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Pathway To Privacy – A Brief History Of Bathroom Partitions

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Most of us take bathroom convenience and privacy for granted but people haven’t always had the level of bathroom luxury that we enjoy today. In ancient Roman and Asian societies for example, bathing and toilet facilities were shared. For the poor and middle classes, these facilities left much to be desired. The wealthy enjoyed cleaner and more pleasant facilities but the bathroom experience was still communal. You got to know your neighbors very well. When the Roman Empire fell, the bathroom experience only got worse. Eventually public facilities had to be closed down somewhere in the 16th century, blamed for widespread sickness.

It wasn’t until  the end of the 16th century that the first flushing toilet was invented in England. It was installed in a separate room in the castle to allow the Queen of England privacy but, unfortunately, the toilet didn’t flush well and wasn’t a big hit with the queen.

During the Industrial Revolution, toilet enclosures were built for use on city streets to accommodate workforce needs in the big cities. Some public toilets went underground during the Victorian era as less space became available at street level. These facilities were held to a high standard by the local health boards and provided a higher level of privacy.

The bathroom evolved further during the Industrial Revolution and early 20th century. As more and more women shopped and worked out of the home, private retiring rooms with partitions were developed to accommodate their needs and afford additional privacy.

In 1904, Frank Lloyd Wright, the great American architect and innovator came up with an innovative way to make it easier to keep toilet enclosures clean. While working on the design of the Larkin Building in Buffalo, NY, he designed the first ceiling hung toilet partitions as well as suspended toilet bowls and sinks.

Partitions Allow For Greater Privacy

It certainly has taken a while to evolve the concept of the modern restroom that allows for individual privacy, and provides a pleasant and sanitary space. In the last century, toilet partitions have played an important role in ensuring bathroom privacy. Over time they too have evolved, starting with the first, basic partitions made of wood or powder-coated steel, to a range of partitions developed over the last 40 years, such as baked enamel, laminate, phenolic, and stainless steel. Unfortunately, these materials don’t stand up to the wear and tear of today’s public bathroom and present many disadvantages:

  • They are prone to scratches and dents
  • Graffiti is not easily removed
  • They are susceptible to moisture and humidity
  • The core materials can be a breeding place for mold and bacteria
  • Maintenance issues outweigh any initial cost benefits

A more innovative approach to partitions has solved these problems while creating modern partitions that are extremely durable, aesthetically pleasing and sustainable.

Partitions for the 21st Century

Made from HDPE Plastic, Scranton Products restroom partitions offer a unique combination of sophisticated aesthetics, innovative design, superior privacy and outstanding durability. A solid-core and non-porous surface makes HDPE partitions highly resistant to moisture and humidity, therefore, these partitions never rust, corrode or need painting. They are resistant to mold and bacteria, resist dents and scratches, and graffiti easily wipes off.

Public restrooms have come  long way since the “communal experience.” Today, we expect public restrooms to provide a high degree of privacy, cleanliness, as well as high design. With its Eclipse® and Hiny Hiders® product lines, Scranton Products offers a range of options that include sleek, modern design and the ultimate in privacy, making them the best choice for today’s public bathroom environments.

To learn more about Scranton Products bathroom partitions options, contact our sales specialists today. You can also download one of our product brochures for more detailed information.

Are You Prepared for Flooding?

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No one wants to think about a flood, but they are a very real part of the phenomenon that is nature. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, flooding is the nation’s most common natural disaster. During the early weeks of spring, as the temperatures start to warm up and the snow starts to melt, the ground may still be frozen in spots, while other ground surfaces become saturated. Along with the snow melts, drenching rains and ground saturation, streams and rivers become swollen and spill over onto roadways, and into cities and towns. In other areas, burst dams, hurricanes and storm surges can cause catastrophic flooding.

Flooding can have serious consequences to buildings and what’s inside them, causing structural damage; affecting electrical wiring, as well as heating and cooling systems; saturating walls and floors, leading to mold growth and contamination; and damaging and contaminating furnishing and equipment.

No matter where your school is located, be prepared for flooding. This is particularly critical if your school is in a low-lying or coastal area, near water, or downstream from a dam – areas that can be in the pathway for raging floodwaters.

