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Maintaining Your School Bathroom

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As a facility manager of a school, you’ve got a lot to keep up with in terms of maintenance. However, one of the most important areas to focus on are the bathrooms in your school. There are a variety of factors that can contribute to the drop in quality of your bathrooms, but there are a few ways that you can stay ahead of the elements and keep your bathroom in great shape.

Factors That Affect Your School’s Bathrooms

The bathrooms in your school may be the most visited areas of the entire building, which means that you’ll need to stay on top of cleaning and maintenance to ensure that everyone walks away with a pleasant experience. However, the first step towards keeping your bathroom in great shape is identifying the factors that affect your school’s bathrooms.

  • Unpleasant Odors. There are a few reasons why your bathroom has a distinct and unpleasant smell, but the first step is identifying where the smells are coming from before you initiate a plan to rid your restroom of these odors.
  • Dirty Floors & Vanities. No one likes to see excessive dirt and crud on the floor, especially in the bathroom. Countertops and bathroom vanities are also known to collect dirt, so executing a thorough cleaning plan is important.
  • Low Water Pressure. If your water pressure is low, it can add stress and aggravation to the bathroom experience. Be sure that the sink and toilet water pressure are up to your standards.
  • Mold Growth. Over time, your bathroom will begin to sprout mold because the humidity and moisture create an environment where fungus thrives, and foul smells are present.

Execute a Heavy-Duty Cleaning & Maintenance Strategy

Make a plan to clean your school’s restroom vigorously on a regular basis—and not just sweeping the floor and throwing away any paper towels that didn’t quite make it into the trash. You’ll want some anti-bacterial cleaning products to meticulously clean the restroom. This can help combat the smells and bacteria that are growing. You’ll also want to regularly check your facility’s water pressure to be sure that the water in the sink and the toilet flushing are up to par.

Stop Mold in Its Tracks

Earth Toned Bathroom interiorYou’ll be able to spot mold sprouting in the corners of your bathroom, but that’s not the only place it can grow. Often, mold begins to sprout inside toilet partitions that have an inner core. The kraft paper interior stays moist due to the humidity in the bathroom. Over time, the mold will begin to take over. Once mold has grown inside these partitions, it’s difficult to clean and salvage the partitions.

However, you can stay ahead of mold growth and put off on replacing your partitions repeatedly. Using HDPE plastic partitions can help ward off mold because this solid plastic doesn’t feature an inner core that can absorb moisture. Installing HDPE plastic partitions has a variety of benefits: they’re easy to clean, mold won’t grow, and they outlast most other materials.

Picking a Long-Lasting Solution

Having a solid plan to regularly maintain your bathrooms is important. You’ll want to take the necessary steps that you’re combatting the elements, preventing any mechanical issues, and warding off mold and bacteria. HDPE plastic partitions can aid you in a number of ways, from preventing mold growth within your stalls, reducing the foul odors, and having a material that can last a long time to stand up to the factors that affect your school’s restrooms.

Want to learn more about HDPE plastic partitions and how using the right materials can help you maintain your school’s bathrooms? Check out this eBook, Choosing Bathroom Materials, from your friends at Scranton Products.

Your Back-to-School Cleaning Plan & Checklist

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To a school facility manager, the end of summer is an exciting and busy time. While you may have kept up with some routine maintenance and cleaning throughout the off-season, now it’s time to really get started on preparing the building for the upcoming school year. This means getting a back-to-school cleaning plan and checklist together to make sure that you cover all your bases so your school building can be ready to start the school year off on the right foot.

Clean Those Hallways.

It’s important to give your hallways a thorough cleaning before the school year begins. Most germs and bacteria are picked up through foot traffic, and more often than not, those germs end up in the hallways. Utilizing a strong disinfectant cleaner can help combat the spread of germs. However, there are green cleaning products on the market that can help you achieve germ removal and still keep harmful chemicals from contaminating the air.

Focus Your Efforts in the Restroom/Locker Rooms.

School restrooms and locker rooms are a breeding ground for bacteria, germs, and, of course, mold. While a thorough cleaning can help reduce the growth and spread of mold, it may already be too late. The constant presence of moisture can actually cause mold to sprout inside your partitions. If this is the case, you’ll need to replace them. But why not replace them with a material that can resist mold growth, such as HDPE (high-density polyethylene)?

Test Your Water & Air Quality.

Be sure to check your air and water quality to see if it’s up to code. Find a water tester in the area to help you conduct these routine tests so you can see where the quality lies. If the result isn’t as high as you’d hoped, consider replacing the filtration system. When it comes to air, there are several ways that you can do your part increase the quality. Consider getting indoor plants, utilize HDPE building materials, and have your HVAC system checked for any issues.

Clean/Replace Lockers.

You may not realize this, but lockers are a hotbed for germs. When the light catches them just right, you can see the assortment of finger prints, grease, and smudges that have built up over time. You can utilize cleaning products, but if there’s any rust or exterior damage, you may want to consider replacing them. Luckily, HDPE plastic lockers don’t rust, they don’t easily damage, and they’re resistant to graffiti, helping you maintain your facility without having to paint over them. HDPE lockers can also help improve the school’s air quality. This material is also low maintenance, which helps you save time and money on your school cleaning checklist!

