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.

Providing a Safer Gym Locker Against Bacteria

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New strains of MRSA, a drug-resistant bacteria, are emerging nationwide, causing hundreds of thousands of infections annually according to federal data, reports and academic studies. Though cases once were confined to hospitals, they are now showing up regularly in schools and gym locker rooms. Read more

The Duralife 123 Challenge: Do Your School Lockers Pass the Test?

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School personnel including teachers, principals, facility managers, PTA members, and superintendants all around are taking the Duralife 123 Challenge to find out if their school lockers pass the test. Lockers line the hallways of schools and face harsh wear and tear every day as students unload their books and belongings, open and close them between every class, and even draw on them. Will your school lockers pass the test? Take the Duralife 123 Challenge to See for Yourself.

Impact

You may think that metal lockers are more durable than plastic lockers, just like some of the school personnel who took the Duralife 123 Challenge, but they quickly found out that High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Duralife Lockers are far superior.

The first test of the Duralife 123 Challenge is to use forceful impact against a metal locker, then again against an HDPE plastic locker.

After hitting both lockers with a hammer, the  school personnel found that the metal lockers  were easily dented with little force while HDPE plastic lockers could be hit as hard as possible and did not leave a mark.

Traditional metal lockers are usually made from 16 gauge steel which is less than 1/16 inch thick material. This thin material makes metal lockers prone to denting and other types of damage. But Duralife Lockers are made of 1/2 inch thick rigid HDPE plastic, which makes them 59 times greater in resistance to impact than metal lockers.

Graffiti

Graffiti is a big issue when it comes to school lockers. Students may write all over their lockers, leaving damage and making your school appear in a negative light. It’s important to avoid a locker material that makes it difficult to clean graffiti off, and it’s also costly to utilize various cleaning methods in an effort to do so. You may also have to end up replacing the lockers or repaint them which is very costly.

The second test of the Duralife 123 Challenge is graffiti.  School personnel wrote on a metal locker and a Duralife Locker with permanent markers, and then they attempted to clean the marker off. As they tried to wipe the marker off the metal lockers very little came off and the graffiti was still very visible, , But when they wiped the marker off the HDPE plastic lockers, there was no residue left with little effort.

Noise

One big issue with metal lockers is the noise they produce when students close them. Hearing this loud sound ring throughout the halls is enough to give anyone a headache, and it’s particularly distracting to the students in class when they hear various locker slams in the hallway.

The third and final test of the Duralife 123 Challenge is noise.  School personnel slammed a metal locker then slammed an HDPE plastic locker to see which one made more noise. Metal lockers made a loud sound, while HDPE plastic lockers made a more muffled, quieter sound.

So take the Duralife 123 Challenge today and find out if your school lockers pass the test. To learn more about Scranton Products’ DuraLife Lockers, click here to download our free eBook, Sustainable Building Products: How to Make Your Facility Eco-Friendly from Top to Bottom.

Sustainable Building Products

HDPE vs. Metal: Which Material Comes Out on Top?

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When you’re searching for products for your facility, one of the most important factors to consider is material. The material of your products makes all the difference when it comes to durability, sustainability and aesthetics. You also want to make sure that you’re purchasing materials that will hold up over time Some popular materials include high density polyethylene (HDPE) and metal. If you’re torn between the two or you’re just looking for more information, keep reading to find out which material is the better option based on what matters most to you.

Pleasing Aesthetics

You want to make sure that the products in your facility add to your building, or blend in, rather than standing out and looking unsightly. Traditional metal lockers have vents and handles that protrude from the surface, which is not aesthetically pleasing. These protruding elements may also lead to bumps and scrapes and reduce safety in the facility. HDPE plastic lockers have vents built into the surface with recessed handles and locks for a smooth, clean look. The recessed handles and locks help to improve safety by eliminating the risk of bumps and scrapes.

Damage Resistant

Overall, HDPE plastic holds up better than metal against damages such as impacts, scratches and even graffiti.

  • Impact: Traditional lockers are made from 16 gauge steel which makes the material less than 1/16” thick. HDPE plastic lockers are made of ½” thick rigid HDPE plastic which makes them 59 times stronger and resistant to impact than traditional metal lockers.
  • Scratches: Scratches are also commonly seen on metal lockers which expose the metal underneath the paint. This requires paint to cover up or complete replacement. However, HDPE plastic lockers are one solid color throughout. You won’t have to spend time and money covering scratches or chips in the pain.
  • Graffiti: If you have to deal with graffiti in your facility, you’ll want to choose a material that can easily be cleaned. Markers can be very difficult to remove from metal lockers, and could even leave behind residue. But because of HDPE plastic’s non-porous surface, graffiti readily wipes off. Stickers and contact paper can also be easily removed.

Maintenance

Choosing materials that constantly need to be repaired, replaced or cleaned gets costly. While budget is always an important factor in choosing materials, it’s crucial to understand that products that are the least expensive initially could end up costing you in the future. Traditional metal lockers have a low initial cost, making them a top choice for facilities. However, additional expenses for these lockers, such as cleaning, painting and general maintenance will add up. The initial cost of metal lockers is lower than HDPE plastic, but HDPE plastic is less expensive over time. If you’re considering installing lockers or bathroom partitions into your facility, consider HDPE plastic over metal lockers for durable and sustainable products. Click here to find out where to buy Scranton Products.




