A reader had asked for some guidance on how to deal with gym shower areas and my suggestions were focused on the mold and mildew issues due to poor construction and lack of maintenance. Other issues to consider are ALL the possible touch points that are in the locker room and shower areas that could promote not only mold/mildew growth but also other pathogens such as MRSA, C diff, athletes foot and ????? The key is determining (in partnership with your chemical vendor) the most effective and safest products to use for these pathogens.

We observed a pinkish coloration in the corners of the grout lines as well as dark grout (which is supposed to be white) that are indications of fungus growth. At this time the floor is not being serviced correctly since using a basic disinfectant (which was being mixed incorrectly) without first cleaning the soil is probably resulting in the floors remaining dirty and not truly disinfected or mold free. In some cases, a true fungicide may be necessary. Read the label carefully and adjust your chemicals and cleaning procedures accordingly.

We also observed students pulling on locker handles, latches, soap/paper towel dispensers and other high use touch points that were not being cleaned due to “budgeted time factors.” The reason given for not cleaning/disinfecting the floor properly was again time constraints. I highly recommend to the building service contractor that they identify a combination cleaner/disinfectant that can reduce labor time while being more effective in the goal of removing soil and truly disinfecting the floor and other surfaces.

A final suggestion is to research the possibility of utilizing a pressure washing unit that distributes the correct mix of chemical and then thoroughly rinses the soils down the drain. Such a tool can pay for itself in labor over a period of time and should give much better results.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.