There is no doubt, the current coronavirus crisis will not be the last of its kind. Unfortunately, homeowners and commercial property owners will be dealing with viruses, germs, flus, and other outbreaks continuously. Sick structures through poor construction methods and design exist. Although there are construction methods, which can help make a structure resistant, they cannot make them free from biohazards. Humans are too good at carrying viruses, germs, and disease.The most important thing in keeping your structure healthy is keeping water on the outside. Poor design and construction methods for roofs, eves, stucco, and foundations can create water intrusion, which opens the door to mold and germs. Uncontrolled, stagnant moisture in a building structure is the primary cause of respiratory issues for many people, which can lead to death when outbreaks like the coronavirus occur. Keep your home dry and climate controlled to prevent the incubation of respiratory issues.
Having style and beauty is one thing; however, everything inside the building should be able to withstand some good old-fashioned disinfecting. If your home or commercial structure is designed with areas wherein hardcore cleaners and disinfectants cannot be used, then expect to get sick and remain sick. Here is the truth—there are a lot of nasty people in this world. There are individuals who do not wash their hands entering your home or commercial property every day. If the touch surfaces cannot be disinfected because the paint or material is too fragile then you have a problem. High-touch areas should be designed for durability and disinfecting.
No-touch or easy-use mechanisms are the best in a structure. Commercial buildings constructed with bathrooms that do not have doors and no-touch plumbing are the best. Doors with automatic openers also cut down on the number of dirty hands opening the doors. In the home, levers are easier to use with paper towel protection or sleeves while kick plates on door bottoms are good to open swinging doors with feet. Large electrical switches are cleaner to use with an elbow than smaller ones that require fingers to turn the switch on and off.
You should not use wood in the damp areas of the bathroom. Toilets, showers, and faucets overflow. Plus, germs are much more difficult to remove from porous wood. A good ceramic tile with fewer pores is the best for dynamic cleaning. You can bet that at some point a stomach virus will rip through your home and you will want to hose your bathroom out with a disinfectant. Imagine everything in your bathroom being cleaned with a garden hose—that is how waterproof you want it.
I am a firm believer in ventilation. Talk to your HVAC contractor and install a quality unit that will vent out the stale air from your house. Then, keep your filters and ducts clean. Plus, implement old school ventilation after a virus. If a virus gets in your home, remember that fresh air and sunshine are not the friends of most viruses. Open the windows to air your home out and lift sashes to let the sunshine in. Build your structure to allow Mother Nature’s ventilation to take place.
If you want people to wash their hands and throw debris in the trash can, plan to have those stations throughout the structure. Hand washing stations should be prominent in every wet area and trash cans placed throughout the building. Picking up another person’s food debris can spread germs quicker than anything. Every structure should have an area designated for heavy clean-up, such as mopping or heavy-duty equipment cleaning.
Designing a structure to provide easy cleaning of solid surfaces is important, and you can bet that the current coronavirus issue will not be the last.
Don Magruder is the CEO of RoMac Building Supply, and he is also the host of the “Around the House” Television Show, which is hosted weekly on Lake Sumter Television. For more information, go to www.Aroundthehouse.TV.