Silo Cleaning Services

Silo cleaning is necessary for both industrial and agricultural settings to store a wide range of goods, including flour, sugar, maize, grain, and animal feed. Periodic professional silo cleaning is necessary to avoid the accumulation of residue within silos (particularly internal sidewalls and discharge areas where bacteria can build and spread).

Using the latest silo-cleaning techniques we remove well-common silo blockages like funnelling, ratholing, plugging, doming, bridging, and caking. Our team is ISO accredited and has IRATA rope access and confined space training. We take hygiene extremely seriously and our GBAC star and ISO 45001 accreditation mean that the strictest environmental and safety measures are in place.

Sio cleaning – ISO 18001 and GBAC

Certified Silo Cleaning Company

In addition to IRATA, PASMA, SSSTS and IPAF, CICS is one of few UK silo cleaning companies with expertise in GBAC microbiological cleaning and ISO 45001 environmental cleaning certification – ensuring outstanding silo cleaning services for our customers. Our cleaning technicians employ a range of silo cleaning methods across all types of silo commodities – flour, grain, wheat, maize, corn, sugar, and animal feed. We ensure that remnants, residue, and discharge inside and silos are not just visibly clean, but also free of microbiological bacteria which can lead to cross-contamination, spoilage, and further damage to stored goods once silos are cleaned.

There are three basic levels of cleaning that apply to silos: 

  • Physically Clean – visually clean
  • Chemically Clean – clean to a standard where anything coming into contact with the surface suffers no chemical contamination.
  • Microbiologically Clean – clean and sterile so that there is no physical or microbiological contamination.
 
Each kind of cleaner has its own set of rules for how it should be used in a certain setting. Cleaning agents with a caustic base are often the most successful in removing organic deposits such as proteins, gums, yeast, sugars, and hop residues, whereas cleaning agents with an acidic base is typically the most effective at removing inorganic scale. Aluminium is attacked by caustic soda-based cleaners and other chemicals, thus the building materials also matter.

QDC Qualifications

GBAC Star Biorisk Accreditation

Types of Silo Blockage

What is Silo Blockage?

Silos are prone to material flow problems brought on over time by various obstructions and environmental factors. This happens regardless of their design or the stock that they are designed to hold. Build up inside the silo can cause asymmetries in the flow, which in turn raises the pressure loads inside the silo walls. The loads brought on by asymmetric flow can damage the silo’s structural integrity leading to significant damages and costs.The silo’s capacity to store fresh product is ultimately reduced by flow disturbance, which could eventually render it useless. Since different commodities are stored in silos and hoppers, various issues may arise. One illustration is how the wear from abrasive bulk grains can cause the interior surface of a hopper to become polished.
The most common types of blockages are (1) bridging, (2) caking, (3) doming, (4) funneling, (5) plugging, (6) rat holing, and (7) wall build-up or scaling. 7 Silo Buildup Types

Wall Build-up / Scaling

Wall build up and scaling inside the silo can cause asymmetries in the flow, which in turn raises the pressure loads inside the silo walls. The loads brought on by asymmetric flow can damage the silo’s structural integrity leading to further damages and costs.The initial phase in problems like bridging or ratholing is the vertical wall build up on the interior walls of silos and hoppers. It may be a significant, ongoing issue that both temporarily and permanently lowers the silo’s effectiveness. Additionally, it implies that the vessel’s maximum capacity cannot be used in the presence of vertical wall accumulation. Material buildup that results from friction on a silo’s inner walls will prevent the content from flowing freely. The resulting particle binding creates bottlenecks. This either entirely stops or significantly reduces the silo’s funnel flow, which increases stress on the wall. Friction needs to be lessened in order to solve the problem. Inclement weather makes silo wall thickening particularly likely. Metal silo walls can expand in the heat and compress as the temperature decreases in hot summers and cold winters. Thermal ratcheting is the term used to describe this daily occurrence.

Caking

Caking often happens when a substance becomes damp or stagnant and clumps together. This may significantly affect the flow inside the silo and cause clogging. It might happen anywhere in the silo and is likely to have an impact on the flow. Caking occurs when the strength of the inter-particle interactions grows over time. Moisture migration brought on by temperature fluctuations when soluble components are present is the most frequent reason for caking. In silos, caking causes flow resistance and can leave residue on the walls.

