How to Improve Your Facility’s Locker Room Ventilation

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There is an art to creating a great fitness center. In addition to providing the latest equipment, friendly knowledgeable trainers, clean locker rooms, and lots of hot water, your locker room needs to breathe.

Unfortunately many locker room ventilation systems are improperly designed, leading to issues such as high humidity, mold, corrosion, nasty odors, and unhappy members. On the other hand, a well-designed ventilation system means happier members, reduced maintenance, and increased sales.

Locker rooms are constantly bombarded with moisture from members who come in perspiring after workouts; from the humidity released when they shower; and by the moisture released in steam and sauna areas. That’s why it is critical to provide effective dehumidification combined with an exhaust system designed to capture and exhaust large quantities of moist air out of the building. If the excess moisture in the locker room is not properly vented, it will affect lockers, benches and other assets, and migrate to other areas of the facility.

Whether you are building a new facility or renovating an existing locker room, make sure your architect or engineer is providing an effective ventilation system that exhausts moisture out of the building as required by the International Building Codes. Some of the ventilation technologies currently being used for fitness facilities, include:

  • Energy Star-rated products, including solar-powered fans and other eco-friendly technologies,
  • Systems which reduce the energy required for drying and dehumidification, such as liquid desiccant technology,
  • Bi-polar ionization air-purification systems, to ventilate and also break down odors
  • And equipment that measures volatile organic compounds and particulates

 

Other Locker Room Considerations

In addition to proper ventilation, also consider the following when designing your locker room.

  • Using water-sealed ceiling tiles and ceramic floor tiles
  • Installing CO2 sensors for ventilation control
  • Selecting lockers that will not absorb moisture, and that will not corrode or delaminate in a high-moisture environment

 

Hunter Green Tufftec Lockers

Hunter Green Tufftec Lockers

Specify Tufftec Lockers®

Locker rooms – and the lockers in them – can be breeding grounds for mold and bacteria. Manufactured from solid HDPE, Tufftec Lockers® stand up to the many challenges of the locker room environment. Moisture is never an issue. Tufftec Lockers® are impermeable to moisture, resistant to mold and mildew, and will never rust, corrode, or delaminate. They are also naturally bacteria resistant and will not support the growth of bacteria, including MRSA. Easy to clean, and impact and dent resistant, Tufftec Lockers® will preserve their good looks for years to come. And most importantly, your investment is backed by the best warranty in the industry.

Selecting Scranton Products Tufftec Lockers® for your facility is a sound investment that will help keep your locker room odor-free, reduce your maintenance sots, and keep your members happy for many years to come.

To find out more about Tufftec Lockers® and our customizable locker solutions, please click on the link below.

5 Tasks School Facility Managers Hate: So Why Not Get Rid of Them?

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As a facility manager in charge of an entire school, there are probably a bunch of tasks that you’re not a fan of. In fact, you may even loathe them, so why not find a way to get rid of them? One of the most common tasks that has caused considerable dislike is routine locker maintenance. Given the number of lockers in your school, and the variety of issues that can occur with them, facility managers simply hate the meticulous nature of maintaining them. However, because it’s a school, you can’t simply get rid of the lockers and have barren hallways. Students need storage compartments for their books and supplies, but there has to be a better alternative that can reduce your workload.

The 5 Tasks of Locker Maintenance That Facility Managers Despise

  • Painting. Giving all of your lockers a fresh coat of paint is never fun. Sometimes, though, there are no other options. Whether the exterior is chipping, or there’s considerable wear and tear, you can’t get away with painting just one locker. Still, while you’re carefully brushing the paint on, you may also dislike the fact that it’s filling your school with harmful VOC emissions.
  • Graffiti Removal. It’s hard not to take graffiti personally since it’s you that has to clean it off the locker. This requires more repainting, which simply adds to the frustration because you know it can, and probably will, happen again.
  • Removing Rust. Facility managers hate rust removal because it’s so tedious. Whether you’re using vinegar or baking soda, endlessly scrubbing one specific spot on a locker is an easy way to wear your wrist out, let alone drive you crazy.
  • Meticulous Cleaning. In order to prevent signs of rust, unsightly stains, or dust, the lockers require significant cleaning. Power washing makes the process a lot easier, but even that results in considerable cleanup, and you have to wait until students are out of the building.
  • Replacing Lockers. When they can’t take any more, lockers need to be replaced. They get slammed shut every day and they’re exposed to the elements. However, replacing them can result in high costs and painstaking installation.