Was this back-to-school cleaning plan and checklist helpful in showing you the many ways that you can help get your school ready for the sudden influx of students? Do you want to find ways to make your school a safer and more sustainable environment for the students? Check out this eBook, Safe School Design: How Architecture Plays a Role in Creating Safe & Secure Educational Spaces, from your friends at Scranton Products.

 

How HDPE Can Save Your Facility Maintenance Costs

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When it’s time to start a lengthy renovation project in your facility, or you’re about to break ground, it’s important to use the right materials for the job. Not only do you want building materials that are sturdy and reliable, but you want something that’s going to save you maintenance costs in the long run. That’s why a lot of facility managers are utilizing HDPE (high-density polyethylene) as materials in their bathroom for partitions, stalls, and even vanities. If you’re a facility manager who’s in the process of deciding on these types of materials, you may want to learn a little more about HDPE and the benefits of choosing it.

HDPE & Durability

The most expensive form of maintenance is usually the regretful replacement. Whether your stall or partition was damaged beyond repair, or it’s infested with mold, having to replace the entire piece can not only be expensive, but also time-consuming.

HDPE offers a highly durable solid plastic construction that can outlast most other materials when it comes to impacts. Most plastic materials show a sign of damage, whether it’s a dent, a scratch, or even a hole. HDPE has an impact resistance that’s almost 60 times greater than that of other plastics and even metal, meaning it won’t scratch or dent, leaving you with a reliable material that you won’t have to replace any time soon.

Standing Up to the Elements

You’d be surprised at the amount of damage caused by humidity and moisture, especially when it comes to the materials that you choose in your bathroom, where these two elements are a constant presence. Most plastic partitions have a foam or core interior, which over time, becomes tainted by the moisture and begins to sprout mold, resulting in a foul smell and a significant drop in air quality.

HDPE, on the other hand, can stand up to humidity and moisture because it’s a solid piece of plastic with no soft and foamy inner core. Installing HDPE in your facility’s restroom will not only prevent mold from growing on/in the plastic, but it’ll help keep your air quality in good standing. You’ll save yourself from a costly replacement by using HDPE stalls and partitions.

Easy to Clean

One of the major benefits that HDPE has over other materials is that it’s very easy to clean. Other materials will not only absorb germs, but when there’s graffiti present, the piece requires a paint job. Not only does this add to the costs, but it brings your air quality down due to VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions. HDPE doesn’t require any strong expensive cleaning products or paint. Any smudge, dirt, or even spray paint can simply be wiped away, saving you both time and money on your maintenance and cleaning.

Was this article helpful at showing you how you can save on maintenance costs by implementing HDPE in your facility? If you want more information, you can always download eBooks like Choosing Bathroom Materials or The Professional’s Guide to Commercial Bathroom Renovations and Remodels, from your friends at Scranton Products.

Just Say NO – To Germs!

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When it comes to a career in the healthcare industry, fighting against germs is an everyday challenge. Even with the all of the quality control measures hospitals and clinics take on a daily basis, germs still present an ever-present risk to good health. We can’t address all the surfaces healthcare workers and clinicians come in contact with every day, but we do have a solution for storing lab coats, scrubs and uniforms. Tufftec healthcare lockers provide an answer for minimizing MRSA, germs and mold due to its non porous HDPE surface.

 

HDPE – Naturally Germ Resistant Surface

While these lockers are designed to meet the healthcare industry’s needs for storage, Tufftec lockers not only meet that need, but exceeds it by creating lockers built from germ-resistant HDPE. The solid core makeup and properties of HDPE provide that much needed bacteria resistant surface that is impermeable to moisture. Since no moisture can permeate the surface, the locker surface can resist bacteria and provide a clean environment to store clothing.

Testing shows that within 24 hours 98% of MRSA bacteria naturally dies off of Tufftec HDPE Healthcare lockers without the use of any cleaning solutions. *

 

*Testing conducted by SiTU Biosciences LLC by the ISO 22196 methods

 

Heavy Metal Not The Right Choice For Healthcare

Outside of the scientific research that makes the case for using an HDPE product, the low maintenance and sustainability provided by HDPE are clear benefits that a traditional metal locker cannot boast. The lockers are impact and dent resistant, making them a better choice than metal in the busy healthcare industry. The 100% recyclable, HDPE materials withstand the harshest daily use, while remaining virtually maintenance free.

Read more about how Tufftec healthcare lockers were the right choice for a new patient care facility in Missouri.

How to Get Rid of Bathroom Odor in Your Facility

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Foul odors in the bathroom can make for an unpleasant experience. Unfortunately, due to moisture and humidity, these odors can end up sticking around for a long time. As a facility owner or manager, you’ll want to ensure that you take every step toward reducing those smells as much as possible. Here are a few tips and tactics on how to get rid of bathroom odor in your facility. 

