Grease Leak In Exhaust Hood? Here's Why And Its Solutions

Grease Leak In Exhaust Hood? Here’s Why And Its Solutions

The exhaust hood is one of the most crucial pieces of equipment in commercial kitchens, tirelessly working to remove grease, smoke, and odors from the cooking environment. However, when grease begins to leak from the exhaust hood, it can spell trouble for kitchen operations and safety. We explore the common causes of grease leaks in exhaust hoods, the potential risks they pose, and effective solutions to address the issue, ensuring a clean and safe professional kitchen environment for all.

Understanding the Causes of Grease Leaks

Grease leaks in exhaust hoods can occur for various reasons, often stemming from issues with the hood’s construction, installation, or maintenance. Some common causes include:

1. Poor hood design

Inadequate hood design or improper sizing can lead to inefficient capture and containment of grease-laden vapors. If the hood is too small or improperly positioned relative to the cooking equipment, grease may escape and accumulate on nearby surfaces, resulting in leaks over time.

2. Faulty ductwork

Leaks can also occur in the ductwork connected to the exhaust hood, particularly if it is poorly sealed or damaged. Holes, gaps, or loose connections in the ductwork allow grease-laden vapors to escape, leading to grease buildup and potential leaks in the exhaust system.

3. Lack of maintenance

Neglected or improperly maintained exhaust hoods are more prone to grease leaks. Accumulated grease and debris in the hood and ductwork can obstruct airflow, increase pressure within the system, and contribute to leaks over time. Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential to prevent grease buildup and ensure the proper functioning of the exhaust hood.

4. Overloading or misuse

Excessive cooking activity or misuse of cooking equipment can also contribute to grease leaks in exhaust hoods. Cooking at high temperatures or using equipment improperly can generate more grease-laden vapors than the hood can effectively capture, leading to leaks and potential fire hazards.

Potential Risks Associated with Grease Leaks

Grease leaks in exhaust hoods pose several risks to commercial kitchens, including:

1. Fire hazard

Accumulated grease in the hood or ductwork is highly flammable and can ignite if exposed to high temperatures or flames. Grease leaks increase the risk of fire, endangering the safety of kitchen staff and patrons and causing extensive property damage.

2. Health and safety concerns

Grease leaks can result in the buildup of grease on surfaces, floors, and equipment, creating slippery conditions and increasing the risk of slips, trips, and falls. Additionally, grease-laden vapors released into the kitchen environment can compromise indoor air quality and pose respiratory health risks to occupants.

3. Non-compliance with regulations

Grease leaks in exhaust hoods may violate Singapore Food Agency (SFA) and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) health and safety regulations, as well as industry standards and codes. Failure to address grease leaks promptly and effectively can result in fines, penalties, and legal liabilities for commercial establishments.

Effective Solutions to Address Grease Leaks

To mitigate the risks associated with grease leaks in exhaust hoods, commercial kitchens can implement the following solutions:

1. Regular cleaning and maintenance

Establish a routine cleaning and maintenance schedule for exhaust hoods and ductwork to prevent grease buildup and ensure the proper functioning of the system. Commercial kitchen cleaning services can remove accumulated grease and debris from hard-to-reach areas, reducing the risk of leaks and fire hazards.

2. Upgrading hood design and sizing

If grease leaks persist despite regular maintenance, consider upgrading the exhaust hood to a more efficient model with adequate capture and containment capabilities. Ensure that the hood is properly sized and positioned relative to the cooking equipment to maximize effectiveness and minimize leaks.

3. Sealing and repairing ductwork

Inspect the ductwork connected to the exhaust hood for holes, gaps, or loose connections and seal them properly to prevent grease leaks. Repair or replace damaged duct sections as needed to maintain the integrity of the exhaust system and minimize the risk of leaks.

4. Educating staff on proper equipment use

Train kitchen staff on the proper use and maintenance of cooking equipment to minimize grease emissions and prevent overloading of the exhaust hood. Encourage responsible cooking practices and provide guidelines for cleaning and maintenance to prevent grease buildup and leaks.


Grease leaks in exhaust hoods pose significant risks to commercial kitchens. By understanding the causes of grease leaks and implementing effective solutions, commercial establishments can mitigate these risks and ensure a clean and safe kitchen environment for staff and patrons alike.

Found issues with your exhaust hood? Yasoda Evershine is here to help. Having served a wide range of industries for more than 25 years, our team of staff is more than skilled in carrying out our Kitchen Exhaust Hood & Filters Cleaning service that meets your needs.

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