Getting Rid of These Menial Tasks

If you’ve always fantasized about ways to rid yourself of these meticulous, dull, yet important tasks, there are actually ways to get around them while still having viable lockers and storage compartments for students. HDPE plastic has been introduced to schools across the country, and has met with positive results among students and facility managers. These lockers have successfully cut down on routine maintenance. HDPE is a solid plastic, so it has a durable structure that’s actually resistant to impacts, scratches, and rust. When there’s graffiti present, you don’t have to open a fresh can of paint. The graffiti can simply be wiped off the locker without affecting the locker’s homogenous color. You’ll save time and money on maintenance with HDPE lockers. They’ll provide the necessary storage for students while ridding your day of those pesky tasks. Finding ways to cut your maintenance costs is great, but finding a way to eliminate the task altogether is every facility manager’s dream. Implementing HDPE plastic into your school will reduce the time and money that goes into your school’s maintenance. That way you’ll have a long lasting material that doesn’t require any frustrating or meticulous maintenance, allowing you to use your time towards more important and pressing tasks in your school. Want to learn more about HDPE lockers and the benefits of choosing them for your school? Download this eBook, The Ultimate Guide to HDPE Plastic Lockers, from your friends at Scranton Products.

How Your Hospital Locker Rooms Could Be a Breeding Ground for Bacteria

Any medical official can tell you that MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), simply known as infections that are resistant to antibiotics, can be extremely serious. That’s why it’s important to protect your hospital’s locker rooms from essentially becoming a Petri dish for this and other harmful bacteria.

However, like most things in life, there’s a right way and a wrong way to make sure that your staff and patients are protected.

Keeping Hospital Locker Rooms Bacteria-Free

For some, trying to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria is solved by treating every surface with vast amounts of heavy-duty cleaning products. However, this actually creates a number of additional concerns.

For one, the use of industrial cleaning products in large amounts can be harmful to the surfaces they’re being used to clean. Many cleaning products contain corrosive elements that can wear down certain materials like wood and metals. When these materials begin to corrode, it causes unnecessary maintenance and repair costs for building officials.

locker checklist

More importantly, these cleaning products can be harmful to the cleaning staff, who may be accidently overexposing themselves to fumes and corrosive liquids. For these reasons, it’s important to use cleaning products only as directed or to consider alternative options.

One way to keep your hospital locker rooms free of bacteria is to use bacteria-resistant materials like HDPE, or high-density polyethylene.

Bacteria-Resistant Locker Rooms

HDPE is a heavy-duty plastic material that can be manufactured into lockers, shower stalls, bathroom partitions, and more. This durable material is naturally resistant to bacteria and incredibly easy to clean. Since they have color throughout and aren’t painted, cleaning staff can power wash HDPE surfaces without fear of causing damage.

Just how resistant to germs are HDPE materials? According to independent tests, 98.4% of MRSA bacteria on HDPE surfaces died within just 24 hours without the use of any cleaning products.

In addition to limiting the growth of bacteria, HDPE is resistant to dents, scratches, rust, and graffiti. These qualities make it ideal for use in medical facilities as well as schools, government buildings, and more.

HDPE in the Real World

Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, IL, is familiar with the benefits of HDPE materials, having chosen them for use in the clinical area and nurse’s lounge. To maintain a healthy and safe environment, 500 HDPE lockers was installed to replace the previous metal ones.

“The new lockers are much more hygienic than metal because bacteria cannot live on the surface for very long,” said Mary Grimm, RN, nurse manager for maternal child services at the hospital.

Read the full Little Company of Mary Hospital Case Study for more information about their experience with HDPE materials. If you’d like to know how you can use HDPE lockers, shower stalls, and partitions in your hospital locker room, contact us at Scranton Products today.

Locker Room Design Tips: How to Choose the Right Locker Material

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When you select new lockers for your school hallway or gym locker room, you need to choose durable and long-lasting materials that will withstand the daily wear and tear of the facility’s environment. But with so many different options to choose from, how can you be sure that you’ll choose the right one for your school or facility?

To help you learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of the various locker material choices available to you, we’re here to give you some locker room design tips. Read on to learn how to choose the right locker material for your needs.

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Wood Lockers

Lockers made out of wood are used in a number of higher end settings. They share many of the same durability issues as painted metal but don’t perform as well since wood is typically more susceptible to damage from direct impacts than metal. If laminated plywood is used, that material may experience delamination if water or other liquids are able to seep between the layers.

