The dime that slime costs!
With the evolution and progress of environmental consciousness – detergents and cleaning supplies available, mandated, or recommended have changed. Becoming greener, safer and less aggressive. However, with positive change and progress, it can be expected that challenges and negative effects may occur.
Custodial and building maintenance industries have described a difficulty keeping surfaces clean and free of hard to remove soiling. Scientifically speaking, the hard to remove substances are a verity of microbial contamination’s. Most often the contamination’s are mould, mildew, fungi, as well as bio-film.
What is Bio-Flim?
Bio-film is a complex polymeric substance comprised of extracellular DNA, proteins and carbohydrate molecules bonded by glyosidic linkages (glucose). Many bacteria colonies cannot survive outside of bio-films. When present on high touch surfaces, this can cause cross contamination leading to illnesses with citizens and staff. A general misconception often concluded, is that accumulations of soap scum, grease, and other optically visible layers of grime are bio-films, this is incorrect. Those substances are the food sources and habitats that bio-films flourish in. Bio-film will colonize on these sources until the dispersal stage. This is when the capsule will rupture becoming airborne to find new areas to colonize.
Negative impacts aside from health concerns of bio film include: odour, staining, discoloration and an increase of degradation of materials. Biofilm is present in aquatic areas or areas where moisture is often present. This includes pool decks, showers, washrooms, janitorial closets and custodial tools.
Some visuals and physical attributes of bio film include:
- Loss of shine on tiles and slippery feel.
- Red staining on grout.
- Brown staining deposits along the wall where mop water is deposited.
Along with physical and visual effects, microbial contamination is the number one reason for odour within buildings. Mould will release odour when it is in its blooming cycle, and bacterial emits odour as it is dying and decomposing. This why when flood damaged areas are exposed to moisture they will often smell once again, and why the tile under urinals will stink following cleaning. Using Aegis®, rec centers have noticed a significant odour reduction.
To avoid the growth of bio-films, surfaces must be scrubbed using scalding hot water, then dried. This eliminates sources of proteins for which they need to survive. However, this solution is impossible in the real world of rec centers and public facilities.
One of the key differences between a simply soiled surface and bio-film is the amount of energy and time that goes into removing them. A soiled surface is generally much like sweeping up dry leaves on a sidewalk. Bio-film is more like trying to remove wet, decomposing, caked-on slime off a sidewalk. You can imagine the difference in time and effort between both scenarios.
Aegis® is a long-chain polymer comprised of saline, nitrogen, oxygen and carbon. Once applied, this invisible coating will remain on the surface for one to three years on high touch surfaces, and the lifetime of textiles. This is a non-toxic, non-leaching, and a semi-permanent coating that acts like a bed of swords. Rupturing and destroying all harmful microbes that come in contact with treated surfaces; rendering the surfaces inhospitable for any microbial contamination to adhere or colonize on surfaces. Following treatment, facilities are able to stay cleaner without changing from eco-friendly cleaners. They also can cut down the need for deep cleaning and aggressive techniques. Utilizing this technology has been proven to cut costs on supplies, decrease damage to assets being cleaned as well as encourage a healthier atmosphere.
Alex von Hauff
division of Strathcona Ventures