Did You Know High Surface Dust Can Be Explosive?

At an industrial facility, lots of dust can be produced. Over time, that dust accumulates and needs to be regularly and properly cleaned. Unfortunately, many facility managers only think about cleaning areas that are visible.

They don’t realize that probable explosive dust, dirt and other debris are above their heads! High surface dust is one of the biggest dust explosion hazards and its removal should be a regular part of an industrial facility’s combustible dust cleaning regimen.

Through the course of everyday production, dust from manufacturing processes gets blown around and lands on high surfaces. Since these areas are out of reach and typically out of mind, they are not regularly cleaned. This high-surface dust continues to increase while the rest of the building appears clean. Seems pretty harmless, right?

Unfortunately, this dust can be made of combustible dust which can act like a bomb. In fact, one requirement for a combustible dust explosion is for a contained dust cloud to be created, and the settled dust in high up areas creates the potential for this to occur.

Usually there is a small fire or explosion that happens with the ground level dust, and the shock-waves or the attempt to put it out disrupts the dust on high surfaces. This causes the dust to fall down creating a dust cloud over the whole building.

This cloud reaches the initial ignition source, causing it to explode. These secondary dust cloud explosions have enough power to lift entire roofs from buildings, buckle concrete floors, and demolish entire factories.

By adding ceilings and rafters to your list of  areas to clean regularly, you will prevent the risk of a combustible dust explosion. By adding high surfaces, ceilings, and rafters to your list of areas to clean regularly, you will prevent the risk of a dust explosion. Click To TweetGetting rid of high surface dust will also help eliminate the risk of dust and debris entering ventilation and clogging-up the HVAC system. Clean rafters and high surfaces also means cleaner air for the people who occupy or visit  your building.

For a cleaner, healthier facility, look up! Are your high surfaces and rafters dust-free?  If not, now is the time to contact an industrial cleaning professional who is experienced and certified in dust and combustible dust remediation.


Hughes Environmental technicians are OSHA-trained and are experienced in cleaning high surfaces. Hughes Environmental uses equipment approved for combustible dust cleaning, such as intrinsically safe vacuums and grounded hoses.

To schedule high rafter or ceiling cleaning for your facility, or to learn more about combustible dust remediation, contact us or call: 888.845.3952.