Mitigate Damages After A Flood

You may not be able to stay out of the path of those waters, but you can prepare your school facility for the aftermath and mitigate long-term cleanup

According to the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities, the following measures may help mitigate the impact of a flood on your school building:

  • Improve site drainage
  • Provide sump pump back-up power
  • Maintain or replace check valves in sewer lines
  • Provide off-site computer backup
  • Elevate or flood-proof mechanical and electrical equipment
  • Consider locating library facilities on a second story or higher level if possible

Select Furnishings Materials Carefully

In addition to these recommendations, to avoid damage to furnishings, consider selecting materials that are impervious to water and that can easily be cleaned and decontaminated.

School lockers, for example, can become a total loss to the school or require extensive repair and maintenance if they are not made of a strong, durable water resistant material. Currently, the only school hallway locker material that is not affected by water damage is Scranton Products high performance HDPE lockers.

Fully-fire rated for use in school hallways, Scranton Products Duralife Lockers® are manufactured from solid core high performance HDPE (high density polyethylene) and are impermeable to moisture. The solid core construction and non-porous surface means that no mold or mildew will grow inside or outside the lockers, and the lockers will never rust, corrode or delaminate. When cleanup is required, Duralife Lockers® are fully power-washable and steam-cleanable. In addition, Duralife Lockers® are GREENGUARD Gold Certified for use in school facilities, and are manufactured using recycled materials and are 100% recyclable, supporting a healthier environment both inside and outside of your school facility.

For more information on how Scranton Products Duralife Lockers® can help mitigate your school’s response to a serious flooding event, contact us today. To learn more about the sustainable and bacteria resistant properties of HDPE, click here to view our Continuing Education Center.

Give Your Janitor A Break This Summer – Install Duralife Lockers®

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Lets talk about janitors, you know, those guys and gals, who are always there, on the ready with a sponge, broom or mop, just when you need them. They are in our schools all year long, available for any size clean up, taking care of the spills our kids make in the lunchroom, classroom and hallways. They go about their business undetected, coming out when needed. But do you know one of the ways they spend their summer (that coveted time of the year when your kids are home with you)? We do – they clean what they couldn’t clean during the year, the student’s lockers!

Making The Move Away From Metal

While we are spending our 3 months of summer relaxing at the beach, and eating ice cream, the school janitorial staff is cleaning up from the previous 9 months while school was in session. Schools with metal lockers have a regularly scheduled task associated with those lockers during the summer months, debridement of rust, dent repairs, chemical cleaning of graffiti and surface repainting. Lockers take a beating during the school year, with books being banged around, food deposits and spills, and not to mention, the dreaded odors of smelly, sweaty gym clothes. The labor-intensive cleanup task is costly to the school district, in several areas including labor, materials, and air & surface quality. As you can see, traditional metal lockers require extensive care and maintenance, and still don’t meet the needs of the busy school environment. But, we have a solution, Duralife Lockers® made with HDPE (High Density Polyethylene).

Duralife Lockers® are specifically designed to meet the durability and environmental demands of today’s busy schools. Made with solid-core HDPE, these lockers are impact, scratch and dent resistant, and hold up to the toughest student use. Graffiti readily wipes off the non-porous surface, and because they are impervious to moisture, Duralife Lockers® will never rust, corrode or delaminate. In addition, the HDPE surface does not harbor mold, mildew or bacterial growth, and the lockers can be fully power-washed or steam-cleaned. In short, with Duralife Lockers® you can say goodbye to rust, mold, graffiti, scratches, dents, and worrisome bacteria, and say hello to years of worry-free, low maintenance.

 

Robert Gannon, High School Facilities Director, on the benefits of HDPE lockers.

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

 

Sleek Modern Design For The School Hallways Of Tomorrow

When it comes to design, the modern sleek, simple lines of the Duralife® Locker line, make them a polished and aesthetically pleasing addition to any school hallway. They can really kick it up with their color options that bring high style to any atmosphere. The sustainability and durability stand up over time, making them a smart investment for today and tomorrow.

So Show Your Janitors Some Love This Summer – Invest In The Smart Choice – Duralife Lockers®

Download our brochure and see for yourself how HDPE Duralife Lockers® compare to traditional metal lockers – and Show Your Janitor Some Love This Summer!

Maintenance Tips for Commercial Restrooms

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Almost all facility managers know that their commercial restroom requires a lot of care, attention, and upkeep. But when tackling the restroom, it’s important to be sure of the necessary steps to guarantee that your bathroom is completely clean. Here are a few important steps to take for a cleaner restroom.