The biggest issue with wood as a locker material is the fact that it is porous, meaning it will absorb odors as well. The odors can compound and create an unwelcome situation not only within a locker, but within a room or corridor where they are located. The porosity of the wood speaks of its organic nature and its ability to contribute as a food source for the growth of mold. Wood lockers will similarly require repainting or refinishing over time for a variety of reasons related to use, fading, and wear and tear.

Metal Lockers

Metal lockers are frequently found in school hallways and gym locker rooms because of their low cost and the view that they’re the standard product in the industry

Lockers made out of painted metal have been a common and long standing choice among many school districts and architects. They are typically viewed as a low cost option and a standardized product. However the cost benefit is limited to the initial purchase cost of the lockers only. Over time, they have been shown to require significant maintenance and attention which translates to more costs for several reasons.

While metal is seen to be fairly durable it certainly bends and is susceptible to dents and other damages. When the paint is compromised, then the metal is unprotected and that can lead to further damage such as corrosion or rust. This creates issues of both security and appearance if the damage occurs on the outside of the locker. It can also be a significant issue on the inside of the locker, particularly if wet items are placed on the bottom, scraping paint off and causing rust. That rust could eventually require the bottom or the whole locker unit to be replaced. In addition to the durability limitations of painted metal lockers, there are issues with keeping them clean and attractive. Painted metal has very low resistance to graffiti, scuffs and stains. Removal of any of these is typically not an easy task and may require the use of solvents that can damage the painted surfaces. In certain cases, removal may not be readily possible and the only option is to repaint.

Phenolic Lockers

Phenolic is a hard, dense material made by applying heat and pressure to layers of paper impregnated with synthetic resin.  Phenolic lockers are the most commonly thought of as durable lockers but are extremely heavy. Phenolic lockers are also not color throughout and most known for their black core exposed edges.

Phenolic material is not recyclable and not made in the US due to its harsh chemicals.

HDPE Plastic Lockers

HDPE plastic lockers are inherently moisture impermeable and non-porous, therefore lockers made of this material will never rust, corrode, or delaminate. For this reason, they are require little maintenance and have a low cost of ownership. From the standpoint of general durability, an impact test conducted following ASTM standards showed that HDPE plastic lockers had 59 times greater resistance to impacts when compared to metal lockers.

The nature of this material is to absorb and disperse any impact, meaning that dents are not likely and it is more resistant to abuse. Further, since the material is manufactured with solid coloring throughout, it makes scratches difficult to see, helping to retain its appearance under normal wear and tear conditions.

From a general maintenance standpoint, the qualities of HDPE that make it impermeable and nonporous mean that dirt, marker, paint and other items don’t stick to it. Worry-free maintenance is a real possibility when HDPE lockers are installed.

Even though there are many material options to choose from for lockers, it is important to understand the characteristics and what material will best fit your facility’s needs.

Scranton Products’ Duralife and Tufftec lockers are made with HDPE plastic material and have a wide range of design options. Learn where you can find HDPE plastic lockers near you.


Sustainable Building Products

4 Ways to Be More Environmentally Conscious without Remodeling

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It’s important to attempt to be environmentally friendly as much as possible, and that includes commercial restrooms and public locker rooms. Even a few minor tweaks and changes can go a long way in terms of supporting the environment.

You don’t have to completely remodel your restroom or locker room to boost your eco-friendly aspects. Scranton Products is here with four ways that you can be environmentally conscious without remodeling, so read on to learn how.

Read more

Things to Consider Before Your Athletic Locker Room Renovation Project

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An outdated locker room can be a dangerous eyesore. From lockers that constantly need repairs to the dated tiles in the shower area, a complete redesign can breathe new life into your facility as well as improve how your guests view and treat your locker room.

However, before you start tearing down walls and ripping up floorboards, there are a few things to consider when planning your renovation project.

Controlling the Flow of Air and Traffic

Anyone who’s been in a poorly ventilated locker room can tell you the importance of adequate air flow. Promoting a good flow of air through your locker room starts with design. You want to make sure that hot, humid air has a way to escape and new, fresh air can enter.

One way to create better airflow in your athletic locker room is to use a labyrinth entrance. Instead of a door, which would block air from entering or escaping the locker room, a labyrinth entrance uses hard turns to add privacy for guests.

Be sure to speak with your designer and architect to find the best ways to promote good airflow in your locker room.

