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WCS Group integrates Hydro-X Air to create UK's largest air hygiene company

Feb 26, 2024

In October 2021, WCS Group and Hydro-X Air joined forces to become the UK's most prominent air hygiene company. This delivery partnership has allowed WCS Group to grow its service offering and further meet our customers’ specific requirements.

What is our new and improved complete service offering?

Since the two companies integrated, our team has been strengthened; we deliver everything we used to, but now with additional capacity, accreditation, and specialist areas. No matter your industry or where you are in the UK, WCS Group and Hydro-X Air have a team of experienced engineers who can deliver on your requirements.

Here are our six complete service offerings.

1. Ventilation Ductwork Cleaning and Maintenance

Dirt, dust, and debris are no strangers to industrial Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. Without ductwork cleaning and maintenance, they build up in those systems, interfering with their efficiency and workload and impacting indoor air quality. 

The ventilation system can be home to:

  • Particulates: Mixture of solids drifting in the air, consisting of dust, dander (skin flakes), soot, pollen, and smoke particles.
  • Microbes: Bacteria, viruses, fungi, spores, and mould.
  • Gases/Odours: Indoor gases released from furniture, carpets, cleaning chemicals, and insulation.

Not adequately cleaning ductwork can deteriorate the HVAC system, resulting in increased costs for the business.

For individuals, poor air quality can cause a reduction in productivity and a rise in absenteeism, also resulting in a cost to the business due to poor productivity and missed work days.

2. Laundry Extract Cleaning

Laundry extract systems remove the humidity and particulates created by the drying process. This provides hygienic and comfortable conditions for people living and working where there is a laundry extract system.

However, as laundry extract systems are humid and home to particulates, microbes, and gases, they can create an ideal environment for debris buildup within the extract system. This can lead to many hazards if the systems are not cleaned and maintained regularly.

These hazards include:

  • Risk of fire in the extract system due to the buildup of flammable material mixed with heat from the drying process
  • Growth of microbiological contaminants due to hot and humid temperatures and the buildup of material providing a breeding ground for bacteria
  • Diminished life span of the appliances connected to the extract system due to the reduction of free airflow

High-Rise Ventilation Ductwork Cleaning

Dirt, dust, and debris are no strangers to industrial Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. Without ductwork cleaning, they build up in those systems, interfering with their efficiency and workload and impacting indoor air quality. 

The ventilation system can be home to:

  • Particulates: Mixture of solids drifting in the air, consisting of dust, dander (skin flakes), soot, pollen, and smoke particles.
  • Microbes: Bacteria, viruses, fungi, spores, and mould.
  • Gases/Odours: Indoor gases released from furniture, carpets, cleaning chemicals, and insulation.

High-Rise Ventilation

High-rise ventilation differs from general ventilation systems for several reasons. In most cases, high-rise buildings have an air handling unit on their roofs, feeding a riser that runs the full height of the building with small spigots running off into individual rooms.

Due to the layout of these systems, they are susceptible to buildups of particles in the smaller ducts and become easily unbalanced, causing a further buildup in low flow rate areas and additional load on the air handling equipment. For this reason, high-rise ductwork cleaning is essential. 

Sleeping Accommodation Ventilation in High-Rise Buildings

Sleeping accommodation ventilation systems in high-rise buildings are subject to stricter monitoring and cleaning legislations as there are longer occupancy times and additional vulnerabilities if the occupant is sleeping. 

Regularly scheduled monitoring and cleaning allows the responsible person to act on any issues found and to ensure that their building is compliant and safe for its occupants.

3. Kitchen Extraction Cleaning 

Kitchen extract systems have an increased fire, odour, and hygiene risk compared to general air ventilation systems. Due to grease, cooking oil and other deposits that build up over time, kitchen extract duct cleaning is essential. 

Fire hazards increase if grease is left to build up in ventilation systems as it is an excellent fuel that can help a fire to spread throughout an extract system and into other areas of the building.

In 2006, it became an offence not to maintain systems. Charges of corporate liability or manslaughter may be brought against the operator or responsible person in the event of personal injury or death resulting from a fire associated with a poorly maintained system (section 17 of the RRO).

Whether you are a restaurant, a hotel, or any other type of building owner with catering facilities, our service can be tailor-made to suit your needs at regular intervals from weekly to annual maintenance (frequency of cleaning is vital).