Cleaning Your Restroom

The restroom in your facility is one area that gets the most foot traffic. Due to the amount of visitors, general upkeep can feel like a mounting and endless endeavor. But knowing the proper methods and effective tricks can help make the process of cleaning the restroom easier. 

 

Scrubbing & Disinfecting

When cleaning your facility’s restroom, you need to make sure that you properly scrub and disinfect every surface. This includes sinks, vanities, toilets, urinals, and stalls. Check and see if all surfaces are free of soils, spots, stains, and other residue. Make sure that all surfaces are dry when you’re finished cleaning. 

 

Tackling the Floors

Focusing on the floor is important because of the germs and dirt that make their way in from occupants’ shoes. The floor should be swept and then mopped using a high-grade disinfectant. Be sure that the floor is free of dirt, mildew, and buildup. Also be sure that it’s slip resistant, so occupants can safely walk without hurting themselves. 

 

Freshening the Air

One of the first things that people will notice when they enter a commercial restroom is the room’s overall fragrance. While bathrooms are known for a variety of expected odors, it’s important to stay on top of these odors. Keep air fresheners available for occupants to use. However, if there’s mold sprouting in your bathroom, a simple air freshener may not be strong enough to handle the job.

Ridding Your Restroom of Mold

If you have mold in your bathroom, you need to locate where it’s actually growing. The most common location is actually inside your stalls and partitions. Due to the constant barrage of moisture and humidity, the inside of your stalls can become a breeding ground for mold, and once it’s present, it can be really hard to remove it.

If your stalls and partitions are indeed affected by mold, you may want to consider replacing them altogether. Using a solid plastic like HDPE (high-density polyethylene) can be one of the most effective ways to combat the threat of mold growing in your restroom and reducing the quality of your air.

HDPE is a highly durable material that can withstand mold growth. It can endure constant exposure to moisture and humidity without any risk of mold sprouting. Utilizing HDPE stalls and partitions not only reduces mold growth, but because of its resistance, it can help increase the air quality in your restroom.

 

Did you find these tips helpful? For more information to help you with your restroom, download our FREE eBooks, Choosing Bathroom Materials and Commercial Restroom Cleaning Checklist, courtesy of Scranton Products.

Bathroom Stall Installation: How to Install Commercial Bathroom Stall Doors

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Whether you’re updating your facility’s bathroom, or you’re setting up the bathrooms in a new building, there are many steps to take to make sure you’re properly installing the bathroom stall doors. You’ll want secure and stable materials that can endure the process, but also last for a long time so you don’t need to worry about continual maintenance.

Choosing the Right Materials

The beginning steps of the installation process begin with the materials you choose. Many bathroom stalls are made of solid plastic (HDPE), baked enamel, stainless steel, phenolic plywood, or solid color reinforced composite. While there are many options in materials it is important to understand which material will perform the best in a restroom environment.

In commercial restrooms, humidity and moisture are unavoidable and are always-present factors that can have a negative effect on these different materials. Stainless steel and baked enamel can begin to rust after being surrounded by moisture for a long time.  Due to the composition of Phenolic it is susceptible to mold and mildew growth.  When mold grows, it can result in foul odors that can be difficult to get rid of. When mold is present inside these stalls, you’ll need to find a suitable replacement. You can avoid the foul odors, mold growth, and drop in air quality by choosing a material like HDPE (high-density polyethylene).  This high performance solid plastic features a durable construction that’s resistant to scratches, dents, graffiti, and moisture, providing a long lasting partition for your facility’s restroom.

Planning, Design, and Installation

It’s important to follow guidelines when it comes to planning your facility’s restroom. You should adhere to ADA guidelines to ensure your restroom and its partitions are easily accessible. The restrooms should also be well lit with protective fixtures that are easy to supervise and are fitted with vandal-proof covers.

When it comes to the actual stalls and partitions, there are a few things to consider with installation. There are three different layouts to choose from for your facility; floor mounted overhead braced, ceiling hung and floor to ceiling. Floor mounted overhead braced provided the most economical solution for high traffic areas where durability is top priority. Easy installation in new construction or existing buildings makes this a versatile style option. Each factory drawing is unique depending on manufacturer so it’s important to make sure you understand the drawings and abbreviations used.

