Planning to implement a new commercial laundry facility or upgrade your current one? We understand that the design process can be a little complicated, so we’ve enlisted the help of our Sales Manager, Debbie Jones, who has put together some things to consider when it comes to your laundry room layout.
What is the ideal location for my laundry?
The location is possibly one of the most important decisions to make when it comes to planning your laundry room layout. We recommend that clients consider ground-floor sites as the best option, as this will be better for installation and maintenance, as well as daily access for your team.
Ideally, the laundry should be located away from the main entrance and any outdoor seating areas, or places such as offices or bedrooms. To manage infection control, it should also be a safe distance from kitchen or food preparation areas, ensuring that food and soiled linens do not share the same corridor.
Another important element to consider is ventilation. The laundry room should preferably have at least one external wall for tumble dryer exhaust ducts and to be able to bring fresh air in, without the need for expensive fan systems. This may then also make windows an option, letting in natural light, helping improve the working environment for your laundry team.
What flooring is best?
As the laundry is a high traffic area with exposure to moisture and vibration, the flooring is a key element to get right. Solid concrete is usually considered the best option, as it is slip-resistant, waterproof and unsusceptible to bleach, detergents and other cleaning agents. It will tolerate the high levels of foot and cart traffic, as well as bear the weight of your laundry equipment well.
Does my laundry need specific wall finishes?
To help prevent any issues arising from the condensation that is produced during the laundry process, your walls should ideally be oil painted or plastic clad. Any crevices or areas where lint might accumulate should also be filled in.
Are there particular drainage requirements for in-house laundries?
Though specifics will vary depending on your machine, all laundry facilities should have a main drain, soil vent pipe (often referred to as an SVP) or stub stack (min. 100mm diameter) entering the foul water system and wastewater be safely trapped.
Should sinks be installed?
Installing a handwash basin for your team within the soiled linen area of the laundry is a good precautionary measure for sanitation. This can be paired with a separate utility sink for items such as mops and buckets to help avoid cross-contamination with soiled linens.
How should sorting and storage spaces be planned?
Setting up linen collection, sorting and storage spaces will be essential to the smooth running of your laundry. The sorting area should be well-lit with bright white lights to help your team easily identify stains, while the storage space for clean linens should be located some distance away from soiled items to avoid cross-contamination.
What fire safety precautions should be taken?
To help reduce the risk of fires in your commercial laundry room, there are some key things to consider. These include:
Ideally, your laundry room should have two exits available in the event of a fire that are clearly marked and kept clear at all times. We also recommend that appropriate extinguishers are made accessible near to the exits, preferably maintained under a specialist contract to ensure they are always in good working order.
Automatic fire alarms
The installation of an automatic fire alarm system with remote signalling to an alarm receiving centre will enable faster response times in the event of a fire, while also giving you peace of mind. Detection should be implemented within both the laundry processing and storage areas.
Automatic sprinkler systems
Sprinkler systems can help to reduce damage of laundry fires that result from “spontaneous combustion”, which can often occur overnight outside of normal working hours. They commonly happen when linen is tightly packed into storage whilst still hot, causing residual chemicals and soiling from fat, grease and oil (if not washed correctly) to react with the heat.
Having the right procedures in place for your team to follow will help to prevent and mitigate the risk of fire in your laundry room. These should include:
- Cleaning routines that ensure all combustible rubbish is removed daily and lint is cleared from surfaces weekly
- Training in fire safety that covers how to raise the alarm, how/when to evacuate and how/when to use extinguishers
How can WASHCO help?
As specialists in commercial laundry equipment and installation, the team here at WASHCO have the knowledge and experience to support projects of all sizes. We’ll work closely with you to understand any challenges you may have, as well as conduct site surveys to ensure we are best placed to design a solution that works for you.
Find out how we supported Concord College with their commercial laundry, which included changing the room layout to improve processes and increase capacity.