Air Fresheners

Plug-in air fresheners are handy to have around. They consist of an electric plug and a disposable capsule that’s filled with a scented liquid. When plugged in, these devices will sporadically spray throughout the day, which results in a continuously pleasant smell. You could also get motion-activated air fresheners, which would provide a fresh scent every time someone walks by it.

Adjustable air fresheners are a cost-effective way to get rid of bathroom odor. These cone-shaped air fresheners feature scented gel inside the capsule. You can adjust the strength of these air fresheners to make the scent milder and longer lasting. 

Deodorizers

Deodorizers can be a powerful ally in helping you defeat the awful smells in the bathroom. Luckily, there are a wide variety of deodorizers out there that come in various forms like oils and gels. These chemicals can easily be applied with various cleaning products like brushes, sponges, and mops. Apply a coat of a deodorizing solution to your bathroom and see if it’s effective in combating those odors. 

Re-Caulk Your Tiles

An industry secret on how to get rid of bathroom odor is replacing the caulk between joints, seams, and tiles. This absorbent material could be the reason behind the foul smells that linger in your bathroom. If you notice that you’ve cleaned your bathroom, and it still has odors, there’s a strong chance that you’ll need to replace your caulk. You should remove the original caulk with a razor blade or X-ACTO knife before you apply the new caulk to your tiles and seals.

Invest in New Stalls

It may not be obvious, but the bathroom odors could be coming from your stalls. Laminate, steel, and wood stalls can absorb these foul bathroom odors over time. When absorbed, the smells will continue to emanate from the materials inside the stalls. If you sniff out the problem, and rule your stalls as the culprit, it may be time to get new stalls that are more resistant to these odors.

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a durable material that’s not only resistant to stains, dents, and graffiti, but it can help increase the quality of your air. Normal bathroom stalls are susceptible to moisture and humidity, which is why they absorb smells. HDPE is impervious to the atmosphere in the bathroom, so it won’t absorb the odors.

 

Do you want to learn more about how to effectively clean your commercial bathroom and have it smelling fresh? Download our eBook, the Commercial Restroom Cleaning Checklist, today.

Restroom Requirements for Commercial Buildings

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Whether you’re the proud manager of a commercial facility, or you’re in the process of designing your building, there are a lot of legal requirements that you need to adhere to for the benefit of the facility’s occupants. More importantly, your facility’s restrooms need to meet certain standards involving architectural planning and health code standards. Here are a few tips to help you meet these OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) specific requirements for commercial buildings that ensure your occupants can have a safe and sanitary restroom.

Planning Your Toilet Facilities

When you’re planning your facility’s restrooms, there’s a lot that you need to factor into the designs. It’s always best to have an idea of how many employees or occupants are going to be in the facility on a daily basis. Generally, 1-15 occupants legally require at least one toilet per each gender-designated restroom. If the occupancy is between 36 and 55 individuals, then that number jumps to three toilets per restroom.

While many people enjoy the single occupant restroom, it can cause frustration and complaints, so if you’re planning your facility from the ground up, a multiple occupant restroom should be heavily considered. If you expect a possible influx of occupants due to company growth, choosing a multi-toilet and urinal restroom is a wise choice. Make sure to include a designated handicapped stall to be ADA compliant.

Ensuring Occupant Privacy

Relieving oneself is a private matter, so taking the necessary steps to ensure privacy is important. Single-toilet restrooms should have a door that can be locked from the inside. Multiple-toilet restrooms should feature stalls and partitions that provide the necessary privacy. Non-ADA stalls should be at least 60 inches in width and a minimum of 55 inches high, but not limited to 72 inches in height.

Sanitation Standards

Hand washing stations are also a requirement in your restroom. Signs indicating the requirement to wash hands can be helpful in reducing health risks of spreading germs and infections. For a multi-toilet restroom, more than one hand washing station should be made available to the occupants. Soap dispensers should be checked sporadically throughout the day and refilled if necessary.

A thorough cleaning should be conducted daily to ensure that any germs or bacteria are eradicated. It’s imperative to combat mold growth because it can reduce the air quality and result in respiratory issues for the occupants. Due to the constant exposure to moisture and humidity, various restroom components can actually harbor mold growth.

Whether mold has already sprouted inside your stalls, partitions, or vanities, or you’re simply looking for preventative measures, there have been great results with the implementation of HDPE (high-density polyethylene) solid plastic materials. Not only are HDPE materials impervious to mold growth, they’re also impact-, dent-, and graffiti-resistant. Due to their solid construction and homogenous coloring, they don’t require repainting. These low-maintenance stalls can actually help you keep your air quality in good standing while providing the utmost privacy and security for your occupants while they’re using the restroom.

 

Following these guidelines will help ensure that your restroom is OSHA and ADA compliant. If you’d like to learn more about designing your restroom, or the best materials to use, download the Restroom Design for Commercial Facilities or Choosing Bathroom Materials eBooks, courtesy of Scranton Products.