Once you understand the dimensions and drawings in a typical restroom design with pilasters and doors you most likely will begin your installation with installing side and back wall brackets. The next step you will take is to attach your pilasters to the floor. The last step is to install your hinges and doors.

If you follow the correct design plans and guidelines, restroom partition and stall door installation in your facility should be relatively easy, and using the right materials will ensure that the partitions will be long-lasting and beneficial for both you and your facility’s occupants.

Tufftec Lockers® Strong and Fit For The Work Hard – Play Harder Lifestyle

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Today’s consumers have extremely stressful busy lifestyles, and work hard to make a living. It certainly stands to reason that with all that hard-work they put out on a daily basis, they need an effective outlet to destress. Many find that outlet at the local gym or sports arena, where they can play just as hard as they work. While using the facilities, a safe and germ free storage option is a concern, and expectations are high when it comes to that equipment. The workout environment is prime breeding ground for bacteria, so finding a product that addresses all of those areas can be a challenge. Fitness centers across the country know they can rely on us to deliver a product that holds up to the traffic, Specialty Tufftec Lockers.

 

 

Reliability Of The Fittest – Solid Construction HDPE

Built from solid core, color-throughout HDPE, Tufftec Lockers® were developed to provide various industries with a better solution, while withstanding the harshest environments. From those hot and humid gyms and fitness centers, to applications in the coldest ski resorts – Tufftec lockers will never rust or delaminate. Add to that the fact that they are also impact, dent and graffiti resistant.

When you add in the options that the specialty athletic lockers provide; the additional room, and optional door front configuration, the lockers really deliver results. The surface is impervious to moisture helping them stand up to the challenge of providing that germ-resistant surface that fitness enthusiast’s demand. But wait – we don’t want to leave out the low maintenance that comes with these lockers, saving time and money, now that’s something to cause every gym janitorial crew to high-five all day long.

Function Meet Form – No Need To Sacrifice Looks

Tufftec lockers may be designed to endure the wear and tear of athletic, and expansive recreational environments, but there is no need for a tradeoff when it comes to looks. With the various color options offered in our athletic lockers, you’re sure to match your style and décor with our color visualizer.

 

 

The perfect combination of flexibility and form, these lockers come in a multitude of styles, configurations and interchangeable options so you can create a customized locker that can meet any of your design challenges.

Ready to go head-to-head with our lockers – then contact our sales team today or download our Tufftec product kit to get more information.

Green Building Materials: Types of Green Building Materials

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Whether you’re designing a new facility or looking to do some renovations on your current facility, utilizing green building materials is a smart route to take. Sustainability is important when picking your building materials because you want them to last a long time. Luckily, there’s a variety of green building materials and sustainable products that can be used to make your facility structurally sound and eco-friendly.

Green Building Materials & Why You Should Use Them

When planning to build or renovate, choosing the right materials is crucial. When you choose a green material, it means that not only are you getting a quality product that will last for a long time, but you’re also doing your part to positively impact the environment long-term.

Sustainable Flooring

If you’re starting at the ground level, flooring will probably be your first step. Several types of flooring look good and also are sustainable, meaning that you likely won’t have to replace it in the short-term.

Linoleum, for example, is a smooth, eco-friendly flooring made from linseed oil, jute, and flax that doesn’t release VOCs (volatile organic compounds) like other types of flooring, such as vinyl. Repurposed wood is also a great option because it looks good and has been recycled.

Sustainable Roofing

Your roofing material needs to be durable so it can resist the elements but also sustainable enough that replacement will be far down the road. Tile is a good option because it’s thicker, so it helps to keep cool or warm air inside. Choosing a lighter color also has benefits because it reflects less heat into the atmosphere.

Sustainable Windows

A lot of considerations go into choosing sustainable and eco-friendly windows. Starting with the frames, you should always choose a stronger material that’s more likely to improve insulation.

When it comes to choosing the glass, you could get multiple panes that will trap air between the panes to improve the facility’s insulation. If you prefer single-pane windows, you could get a clear coating that doesn’t affect the visibility but does enhance the ability to retain warm and cool air inside the facility.

Sustainable Plastic School Lockers, Bathroom Stalls & Partitions 

Making your facility greener isn’t just about the overall construction but also the materials inside. When designing your bathroom, instead of choosing a  metal or stainless steel for your stalls and partitions, try HDPE (high-density polyethylene). It’s a durable material that is resistant to moisture, scratches, and graffiti. It also doesn’t require painting, which results in less VOC emissions.

