Problem: Grease leaking down the side of a pitched roof causing roof damage.

Recently we were contacted about fixing a grease leak and helping to prevent any further roof damage. We discerned that the problem was caused by improper hinging on a grease containment unit.

Improper hinging happens far too often and leads to a multitude of problems, including roof damage. Typically, these problems are caused by a hinge that was the wrong size for a fan, a hinge meant for a purpose other than grease containment, or no hinge at all.

Omni Containment hinges come in several sizes that are designed to evenly distribute the fan’s weight when it is open to prevent damage to the fan base. If you put a small hinge on a large fan, the hinge is likely to break. It will also bend the fan base like in the image below.

This is an example of what a proper hinge should look like.

Another issue is the use of non-industry specific hinges such as a piano hinge or a door hinge. Using a non-industry specific hinge will inevitably lead to serious problems. A hinge that is meant to hold a door open or closed is not engineered to distribute weight across a fan base. The danger here is that the hinge could break while a maintenance professional is in the process of cleaning and maintaining, not to mention the damage to the fan itself.

Having no hinge is also not a good idea. With no hinge in place, the fan would have to be lifted off the duct entirely and set aside to allow access to the duct. This would most likely result in injury to the maintenance professional and cause damage to the fan base. This could cause the sharp edges of the fan base to puncture the roof membrane.

Damage to the fan base is likely to lead to a damaged seal. And a damaged seal leads to a grease leak. That is what happened in this case and that is why it is so important to always use the proper size and type of hinge on your kitchen exhaust fan.

Solution: Custom-Built Roof Guardian

We knew this problem would need a unique solution. One of our traditional Roof Guardians would not solve this particular grease leak. We designed a special Roof Guardian surrounded on three sides and one side of the flat stock bolted into the roof. This successfully contained the grease and stopped the roof from being damaged further.