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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.

Noise Can Negatively Affect Learning

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How to Improve Your School’s Learning Environment Noise is defined as “a sound, especially one that is loud or unpleasant or that causes disturbance.”According to a study conducted by researchers at Cornell University, students had more difficulty learning to read when subjected to continuous noise, such as airplanes taking off, compared to students learning at quieter schools. These findings, as well as similar findings from other studies, support the claim that noise can significantly affect a student’s ability to learn. However, noise doesn’t necessarily have to come from a busy airport or highway. Noise from the cafeteria, gymnasium, or hallways can negatively affect the learning environment of any classroom nearby. In this post, we take a closer look at what you can do to reduce noise and improve the learning environment within your school.

How to Reduce Noise Inside the Classroom

Repair/Maintain Ducts, Fans, and the HVAC System A properly functioning HVAC system should produce only a slight whooshing sound. Meanwhile, ducts and fans should be virtually silent. If any of these are making loud or distracting noises, it could be a sign that they need repairs. Stay up-to-date on building maintenance to keep systems working effectively and sound levels at a minimum. Dampen Noise from Chairs and Desks Depending on the kind of furniture in your classroom, chairs and desks sliding across the floor can create a considerable amount of unwanted noise. To help reduce the noise from these objects, dampeners can be placed on the feet where the chair or desk meets the floor. An old solution was to cut a small slit into a tennis ball and then fit the leg inside to create a type of shoe. Today, much more effective and stylish solutions are available. Install Drapes Over Windows Thick windows do an exceptional job of blocking out unwanted noise, but adding thick drapes can add an extra level of sound protection. Of course, you may not want to cover up windows during the daytime if they offer the primary source of light. Instead you can invest in soundproof windows, plant shrubbery outside the windows, or install lighting fixtures to provide enough light so you can close the drapes. Use Plastic Lockers in Hallways Metal lockers can cause a considerable amount of unwanted noise, which can distract the students in any classroom that might be nearby. Plastic lockers provide a perfect alternative to metal lockers, producing a fraction of the noise. Plastic lockers made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) are also much easier to maintain thanks to their natural resistance to rust, dents, and graffiti. locker replacement checklist Soundproof Walls, Floors, and the Ceiling It’s widely known that sound waves easily bound off hard, flat surfaces. Meanwhile, soft surfaces absorb sound. So if you’re looking to limit the amount of noise in your classroom, you might consider using soft carpeting rather than tiles or hardwood flooring. You can also install sound-absorbing panels on the walls. Finally, ensure than any gaps between the ceiling panels are sealed. Although the only quiet classroom may be the one without students, it’s possible to keep noise levels low so you can build a better learning environment for your students. Follow these tips to help reduce the negative effects of noise.

How One High School Won an Excellence in Construction Award with HDPE Lockers

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An Excellence in Construction Award can go a long way for a high school. It shows that you truly care about the quality of your high school and want to provide your students with the best materials for the most comfortable learning experience possible.

Ocean City High School in Ocean City, NJ, earned an Excellence in Construction Award for a unique reason that should be noted by facility managers and supervisors in high schools across the country. The school’s HDPE plastic lockers were a driving force that led to the award.

Continue reading to learn more about the impact that HDPE plastic lockers can have on issues that high schools encounter.

High-Cost Maintenance

For Ocean City High School, investing in lockers that would reduce the need for and cost of future maintenance was of the utmost importance. One of the major issues they were encountering was corrosion, seeing that the high school is just a few miles from the shore. In the past, the high moisture and salt content in the air was entering the building and causing rust and corrosion on their metal lockers.

Vandalism

Graffiti removal also was an issue at Ocean City High School. In the past, removing graffiti was a time-consuming and costly task that sometimes resulted in the need for all new locker parts. Scratches and dents were another issue that decreased the visual appeal of the school’s interior.

Combined, these three issues were negatively affecting Ocean City High School, and the school needed a solution when shopping for and installing new lockers.

Solution in HDPE Plastic Duralife Lockers

To combat the issues that Ocean City High School was experiencing with their metal lockers, they decided to take advantage of the more durable choice of HDPE plastic from Scranton Products.

During the seven years that the HDPE plastic lockers have been installed, there have been significant improvements. Ocean City High School hasn’t experienced any locker break-ins, no required maintenance because of broken parts, and no noticeable signs of scratching.

Thanks to the HDPE plastic material and easy-apply associated cleaner, graffiti removal has been significantly easier, saving time and money because there’s no need to repaint lockers.

All in all, the switch from metal lockers to HDPE plastic lockers has benefitted Ocean City High School in numerous ways, including recognition as a high school that strives for excellence in construction.

The Excellence in Construction Award can go a long for a high school that wants to create an aesthetically pleasing architectural design that will hold up and look great over time without the need for maintenance. Ocean City High School was able to do just that thanks to the implementation of HDPE plastic Duralife lockers from Scranton Products.