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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.

How to Paint Metal Lockers

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Lockers are necessary components to a school. As a facility manager, it’s your responsibility to maintain them properly throughout the years. They require a certain amount of upkeep, through fixing the dents, tightening the latches, and scrubbing away the rust. However, they also need to be painted every once in a while, so they can continue retaining the aesthetics of your school.

However, when it comes to painting metal lockers, there are a few important steps you’ll need to take. To successfully paint your school’s lockers, you’ll need to follow these crucial steps.

Picking the Right Time to Paint

When it’s a busy school day, finding the time or the space to paint any metal lockers can be tricky. That’s why it’s always good to embark on a locker painting project during a holiday break or during the summer, when there’s only a few faculty and staff in the school. That way, you won’t have a lot of interference with rows of students heading to class. It’s also beneficial during a low occupancy day because of the VOC emissions that will be put off from the painting.

Choosing the Right Place

Now that you’ve got your time to paint, you need your place. Find an open area in the school that you can paint. It will allow you to have the room to paint multiple lockers, so you can start getting the job done. That way, you can reinstall the lockers quickly. You can paint the lockers where they stand, but you’ll need plenty of tarp or drop cloth coverage to prevent any paint from getting on the floor or the wall.

Painting Your Lockers

Before you start painting the metal lockers, you’ll want to use a paint primer that’s designed for metal. It will help the paint stick while providing some much-needed protection to the paint once it dries. Before beginning to apply the primer or the paint, you’ll need to make sure that the lockers are cleaned thoroughly, so there aren’t any imperfections once you’re completed. When you paint the lockers, you’ll need to apply multiple coats to make sure that the color matches on each locker.

How to Avoid the Task of Painting Metal Lockers

Metal lockers are very durable and reliable storage compartments for the students. Sometimes, though, their maintenance, care, and upkeep outweigh their usefulness. The constant maintenance and repainting certainly adds to the locker’s costs. What you need is a reliable locker that doesn’t require the constant upkeep while retaining its appearance and durability.

HDPE plastic school lockers are a great place to start because they don’t require a paint job. They’re available in a variety of homogenous colors that will stand up to the elements. HDPE lockers don’t require as much up keep as metal lockers, and can actually outlast metal lockers because they don’t rust. If there’s graffiti present, too, it can simply be wiped away.

Do you want to learn more about HDPE plastic lockers and how they can save you time and money with your school and maintenance? Check out this free eBook, The Ultimate Guide to HDPE Plastic Lockers, from your friends at Scranton Products.

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 to Start a Preventative Maintenance Plan for Your School

When you’re the building manager for a school, you know that there’s no escaping routine maintenance. It’s a necessary ingredient to running a functional building. However, as a facility manager, it’s imperative to stay ahead of any mechanical failures, repairs, and otherwise lengthy maintenance projects. What you need to do is come up with a preventative maintenance plan for your school to help you stay on top of everything.care and maintenace

Here’s a few helpful tips and tricks on getting the right preventative maintenance plan together.

Rally the Team

The first step towards executing the proper preventative maintenance plan is having a team of professionals to rely on to help you see your plans through. As the facility manager, you can’t be everywhere at once to spot any minor issues that could develop into a major problem. However, when you have members of your staff that are just as dedicated to staying on top of maintenance, your plan can proceed with great results. Through coordination and communication, tackling any major issues will be a lot easier.

Determine Your School’s Weaknesses

In order to stay on top of issues with preventative maintenance, you need to figure out the areas that are most likely to result in problems. This includes checking your HVAC system to ensure that it’s operating at capacity, your water system to find any impurities, and, of course, the bathrooms. Your school’s bathrooms and locker rooms are susceptible to mold growth, specifically with the partitions, which can reduce the air quality and result in an unpleasant odor.

Luckily, materials like HDPE plastic partitions are durable, solid, and impenetrable to mold and mildew, so you can passively keep your bathroom from sprouting mold by utilizing this solid plastic. This material can even be used for lockers to replace the metal ones that are in your school. Metal can dent, get rusty, chip its paint, and even get covered in graffiti. HDPE plastic lockers are impact-resistant, and when it comes to graffiti, all it takes is a simple wipe to remove it. You don’t have to add a fresh coat of paint to this material because it will keep its aesthetics intact while cutting down on your maintenance costs and time.

Plan the Schedule

It’s important that you coordinate your maintenance plan with the school schedule to determine the best time to complete certain projects. Throughout the school year, getting major projects completed can be difficult because the school is at its highest occupancy. Also, heavy-duty maintenance can be a major distraction during lessons.

Save any major maintenance projects for summer. Given that there are many fewer occupants in the building, getting the projected completed will be a lot easier during the summer. Winter break is another window for projects, but make sure you can determine what can be done given the amount of time you have to complete it.

By planning out your preventative maintenance, you’ll be able to keep your school in great condition with all of its systems functioning properly.

Want to learn more about preventative facility maintenance? Download this free eBook, The Ultimate Guide or Facility Maintenance & Property Solutions, 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.

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.

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.

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.