Another benefit is that HDPE products such as partitions and lockers contain recycled post-consumer products. By choosing HDPE, you take a huge step in making your facility more green and sustainable.

Eco-Friendly Building Materials

When renovating or erecting an eco-friendly building, it’s essential to pick the right building materials. Then you can consider better ways to use solar energy and recycle rain water.

Want to learn more about how you can make your facility green? Download our eBook Sustainable Building Products: How to Make Your Facility Eco-Friendly from Top to Bottom.

If you have any questions about the benefits of HDPE and the sustainability of our school lockers and commercial bathroom stalls, contact us at Scranton Products.

How Is HDPE Made?

HDPE (high-density polyethylene) is one of the most durable and versatile thermoplastics in today’s market. It’s used for a variety of different materials like bottles, automotive parts, furniture, and different construction products. HDPE is even recyclable. But despite HDPE’s versatile and efficient nature, how is it made?

The Process of Making HDPE

HDPE is made under controlled conditions by applying intense heat to petroleum. This process, also known as “cracking,” helps create ethylene gas. During its production, the gas molecules will attach to form polymers, which then produce polyethylene.

After this process, the polyethylene will have a sludgy appearance, but after it’s put through a series of molds, it forms into granules. Once the molding process is complete, you’ll have a strong polymer material that can have a variety of uses and applications in your home or facility.

HDPE Uses and Applications

Because HDPE is a versatile material, there are a number of uses for it. Most notably, it’s used for bottling. Due to its durable construction and recyclability, it’s one of the most sought-after materials for liquid containers. It’s also used to house hazardous materials and agrochemicals.

HDPE can be made into strong and long-lasting furniture. HDPE also has important use and application within commercial building design. Due to its chemical properties, HDPE materials are resistant to temperature, moisture, and scratching and dents. This makes it an ideal material for lawn furniture, commercial lockers, and commercial bathroom stalls.

Why Is HDPE Better Than Other Materials?

Other materials like Phenolic Plastic and Solid Color Reinforced Composite (SCRC) are often brought up as durable and versatile materials used for bathroom stalls or partitions. However, when it comes to comparing these materials to HDPE, there’s not really much of a competition. HDPE is more resistant to microbes while providing a stronger surface. It even has a stronger screw retention than Phenolic Plastic or SCRC, meaning that whatever is built with HDPE will be more structurally sound than items made from Phenolic Plastic or SCRC.

The great thing about HDPE material is that it never needs to be touched up or repainted, resulting in less volatile organic compound emissions. These carbon-based chemicals can easily evaporate into the air at any temperature, and when inhaled, can result in health complications. Items made with HDPE can help improve air quality because the material resists mold, fungus, and bacteria. SCRC and Phenolic Plastic materials can absorb mold, resulting in odors and lesser air quality.

When it comes to sustainability, there’s no question that HDPE has a strong lead over the others. HDPE is 100% recyclable and made from post-consumer content. SCRC and Phenolic Plastic aren’t made from post-consumer materials, and therefore can’t be recycled.

 

Do you want to learn more about the many benefits of choosing HDPE over other materials? Check out our eBook, Sustainable Building Products: How to Make Your Facility Eco-Friendly from Top to Bottom.

Can your Lockers be Durable and Still Look Good?

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When it comes to installing new lockers, you have many choices as far as available materials. While metal lockers are believed to durable and reliable, their design lacks visual appeal. And while plastic lockers have a new-age design, people have the misconception that they aren’t as strong as metal lockers. So can lockers be durable and still look good?

Contrary to popular belief, you can have durable and good-looking lockers for your facility by choosing HDPE plastic lockers, such as Scranton Products’ Duralife lockers. Continue reading so you can learn just how Duralife lockers are superior to metal lockers in both looks and durability. Read more

Why are my Lockers Growing Mold?

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It’s never a good feeling for facility managers when they notice the growth of mold on the inside or outside of their lockers. The result can require time-consuming steps to clean and  remove the mold as well as further inspection to find the root of the problem and  rid the lockers of any further mold.

If you’re a facility manager and you see this unwanted growth, you’re probably wondering to yourself, why are my lockers growing mold?

To help you understand the common problem of mold or mildew in your lockers, read on as Scranton Products dives into the cause of this common issue, its negative consequences, and an easy solution. Read more