Can Hospital Rooms Repel Germs? Yes, With Antimicrobial Paints.
To a painting contractor, a healthcare facility – a hospital, surgery center, doctor’s or dentist’s office – is a pretty special place. Not just for the help and healing that’s accomplished there, but because each room's surface must be specialized: designed to repel contaminants, clean easily, stand up to harsh antibacterial cleaners, and in the case of floors, stay seamless and non-slip when dry. Refreshing rooms with such specific requirements is a tall order to fill – but one that an experienced healthcare painting contractor (like Custom Coatings), can handle with speed, safety, and around your healthcare facility’s busy schedule.
The most amazing thing about healthcare painting and coatings recently however is the invention of antimicrobial coatings.
These high-tech coatings are ultra-durable and go on smoothly and seamlessly (like any high-quality paint), but have a truly remarkable secret: they repel microbes, helping every space from exam rooms to operating rooms stay cleaner and safer automatically.
Traditionally, helping healthcare facilities be as clean and sanitary as possible has required a few mechanical adjustments to the ways paint and coatings are applied. Healthcare painting contractors ensure walls have no cracks or crevices where mold or bacteria could hide out and grow. Floors are created with a cove climbing partially up the walls rather than ending at a hard 90-degree angle where dirt and debris are difficult to clean away. High-quality paints and coatings are also a must. First, because painting a healthcare facility requires it be shut down (and cheap paints must be re-applied sooner and more often, meaning more closures over time). Secondly, because high quality paints are more durable, standing up to harsh cleanings that must happen multiple times a day. But today, healthcare painting experts have more choices – and help from the coatings themselves in keeping things clean and safe.
The two most prevalent healthcare-appropriate painting technologies on the market right now use different methods to improve a surface’s cleanliness:
In part in response to the global pandemic beginning in 2020, painting manufacturers have begun to bring more innovative antibacterial, anti-fungal and antimicrobial paints to market. One type uses nanotechnology – molecular level additions of compounds that either bind to microbes and destroy them or repel bacteria, fungus and dirt, keeping them from staying on walls and ever-present in rooms.
Many of these products were originally used as exterior paints and coatings, useful for keeping mold from growing on buildings in wet areas and repelling atmospheric contaminants that dull or dirty walls. Today, they’re moving inside healthcare facilities, with coatings companies incorporating them into interior paints.
When put on the wall, they look just the same as ordinary paint, but as UV light hits them, some varieties grow microscopic crystals that prevent the surface from attracting and holding onto dirt or other microbes. Over time, the surface simply sheds anything that touches it, meaning the walls become essentially self-cleaning, cutting down on man hours needed to scrub between usages and keeping harsh chemicals and hot water off surfaces. All of this allows the paint to last longer.
Another very recent feature of high quality modern paints is air purification. Again made more urgent by the COVID-19 crisis, this brand new crop of coatings actually cleans the air in the room, absorbing VOCs (volatile organic compounds), odors, and again, microbes like mold and mildew.
These paints go on just like any other, come in hundreds of vivid colors, and last for years. Eventually, they reach a certain saturation level and cannot hold any additional contaminants (and must be replaced), but no sooner than a typical high quality paint. Sherwin Williams’ SuperPaint Interior Acrylic with Air Purifying Technology is one good choice here.
At Custom Coatings, we like both types of high-tech paints for healthcare applications. They’re easy to apply, easy for the facility to live with, and do a lot of the work of sanitation and cleanliness for staff without additional work. They’re simply amazing, and we honestly can’t wait to see what the paint companies come up with next!
How Much Will Antimicrobial Painting Cost?
For something so specialized, you’d expect the cost of installation to be higher than typical. The reality is, for us, paint is paint, no matter if it’s typical interior, commercial-grade epoxy or Jetsons-esque super-paint that dirt falls off of. We quote it exactly the same way.
While most painters price per square foot, you’ll find that many price per square foot of floor, not wall space. (And unless they’re painting or coating your floor, that doesn’t make much sense, does it?) Look then, for a quote that prices per square feet of actual wall space. It makes a big difference.
For healthcare painting (and all painting), here’s how we price at Custom Coatings: For basic clean, prep, repair and one coat of paint, you’ll be looking at around $.45-$.65 per square foot on walls that are 10’ or less. Go higher, and the price goes up. The price of paint will affect that – and high-tech paints like the ones mentioned in this article will increase the price a bit, but just know that otherwise, the general cost of putting whatever paint you choose on the wall is the same no matter what type it is.
You’ll also need to account for the hourly rate of the labor if additional work is added after the fact. A price around $45-$50/hr. per worker is pretty much industry rate.
You do the math; it’s pretty straightforward. A reputable painting contractor will also break this down for you in an estimate.
So, what’s the right choice for your healthcare facility? Do your research or follow the lead of an experienced healthcare painting contractor and you’ll be looking at cleaner, safer rooms and easier maintenance for years to come. The science of paint: Amazing, right?
Have additional questions? We’re here to help. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website to fill out a contact form. Want more helpful tips and information on school and university commercial painting? Check out our education series on our blog, including High Traffic Durability Tips from the Pros.