How Hollywood Got Air Ducts All Wrong

Posted Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

I can’t watch spy movies anymore. They’re too unrealistic; and it’s not the explosions, nor the convenient gadgets, nor the protagonist surviving a hail of bullets that un-suspend my disbelief. There’s always that particular scene in almost every espionage movie ever made. That. One. Scene.

The Trope

You know the one: The dashing hero is trapped in a small room by the devious bad guy. Calling upon their ingenuity, our hero removes the air vent cover and crawls into the building’s ventilation system. They slide effortlessly through the comfortably large, completely spotless passageways, with nary a speck of dust or 90-degree bend to be found. They rescue the girl (or guy!) on their way out and save the day, all thanks to those secret, unguarded corridors! Spare me.

What’s wrong with this common movie trope? Air ducts! I’ve seen the insides of too many ventilation ducts to take these movies seriously. These are, of course, Hollywood air ducts: never dirty, completely straight, and always the perfect size to fit our protagonist. The ventilation shaft escape is a staple of modern movies, but how would it work in the real world?

The Reality

In this non-James Bond world that you and I occupy, air ducts aren’t nearly as exciting and certainly can’t function as an emergency escape route. Since their main function is circulating air, most ventilation ductwork isn’t usually very large at all. Even in the largest buildings, a small child would have difficulty crawling around in there.  All apologies to Mr. Bond, but a muscle-bound secret agent simply isn’t going to fit – not easily, anyway.

Let’s talk about the conspicuous lack of dirt – another Hollywood inaccuracy. When 007 makes his dramatic exit (because you know it has to be dramatic!), his tuxedo and/or spy outfit is as clean as when he went in. Unrealistic? You bet! Do me a favor – go to the nearest air register and remove the cover. What’s it look like in there? Shine a flashlight if you need to. Would you want to crawl around in something like that?

In real life, this is what neglected air ducts look like on the inside:

Unless you’ve had a Modernistic air duct cleaning, the dirt and dust and debris would be terrible for your clothes, hair, etc. Not good for your suave, secret agent image! The damsel in distress would laugh you right out of her holding cell.

Life Imitates Art

Of course, these obstacles aren’t enough for some people. Movies are real life! Anything Bond can do I can do better! There have been more than a few attempts by wannabe 007s to use the air vents to sneak into high-level institutions (such as pizzerias and laundromats). As you can imagine, these incredibly amateur spies got dirty, got stuck, and got thrown in jail for their trouble.

That’s not to say the air vent escape has never worked! The exception that proves the rule is the infamous 1962 Alcatraz escape. In a caper that involved papier-mâché heads, secret corridors, a makeshift raft, and some chiseled-out air vents, 3 inmates pulled off the only successful escape from America’s most notorious island prison. To this day, the 3 fugitives remain at large; all thanks to ductwork! PLEASE NOTE: if you are currently reading this from prison, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. The people who planned your building already know about air vents and have taken steps to prevent you from doing this exact thing. DON’T DO IT!


Hollywood got it wrong. Again. Air ducts aren’t a viable escape/infiltration route anywhere, for a variety of reasons. At the very least, movies with scenes that feature crawling around in dirty air ducts should come with a warning: Don’t try this at home.

Modernistic has been keeping Michigan air ducts spotless since 1973! If you want to breathe easy, contact us today!

Why You Should Outsource Your Office Cleaning

Posted Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

Why Savvy Mt. Pleasant Companies Outsource Their Cleaning

We know Mt. Pleasant companies fit a lot into the workday. Unfortunately, the byproduct of all that work is dirt – dirty walls, dirty floors, dirty drapes, dirty furniture. It’s might seem like your company has the resources to handle all that dirt in-house. Here’s a few reasons why it’s better business not to.

Uninterrupted Maintenance

When that seasonal flu sweeps through the office, you have enough to handle without wondering who is going to clean the floor. Professional cleaning services are committed to consistently caring for your facilities, so you never have to worry. They have a qualified pool of substitutes for holidays, sick days, or when employees just have to attend that family function.


Cleaning services assuming their own operating costs. This means your company doesn’t need to budget for equipment and supplies, recruiting qualified maintenance staff, or adding more employee benefit packages. All of this lets your company focus its resources on the thing that really matters – growing your business.

High Standards of Cleanliness

When you outsource your office cleaning, you should hire people who make it their job to adhere to the highest industry standards. They will track recommendations for methods and products, as well as observe any regulatory guidelines regarding sanitary conditions. They train their staff to provide the safest, most effectual, and thorough cleaning possible.

Protecting Your Company from Legal Liability

Industrial cleaning can be a hazardous occupation, and requires a tailored insurance policy. If your company cleaners are in-house, you shoulder the burden of providing that insurance. You could also potentially face any litigation related to workplace accidents. By contracting your cleaning services instead, that company will assume liability and cover the costs of additional insurance.

Access to Specialized Maintenance Services

Do your office carpets need cleaning? When was your HVAC system last serviced? Are you prepared to deep-clean that high ceiling? Chances are, even if you assemble an in-house janitorial team, your company will still spend time and money hiring outside cleaners for certain jobs. When you outsource your office cleaning to a qualified company you will be able to select from a wide range of services. And you will see better prices than shopping for each individually.

Call Modernistic to Keep It Clean

Modernistic is ready to create a custom plan with your business to keep that factory floor sparkling, either with regular maintenance or an annual deep clean. Contact us, and take advantage of our quick simple scheduling, top of the line equipment, and years of expertise.

Is your factory in need of industrial cleaning?

Posted Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

Saginaw industries: do your facilities need to be cleaned?

Chances are, if you work in any large industry, your facilities are in need of regular cleaning.  Keeping a clean work environment isn’t just about appearances. Grit and debris on a factory floor contribute to accidents. Over time, it can also work its way into your machinery, causing more frequent break-downs. Some industries try to handle cleaning themselves, but this isn’t always the most feasible option. Here are our top reasons why you should consider outsourcing your cleaning to a 3rd party. (By which we mean: us.)

1. Modernistic has the equipment and expertise you don’t.

First off, handling your cleaning in-house means taking on extra staff to handle the cleaning. That ads a burden to your HR department to handle something that isn’t your specialty. It also means sourcing specialty equipment and products to handle the cleaning. If you have high ceilings, large floors, or difficult-to-reach spaces, you’ll need to invest in equipment to handle them. And that equipment will need to be stored and maintained, and your staff may need to be trained in order to use it. All of which ads up in cost for something which isn’t what you do, and may not be saving you money.

2. Never worry about passing an inspection.

Many of our clients hire us because they know we can do a job well enough to match the most stringent industry standards. We know we can, because we’ve done it numerous times in the past. So if you have a big inspection coming up, don’t waste time on second-guessing: let us handle it.

3. Stay focused on your business.

We’re guessing that industrial cleaning isn’t what you do best. And that’s OK: it doesn’t need to be, because it is what we do best. When you hire Modernistic for your industrial cleaning, you benefit from our experience working with other industrial cleaning jobs. And that’s not just 40 years of quality care serving businesses in lower Michigan: that’s 40 years times the individual experiences of our highly-trained technicians. That’s a lot of cumulative experience. So let us take one more thing off your plate.

If you’re interested in Modernistic’s industrial cleaning program, contact us today. We’re happy to customize our team to address your specific needs.