hospitable to mold, keeping it to the point where periodic cleanings keep it managed in buildings. The best mold remediation companies will:
- Perform a mold inspection that also identifies and repairs the source of the problem
- Dehumidify the affected areas
- Contain the area to prevent mold spores from spreading
- Remove any materials not part of the structure that have been affected by mold
- Treat the mold with an agent that lifts it off any structural surfaces
- Vacuum the area with a HEPA vacuum that captures the mold
- Apply an antimicrobial agent, which offers a final protective coat
You have so many precautions in place through job training to keep employees safe, but the truth is, mistakes happen, and hazardous materials can leak, spill and contaminate nearby surfaces.
You need an emergency response team that understands the urgency of the situation and can manage this emergency event.
Response time matters. You need to mitigate risk to employees and the environment, minimize any hazardous waste contaminants and resume operations as soon as possible. Look for an industrial cleaning service that's also a certified hazardous waste management and disposal company, and you'll know who to turn to for this kind of cleanup and disposal.
What Types Of Chemicals Are Used For Industrial Cleaning?
A qualified cleaning service should always be able to tell you precisely what cleaners they'll be using for each project. Different cleaners may be necessary for different types of crystallization and build-up. The industrial cleaning company has a list of products they may (or will) use on your equipment, so be sure to request it.
Inevitably, some industrial chemicals will enter environments in an industrial setting, but it's critical not to contaminate the area when cleaning it. When possible, industrial cleaners should use biodegradable cleaning agents.
How Do You Find Professional Industrial Cleaning Services Near You?
Look for a company that is licensed, bonded and insured. That's especially important in an industry where they work with hazardous chemicals and dangerous industrial equipment.
Ensure a company is specialized and certified in managing hazardous waste and industrial cleaning. Your perfect cleaning service should have the capability not only to clean onsite but also to help you safely and legally dispose of hazardous materials.
A professional cleaner should provide a hazardous waste walk-through. During a walk-through, you provide the company with a tour of your facility, allow the industrial cleaning professionals to take notes, and discuss your concerns and problem areas along the way. This allows the cleaning company to provide you with a more accurate estimate based on the services you need.
An industrial cleaning company should work with your schedule. Of course, you'll need to give them some notice for routine cleaning, but you'll also want them to have emergency response capabilities.
Check references. Find out how a company performs from other industrial facilities like yours to ensure the company has the expertise, equipment and quality standards you, your employees, and your customers deserve.