Bridging

Bridging is a type of silo blockage that occurs when material in a silo adheres together and creates an arch, fully obstructing the flow. Bridging completely obstructs the flow and can put great pressure on the silo walls. A product will not experience bridging issues if it is “free-flowing.” Sand is one such example, given that the particles are dry, roughly the same size, and relatively rounded. If the gravitational force is greater than the strength of the product, bridges will collapse. Therefore, bridging issues are more likely to arise with low bulk density products.

Doming

Similar to bridging, doming occurs when an arch forms over the silo’s discharge point, obstructing the escape of any material above it.

Plugging

Plugging is a general blocking of flow within in silo. Regardless of the design or the commodities housed within the silo, silos are prone to material flow problems brought on by obstructions. Blockages encourage undesirable flow characteristics in addition to reducing storage capacity and disrupting or slowing operations.

Rat Holing

Ratholing, also known as tunnel flow or chimney, happens when material adheres to a silo’s sides, causing a tiny hole to form down the silo through which material can escape. More material adhering to the hole’s sides will simply make the issue worse over time and further impede flow. Flow is once more impacted, and the strain on the silo walls compromises the structural integrity of the silo.

Funneling

Silos are prone to material flow problems brought on by obstructions, regardless of their design or the stock that they are designed to hold. Build up inside the silo can cause asymmetries in the flow, which in turn raises the pressure loads inside the silo walls. The loads brought on by asymmetric flow can damage the silo’s structural integrity leading to further damages and costs.
IRATA Ropes and Ladder

IRATA Rope Access Trained Technicians

Our team is trained in rope access and working at heights. We ensure safe access and cleaning of silos with three points of contact at all times. Cleaning silos is a high-risk activity. It is important when cleaning silos to have the right equipment including escape sets, breathing apparatus, rescue kits, and knowledge of CPR technics. Our team has full ISO 18001.

Why Do you Need to Clean Silos?

Our team is trained in rope access and working at heights. We ensure safe access and cleaning of silos with three points of contact at all times. Cleaning silos is a high-risk activity. It is important when cleaning silos to have the right equipment including escape sets, breathing apparatus, rescue kits, and knowledge of CPR technics. Our team has full ISO 18001.

Grain Silos
Silo Clean with ropes

What are the Signs that Silos Need Cleaning?

Noticing a decrease in the output indicates that the silo needs to be emptied and cleaned. The pressure within the silo may be affected by the accumulation of materials, leading to asymmetrical loading. Regular inspections of your equipment are recommended to prevent any irreparable damage.

Why Do you need a Professional Silo Cleaning Company?

Maintaining your silos to a satisfactory level is mandated by law under the Confined Space Regulations Act of 1997 which states that “No person at work shall enter a confined space to carry out work for any purpose unless it is not reasonably practicable to achieve that purpose without such entry.” You will need to hire a competent and reliable cleaning contractor.

Silo roof sheets
Silo discharge valve cleaning

How Often Should You Clean Your Silo?

At the very least, silos should be cleaned once per year, and larger enterprises should do it more regularly, ideally every six months, to prevent the growth of mould within the silo and to guarantee the freshness of grain, flour and other stored items. There is a tendency to put off cleaning silos due to the costs associated with disruptions in operation and lost output. Getting your silo cleaned along with regular maintenance and service might save you time and money in the long run. Using expert technicians from an accredited silo cleaning company maximises storage capacity, efficiency, and production while also minimising risk to workers.

Why Do you need a Professional Silo Cleaning Company?

