October 22, 2020
Now more than ever, sanitization and hygiene are top of mind. People are taking extra precautions to reduce contamination from viruses and bacteria. These methods include longer hand-washing, increased use of hand sanitizer, disinfecting more surfaces, wearing face masks, social distancing, and the list goes on.
Businesses have implemented stricter cleaning procedures and for many facilities, in order to continue operations, there are state guidelines that need to be adhered to. Redesigning facilities for improved traffic flow of customers, patients and employees, and limiting the number of people allowed in an area at one time are also common practice.
All of these changes are making positive strides toward reducing the spread of contagions, but there is still more to be done. Businesses should also be looking at the building materials used in their facilities.
In a recent webinar with Dur-A-Flex Vice President of Sales and Technical Support, Patrick Meade, we learned ways healthcare facilities can reduce the number of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Although the information shared in this presentation was specifically geared toward healthcare facilities, the practices to reduce the spread of germs are beneficial for any facility.
Facility HAI Prevention Includes:
- Educating staff / patient
- Following individual cleanliness / equipment protocol
- Cleaning surfaces (environment & tools)
- Building / renovating with safer materials
- Hard, non-porous materials for cabinets, walls, floors, and permanent fixtures
- Installing seamless floors / walls
In a study published by the CDC, surface and air samples from an intensive care unit (ICU) and a general COVID-19 ward (GW) at Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, China were tested. “The rate of positivity was relatively high for floor swab samples (ICU 7/10, 70%; GW 2/13, 15.4%), perhaps because of gravity and air flow causing most virus droplets to float to the ground. In addition, as medical staff walk around the ward, the virus can be tracked all over the floor…”
Installing seamless flooring is a highly-effective method for reducing the number of places for bacteria and germs to hide creating an even more hygienic space with less chance of cross-contamination.
Resinous seamless floors are exactly that – seamless. They are poured floors, built for both functionality and aesthetics. Often referred to as epoxy flooring, resinous flooring is a solid impermeable surface. Bacteria and allergens can sit on the surface, but cannot penetrate the surface like they can with carpet, seams, or grout, and contaminants can easily be removed through proper sanitization.
Benefits of Seamless Flooring:
- Eliminate crevices
- Decrease absorptive surfaces that can harbor pathogens
- Chemical resistant flooring
- Easy to clean and sanitize
A key take away from Pat’s webinar was the distinction between cleaning and disinfecting. The cleaning process is the removal of physical soils and waste. The disinfecting process is the removal of microbes unseen to the human eye.
Effective cleaners do not typically offer disinfecting and disinfectant products aren’t typically strong cleaners. For full effectiveness, existing soils and waste must be cleaned prior to disinfecting.
- Step 1: Clean
- Step 2: Disinfect
Dur-A-Flex resinous flooring systems have been tested against and proven to stand up against many medical and pharmaceutical grade chemicals and cleaners. They can be cleaned and disinfected repeatedly without being compromised or stained. Seamless floors can also be tied into the walls by installing coving or resinous wall systems. This creates a truly seamless environment for increased sanitation.
Another option from Dur-A-Flex, is the ability to add MICROPEL® Antimicrobial to any of our 100% solids flooring systems. MICROPEL® Antimicrobial aids in preventing the surface growth of bacteria and fungus, and reduces staining and odors caused by bacterial and fungal growth.
In closing, it is important that everyone does their part to continue to keep health and wellness top of mind. Facility management plays a vital role by selecting non-porous building materials, but it is everyone’s responsibility to follow proper cleaning and disinfecting protocols to reduce the spread of germs.
- Reducing viruses and bacteria is a collaborative effort across an entire facility
- Germs can be reduced with individual diligence, facility management, and by selecting the best materials for each facility
- Seamless flooring / non-porous surfaces play a vital role in reducing available pathogens and contaminants
- Cleaning and systematic schedules for disinfecting all areas must be executed properly and with the right application and product
This website provides several ways to learn more about resinous flooring and which systems will work best for the needs of your facility, the easiest is to contact your local Dur-A-Flex representative. They will guide you through the process and ask pertinent questions to ensure you are choosing the right floor for any area.
Author: Jes Grant
Jes Grant is the content development manager for Dur-A-Flex. She has over 15 years of experience creating content for various technical industries, and has been featured in several publications for her writing and design work.