In addition to airflow, you want to consider the flow of traffic coming in and out of the locker room. Will there be only one way for guests to enter and exit or will the locker room feature both an entrance and a designated exit? The latter option can improve the efficiency of your locker room and aid in your ventilation efforts.

Choosing Locker and Shower Materials

Thinking critically about materials before you buy can help you to save hundreds in maintenance costs. For example, traditional metal lockers have been a common choice for years, used in everything from schools to office buildings and, of course, locker rooms. However, metal is prone to denting and rust, which gives it a short life span.

The same can be said for materials used in the shower area, bathrooms, or any place where moisture may be present inside the locker room. For that reason, rust-resistant materials like HDPE provide a cost-effective solution.

school locker room

Cleaning and Maintenance

One of the most common problems that facility managers face is routine cleaning and maintenance. That’s why, while you’re in the planning stage of your locker room design, it’s important to consider how your design will affect the facilities cleaning and maintenance needs.

For example, if your locker room has a bathroom with partitions, you might consider using ceiling-mounted stalls instead of floor-mounted one. With ceiling-mounted stalls, the floor is much easier to clean.

In terms of maintenance, make sure to ask about life expectancy when sourcing materials. As we mentioned early, HDPE is resistant to rust and denting, giving it a much longer life expectancy than other materials, like metal. HDPE can also be power washed without damaging the color, which makes it extremely easy and inexpensive to clean.

Know What Your Guests Want

An easy way to guide your renovation efforts is to ask the people who use the locker room what they like, don’t like, or would improve. By reaching out to your guests, you’re sure to design an athletic locker room that has the features and accessibility they’re looking for.

Take a survey or create a suggestion box to generate feedback. Then review the responses with your team and decide which suggestions fit with your overall redesign plan. Also, be sure to download our free eBook on The 7 Mistakes That Architects Make When Choosing Bathroom Partitions and Locker Materials. These helpful tips could save you time and money during your locker room renovation project.

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: What Happens When Your Locker Rooms & Bathrooms Can’t Stand the Test of Time?

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What’s the one thing that you don’t look forward to each year in terms of your bathrooms and locker rooms? Maintenance costs.

If you’re a facility manager, you never want to have to repeatedly dip into your budget for pesky repairs and tweaks that only end up reoccurring each year. If you’re noticing this issue, the problem stems from the inability of your bathroom and locker room materials to stand up to the test of time, and we know why.

Scranton Products is familiar with this trend and is dedicated to making sure that your bathroom or locker room is durable and long-lasting so you won’t have to worry about any extra maintenance costs. Continue reading to learn why your bathrooms and locker rooms aren’t standing the test of time, what happens when they can’t, and how you can prevent this problem. Read more

Summer School Cleaning & Maintenance Plan

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During the typical school year, your building experiences a lot of use. However, performing the maintenance and large-scale cleaning that’s needed isn’t always an option when school is in session. That’s why many educational facilities wait until the summer recess to complete large-scale projects. However, this still leaves two possible conflicts.

The first conflict occurs when a school is still used during the summer months. Some schools, for instance, run summer camp programs, while others serve as pseudo community centers for public meetings or for clubs and organizations. Although it’s terrific that the school is being used by the community throughout the year, it makes it even harder for building officials to perform the needed cleaning and maintenance.

The second conflict arises from the mere effort of trying to complete multiple major projects in such a short span of time. This puts additional pressure on administrators to plan and coordinate with project leaders thoroughly ahead of time to make sure that the maintenance and cleaning can be completed within the time frame before students and faculty return to class.

Cleaning and Maintenance Plan

1.      Clearly define the objective.

The first step to designing a successful cleaning and maintenance plan is to clearly define the object. For instance, “Clean the entire building, top to bottom” isn’t a clear object.

Ambiguity is the enemy of effective planning, so be specific. Do the floors and carpeting on all levels need to be cleaned? Do the lockers need to have graffiti removed or need repairs?

Making a clear plan will also help when determining cost and balancing the school’s budget.

2.      Consider the stages and order of maintenance and cleaning.

You should also consider the order in which the maintenance and cleaning is performed. It’s highly recommended that, in most cases, cleaning is performed after maintenance. This is because some maintenance can leave behind dust and debris.

locker checklist

If the cleaning team came before the maintenance was completed, they would have to come back and perform a second cleaning. This redundancy can result in an inefficient use of the school’s budget and unnecessarily extend project timelines.