Our team is trained in rope access and working at heights. We ensure safe access and cleaning of silos with three points of contact at all times. Cleaning silos is a high-risk activity. It is important when cleaning silos to have the right equipment including escape sets, breathing apparatus, rescue kits, and knowledge of CPR technics. Our team has full ISO 18001 qualifications to ensure health and safety standards are adhered to.
ISO-14001-2015-small
ISO-45001-small
ISSA CIMS
Silo Cleaning

Silo Cleaning Process

At CICS we’re experts in silo cleaning. Expert silo cleaning is needed on a regular basis to avoid the accumulation of residue on the silo’s inner walls and discharge areas. Store Product Insects (SPI’s) can proliferate in these conditions, leading to product spoilage and contamination. It is not uncommon for thousands of tonnes of grain to be stored in a single location for extended periods of time. If proper storage conditions (i.e., temperature and humidity) are not maintained, a small number of insects can quickly multiply to many hundreds of thousands.

Why Choose Us for Silo Cleaning?

We’re experts in silo cleaning. Our team is PASMA trained with rope access skills and the ability to work at heights. We ensure safe access and cleaning of silos with three points of contact at all times. Cleaning silos is a high-risk activity and it is important to have the right equipment including escape sets, breathing apparatus, rescue kits, and knowledge of CPR technics.

Our team has full ISO 18001 qualifications to ensure health and safety standards are uphold. The team follow strict guidelines and provide a fully certified service with GBAC, ISO, SSST, CSCS, PASMA, and IPAF qualifications. We also have IP5 & IP6 accreditation along with First Aid and DBS certification. The team are also fully kitted in protective PPE and they work thoroughly, professionally, and with integrity in an oftentimes emotional and distressing situation

500 +
Projects
1 k
Work Hours
70 %
Quality

Frequently Asked Questions

Silo cleaning entails lowering a technician into the silo with winching equipment to scrape and clean away deposits from that could otherwise lead to pest infestation, microbiological growth and commodity degradation or failure. 

Silo maintenance should include routine airflow system checks, professional cleaning, and complete silo emptying on a regular basis. One of the most important of these measures is the regular emptying of silos.
Silos can be cleaned in a variety of ways, but the most common involves brushing down the interior sides and/or scraping them as needed. Plastic scrapers may be required to avoid scratching the surface and sparking.
The term’silo’ is derived from the Greek word’siros,’ which means ‘a pit to keep corn in,’ and there are three modern types of silos: ‘bunker,’ ‘tower,’ and ‘bag,’ which store materials below ground, above ground, and in small quantities, respectively.
The Swissmill Tower in Zurich, Switzerland, is the tallest grain silo. This massive grain storage structure stands 118 metres (387 feet) tall and can hold up to 35,000 tonnes (38,580 tonnes) of grain.
Industrial cleaning is a group term for the cleaning of light and heavy industrial facilities. Light industrial cleaning involves cleans of units typically under 120,000 square feet. These include manufacturing plants, small factories, and warehouses. Heavy industrial cleaning includes capital-intensive units such as power stations, shipyards, oil, gas, and chemical processing plants.
Typical examples of industrial cleaning include the cleaning of factory floors, pressure washing inside and outside walls, cleaning of partition walls, lighting, windows, and suspended clients.
The key difference between industrial and commercial cleaning is the sectors they relate to. Industrial cleaning involves the cleaning of light and heavy industrial plants, units, and machinery. Commercial cleaning relates to the cleaning of commercial premises (offices, restaurants, shopping centers, and commercial kitchens). Typically commercial cleans will involve different chemicals, processes, and scheduling to industrial cleans.
Industrial cleaning equipment includes hot water pressure machines and steam cleaners, industrial vacuum cleaners, heavy-duty pressure washers, floor scrubbers, and dries, floor sweepers, fogging equipment. Cleaning specialists are typically dressed in high visibility vests and helmets for the health and safety of staff and to meet industrial cleaning regulations. For more hazardous cleans such as chemical spills, cleaning specialists wear full hazmat suits.
Store product insects are exactly what their name implies: insects that live and breed in stored products such as whole grains, processed foods. In the United Kingdom, the two most common types of SPI are beetles and moths.

Speak to Our Experts

If you would like further information about our services you can contact on the details provided below. 

Address: CICS (Specialised Cleaning) Limited, 20-22 Wenlock Road, London, England, N1 7GU

Email: info@cics.co.uk

Phone: +44 0333-323-0006

© 2024 CICS Ltd.

Registered Address: CICS (Specialised Cleaning) Limited
20-22 Wenlock Road, London, England, N1 7GU

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