4. Indoor Air Quality Assessments and Ventilation Hygiene

Hydro-X Air designed a comprehensive inspection report in line with BS 15780 ventilation for buildings and BESA TR19 for ventilation systems.

Our indoor air quality inspection assessment helps prevent workplace issues such as dry eyes, nose, and throat; tiredness; and general complaints of feeling unwell due to long-term exposure to a contaminated working environment.

We strongly recommend that regular inspections of the ventilation building plant and ductwork services are carried out to identify any potential contamination risks. Such contamination may have accumulated to a degree which could be detrimental to both the building users and processes being undertaken with the building.

What do Ventilation Hygiene Assessments include?

As a minimum, a ventilation hygiene assessment should include the following measurements:

  • Air temperature
  • Relative Humidity
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Airborne Microbiological testing
  • Airborne Particulate levels

Air quality action plan (AQAP)

Public health can suffer badly if air quality assessments are not regularly carried out. Pollution causes members of the public can to be at physical risk.

Also, a city’s culture can be affected by contaminated air. Landmarks can be damaged, for example. However, local authorities with an Air Quality Action plan (AQAP) can combat contaminated air.

An AQAP involves implementing measures to ensure air quality is improved, such as reducing the number of cars on the streets.

An in-depth well thought out strategy should be the product of much discussion. It needs to be multi-faceted and requires expert advice.

5. Local Exhaust Ventilation Surveys (LEV)

A local exhaust ventilation survey is an engineering control system that reduces exposure to airborne contaminants such as dust, mist, fume, vapour, or gas in the workplace.

As an employer, you must legally test your LEV extraction systems. Failure to do so could result in prosecution and insurance-related issues.

The systems must be classed as being maintained in an 'efficient state in efficient working order,' and all testing data must be recorded. In the event of an audit, an insurance company analyses the business records from the past five years. 

Employers must make repairs if the system has any temporary or permanent operational damage or if there is a possibility of exposure to airborne contaminants. 

Hydro-X Air has designed a comprehensive inspection report to meet COSHH regulations for Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) TExT.

What industry sectors do we work with?

Through integration, WCS Group and Hydro-X can now offer air hygiene services to most industries.

Education

We understand the importance of tight time scales to complete all planned preventive maintenance tasks during holiday periods in educational facilities.

From kitchen extraction cleaning or fire damper testing as part of the fire safety plan to indoor air quality testing and ventilation cleaning, we ensure the safety and well-being of future generations.

Also, our staff are enhanced DBS cleared at the start of their employment to help assure their credibility.

Government 

We have many years of experience working within the government sector, conforming to the highest security protocols. From His Majesty's Prison Service to police and local government buildings, our staff adhere to:

  • Escorting procedures for the safety and protection of our engineers, your staff, and all personnel associated with the site
  • Lockdown procedures, including make safe and evacuation procedures
  • High level of clearance and the security implications involved

Hospitality

We have worked in various hospitality venues, from small staff kitchens to major multi-site hospitality contracts. Our highly-trained staff are diligent, ensuring that your customers are not disturbed while we undertake these essential maintenance works.

Facilities Management

We understand the importance of the facilities management outsourcing model to ensure all air hygiene compliance meets the required relevant standards.

We offer a range of service packages that support clients’ needs to ensure buildings are safe and kept free from sick building syndrome. Our highly-skilled team work to tight timeframes to ensure no inconvenience is caused to a busy “live” working environment.

Healthcare

We understand the need to take a sensitive approach when working in any healthcare premises to ensure the dignity of hospital staff, patients and the public.

Our goal is to give you peace of mind to deliver a compliant air hygiene management programme to meet the meticulous standards set out in HTM 03-01.

What are the benefits of good air hygiene for buildings?

If a building has good air hygiene, the people in that building are less likely to suffer from ailments, including respiratory illnesses and allergies. People are also more likely to have good cognitive function and productivity and generally be more comfortable. 

The building will also operate more efficiently if it has a clean HVAC system, which will have an extended lifespan as regular maintenance and cleaning prevents the buildup of dirt and debris.

Ventilation hygiene and testing delivered by Hydro-X Air

Topics: Company

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