Having your grain bins and silos pressure washed as a means of preventing a series of problems typically resulting from hygiene issues is of the utmost importance. However, a common misconception is that only the large farms and food companies must clean their silos regularly. Given that silos usually hold grains, silage or other products used to feed dairy cattle or produce food, they should be cleaned and maintained as any other piece of food production equipment. Now, let’s go over the most important reasons why you should have your silos thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis, whatever their contents.
- Preventing paint film deterioration – If silos aren’t pressure washed when empty, paint coatings will deteriorate. Grain or silage deposits and encrusted, sticky residues that adhere to silos’ walls and bottoms allow moisture and organic acids to accumulate more in those areas. In the presence of high temperature and humidity levels, organic acids slowly attack and degenerate paint coatings, making silos more susceptible to rust. Besides contaminating silo contents, loose and flaking paint and rust are two common causes of air and water leaks in silos. As a precautionary measure, silo interiors should be regularly inspected, pressure washed at least two times a year and re-coated every few years.
- Preventing food waste – New processing technologies have made possible the efficient production of high-quality foods. But a more important aspect is the compliance with the safe food handling requirements. When silos aren’t completely emptied and pressure washed periodically, powdered products can clump together and create “bridging,” which will stop product flow. In addition, silo contents are susceptible to bacteria build-up at various points due to deposits, residues and blockages, infestations from stored product insects like flour beetles, moths and biscuit beetles, and mold growth resulting from high moisture content. Germs, mold spores and insects will eventually accumulate inside and contaminate future silo contents, resulting in massive food waste and production downtimes associated with remedying the problem.
- Preventing fires and explosions – Because some powdered products, such as flour, sugar and chocolate powder, can catch fire or explode when stored and handled incorrectly, they’re classified as dangerous goods. According to OSHA, fires and explosions caused by powdered products are often severe, involving substantial property damage, severe injuries and even loss of life. To control dust accumulation inside silos and reduce the risk of fire and explosion, silos should be pressure washed on a regular basis.
In Florida’s climate, which is characterized by high temperature and humidity levels, silos should be put on a routine cleaning schedule and pressure washed every few months, depending on what’s being stored and how often they’re emptied.
Since 2001, Performance Painting Contractors have provided versatile, effective and safe cleaning solutions for different residential, industrial and commercial spaces, including building exteriors, driveways, sidewalks, fences, parking garages, warehouses and silos. Our experienced, individually trained and OSHA-certified professionals are capable of performing a wide variety of pressure washing and painting tasks efficiently and safely, while causing minimum disruption. To discuss your pressure washing or painting needs in more detail, we invite you to contact our friendly customer service staff at (813)-308-0388 in Tampa or at (904)-641-4800 in Jacksonville, FL.