3.      Prioritize cleaning and maintenance projects.

Planning major cleaning and maintenance over the summer gives your teams only a few months to complete these projects. As a result, you may need to prioritize which projects are done at the beginning of the summer and which are done later. You may also need to determine which projects should be done right away and which ones, if any, can wait until next summer if time constraints require them to be postponed.

Most experts agree that your primary focus when thinking of cleaning and maintenance should be on areas of safety or health concerns. Many times this involves restrooms, locker rooms, and cafeterias. For example, bathroom partitions or lockers that have been damaged by rust can pose a serious safety risk, as corrosion can weaken the structure and leave sharp edges exposed.

4.      Identify materials that need to be replaced and the timeline needed to replace materials.

When choosing replacement products, be sure to select cost-effective materials that provide adequate durability and low maintenance costs and don’t negatively impact the indoor air quality of the school.

One material that features all of these characteristics and more is HDPE. Used in the making of bathroom vanities, partitions, and lockers, HDPE is a highly versatile and dependable material.

The Best Lockers for Pool Areas

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The lockers in pool locker rooms need to hold up in this high-moisture and high-humidity environment. So your patrons have a clean, sanitary locker room environment at your facility, your pool locker room needs to be equipped with the best possible lockers. So which ones should you choose?

Scranton Products provides Tufftec Lockers that are designed to withstand the moisture and humidity common in pool environments. Continue to reading to learn why Tufftec lockers are the best lockers for pool areas. Read more

5 Questions You Should Ask When Shopping for School Lockers

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When you’re shopping for school lockers for your facility, you want to be sure you’re choosing a durable material that can withstand the impact of students unloading their books, gym clothes, sports gear and other belongings. There are many different factors to consider when shopping for lockers for your school. Read on to find out the five questions you should be asking.

school locker room

1. How durable is the material?

School lockers face a lot of harsh wear and tear daily, so it’s important to choose lockers that are made of a durable material that can withstand this use.

The traditional option for hallway lockers is metal but they can come with a lot of drawbacks. They’re prone to dents with minimal impact which can compromise the aesthetics of the lockers and will end up costing a lot of money for repairs and replacement.

A impact test was conducted following ASTM standards that showed Duralife Lockers had 59 times greater resistance to impacts when compared to metal lockers.

2. How much maintenance do they require?

Constantly having to perform maintenance on your school lockers will become expensive in the long wrong. You want to be sure that the lockers you’re choosing are low maintenance to save you from this cost.

Traditional metal lockers have a lower initial cost than plastic lockers, making them an economical choice for schools. However, there are hidden costs such as additional expenses associated with cleaning, painting and the general maintenance of these lockers on an annual or semi-annual basis which may be overlooked.

By comparing the true cost of a traditional metal hallway locker to a Duralife HDPE locker over a 20 year period a study was done to take into account the initial cost, maintenance, dent and scratch repair, painting cost, graffiti removal and replacing damaged and corroded parts to create a cost of ownership model. Within 2 years, Duralife HDPE lockers are less expensive than metal. In 20 years, the accumulated savings are substantial.

3. How much noise do they produce?

 The noisy clanging that comes from shutting a metal locker can be distracting as it rings throughout the hallways, so look for an option where the sound is muffled.

Duralife Lockers are 3 times quieter than metal lockers and reduce noise in the hallway. This eliminates distractions from the hallways and leads to a better learning environment.  The difference between that is a metal locker noise would be equivalent to an alarm clock 2 feet away where the Duralife locker noise is considered similar to that created by a washing machine.

4. Are the lockers made of sustainable material?

Some major traditional metal locker brands do not meet the strictest standards for air quality and sustainability. These products are not Greenguard Certified. The Greenguard Certification Program gives assurance that products designed for use in indoor spaces meet strict chemical emissions limits. This contributes to the creation of healthy interiors.

Duralife Lockers are Greenguard Gold Certified and meet the strict criteria for products intended for use in schools, as well as other environments where children spend a lot of time. With Duralife Lockers, you can be confident that the lockers are not having a negative effect on your school’s air quality.

5. Are the lockers visually appealing?

It’s also important that the lockers are aesthetically appealing in your facility. You want people to come into your school and see it as a respectable environment. DuraLife Lockers have appealing vents throughout and a clean-looking surface. There are also built in handles and combination locks that are recessed to improve student safety.

To learn more about Scranton Products’ DuraLife Lockers download our free eBook, The Ultimate Guide to HDPE Plastic Lockers for Schools.