Impact Of Washrooms On Building Maintenance

It all started with the advent of indoor plumbing, when washroom maintenance was fairly simple but very unsanitary. With indoor washroom came the evolution of washroom maintenance procedures and their importance as a barometer of overall cleanliness. This same era saw people becoming more aware of germs, bacteria, viruses and fungi. Soon there was the realization that washrooms were and ideal place for “bad” or pathogenic organisms to multiply and spread.

Washrooms have also rightly earned the reputation by which the cleanliness of the entire facility is judged. Washrooms are ideal breeding ground for many undesirable organisms (germs) which thrive in the warmth and moisture that prevail.

In the work place, it is recognized that absenteeism resulting from illness is a significant contributor to operating costs, not only in the economic sense but also the human costs. The hygienically clean washroom therefore has a significant part to play in the reduction of lost hours as a result of infectious diseases being contracted by the work force from this source.

To ensure good hygiene is maintained in washrooms, it is imperative that fittings and fixtures are kept free of bacteria. These bacteria may build to health threatening levels even between daily regular cleaning. Cross contamination and infection can be seen here to be of major concern. Major diseases such as dysentery and hepatitis have had their origins traced to washrooms with poor hygiene on numerous occasions. As the cake soap is a warm and moist environment or at other times dry and cracked, it provides a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. We have all seen it before no doubt! Is anyone silly enough to use it? No – of course not. Cross contamination and infection resulting from direct contact with the hands is inevitable. There are no better indicators to washroom hygiene available to staff and patrons than the visual and sense of smell! Odours are indicative of poor hygiene. Remember the old but powerful adage “Perception is reality”.

Research found of eleven major surfaces or areas of washrooms, the following were major harbours of faecal bacteria contamination.

In descending order, these were:-

1.    Urinals 85%                   

2.    WC Seats 62%                 

3.    WC Rims 45%                 

4.    Cubicle Floors 34%          

5.    Flush Water 32%             

6.    Taps 30% Solution:        

7.    Inside Door Knobs 18%    

8.    Outside Door Knob 10

9.    Cubicle Knobs 6%

10. Flush handles 7%


Heaviest concentration areas from

1.     Urinals

2.     WC Rims

3.     Cubicle Floors

4.     WC Seats

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