Facility managers and maintenance teams must be on top of their building’s interior appearance. When their walls, corners, doors, corridors, lobbies, bathrooms, or any area become unsightly, the damage should be repaired with urgency.
Whether for safety reasons, building functionality, or to uphold a flawless interior that helps boost and maintain high occupancy, it is essential to quickly repair or update the damaged area.
Architects and interior designers also need to counsel owners to think beyond first-cost value engineering to ensure that their design stays looking good well beyond the first year or two.
The best repair is the damage that never happens in the first place. The key is to gain upfront knowledge and understanding of how to protect the vulnerable areas of facilities. We break down some mistakes in building design and maintenance that can be resolved before a facility is built or renovated that will save time, money, and resources in the long run.
When it comes to keeping a building’s interior looking newer longer, here a five things to look for or consider.
1.) Your building is brand new, but looks like a war zone
You can take the following to the bank – if interior protection got value engineered out of your new building, you’ll be calling Inpro® within six months complaining of the damage you’re seeing. Trust us. We know.
A classic case comes from a retail department store chain. Corporate design standards scrimped on interior protection as part of the construction budget – things like cart guards, corner guards and rigid sheet wall cladding. The store’s general manager had to call about six months after the grand opening to complain that the Customer Service desk and changing rooms were all gouged, scraped and bashed.
This is a common occurrence and nuisance for facilities with a high volume of foot and service cart traffic, prime examples are: education, hotel, healthcare, convention centers, retail, and airport facilities.
Solution: Install adequate interior protection before you open the door; or if you’re already open … it’s not too late … do it now! See our list of interior protection and design products that can help you keep your facility looking like it did they day the doors opened.
2.) Your elevator interiors look like a Halloween fright ride
Over time, elevator interiors can get damaged, especially if the cab is used for both passengers and freight.
Even with the best padded intentions, freight and furniture movers and delivery drivers ding up, gouge and scuff walls with dollies, carts and crates.
Then there’s the simple aesthetics – styles change and a cab’s interior can start to look dated. Throw in damage and it’s a one-two punch of ugly.
Add in flickering fluorescent bulbs and it’s the trifecta of a not-so-pleasant ride. Your building’s occupants, residents, visitors and guests deserve better.
Example: The University of North Carolina - Charlotte saw the importance of their elevator cab appearance, so they decided to revitalize 14+ outdated elevators campus wide. Watch the video to learn more about what drove them to renovate their old and damaged elevator cabs.
Solution: When renovating your elevator, think beyond the internal components and don't forget about the cab interiors. Refresh them with new wall panels, ceiling panels, LED lighting and handrails.
3.) The Hall of Shame
Take a tour of your facility with the eye of a newcomer and you’ll notice dozens of consumer turnoffs, from scarred doorjambs and soiled carpet, to hand-lettered signs taped to the walls.
Substitute "the facility" with “your hotel,” “your office building,” “your restaurant, ”your school,” or “your store” and you get the picture.
Your parents always said you only get one chance to make a first impression. They were right. Every scuff, scrape and gouge on interior doors and walls is a potential black mark against your building.
Solution: Download our Conducting a Facility Appearance Audit White Paper to see how you can turn a wall of shame into a Hall of Fame. BONUS: Get your own appearance audit checklist with the download.
4.) The chronic do-over of building maintenance
Just about every facility has that handful of areas that are constantly getting bashed and slammed. Usually it’s a door or door frame, a corner or a section of wall in high-traffic corridors or lobbies. If the damage is in a public space, you don’t want to leave it looking wrecked, so someone on the staff is assigned to repair the corner, door, or wall … again … and again … and again.
So, doing a little ballpark figuring, let’s say that a corner, including dry wall and painting repair, gets fixed three times a year. By the time the workman:
- Loads up the work cart with tools and materials
- Moves to the damaged area
- Preps the area (including putting up dust barriers)
- Tears out the old
- Cuts and installs the patch
- Preps and paints or covers the wall
- Cleans up the area (including dismantling the dust barrier)
- Moves back to the maintenance or carpentry shop
- Unpacks the work cart and discards the scrap
How much time – in dollars – are we talking about?
Oh yeah, don’t forget the time lost while he or she goes back to the shop because somebody didn’t put the box of drill bits back where it belongs!
What are we talking? Maybe $150 each repair. Now, multiply that by 3 repairs a year and you’re talking $450 or more.
Solution: Install one high-impact corner guard at a typical price of $40 (in just a few minutes) and you’re $410 in the black, and that’s on labor alone. Say that corner guard stays in place for five years; then you’re $2,050 to the good.
5.) Installation of Cheap Alternatives
This is the evil twin of value engineering. It usually starts with the building manager or owner saying, “Go down to the local home improvement chain store and get some of those clear corner guards.”
Cheap wall protection products might work, but our experience is … it rarely does. Sure, clear corner guards can work in some situations, but most of the time, folks underestimate the level of traffic and equipment traversing the space and/or the level of impact on the surface.
Going cheap almost always ends up being more expensive, because you end up repurchasing the same cheap product over and over or experiencing the issue mentioned in Reason #4.
Solution: Take a look at areas experiencing damage, then choose interior protection products that are engineered and built to stand up to the impact.
Interior Protection Solutions
Architectural interior building products that protect facilities from daily abuse
Now that you understand the importance of utilizing interior protection products, here are some critical products to protecting your facilities appearance long after the doors open.
- High Impact Corner Guards - Great for high-traffic areas that receive not so friendly encounters with service carts
- Low Impact or Tape-on Corner Guards – Ideal for low-traffic areas
- Wall Guards – Perfect solution for healthcare facilities that see a lot of cart traffic
- Rigid Vinyl Sheet Wall Cladding – Ideal for ALL facilities
- Aspex® Printed Wall Protection - Liven up walls with images, designs, branding, etc… Aspex combines the durability of Rigid Sheet and the flexibility to use any image or design into your wall
- Elevator Interior Wall Panels and Lights – Critical for ALL building types that have passenger or freight elevators
- Chair Rails – Perfect for lobby and waiting areas that have guest seating
- Handrails – Primarily used in healthcare and senior living facilities, handrails not only provide assistance and safety for those who need them, they also protect your walls from damage
- Door Kick Plates – Ideal for Educational, Healthcare facilities and back of house areas
- Door Frame and Door Edge Protectors – Essential to making your doors look brand new
- High-Impact Scratch Resistant Doors – These heavy duty doors do exactly what their name implies. Perfect for Healthcare and Educational facilities
If you have any questions regarding interior protection, you've come to the right place. Inpro has been a leader in Architectural Building Products Industry for nearly 40 years, and we specialize in interior protection solutions.
If you would like to learn more about our products or how to better protect your facility, contact one of our professionals at 800-222-5556 or contact us and we will get back to you.