slippery gym floors
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How To Fix Slippery Gym Floors

At schools, colleges, churches, public fitness centers, basketball arenas and anywhere else where you have a hardwood gym floor or basketball court, properly caring for your gym floor while simultaneously avoiding the risks of a slippery gym floor is an ongoing challenge.

As a facilities manager or athletic director, you’re responsible to keep players and fans safe, avoid potential liabilities, and maintain an attractive, clean playing surface. Using the right products and methods are key to getting this done.

This blog post will show you how to fix your slippery gym floor (and, of course, your slippery basketball court).

We’ll share our answers to the following questions:

  • How to make a gym floor less slippery?
  • How to fix a slippery gym floor?
  • Why is my gym floor so slippery?
  • How to fix slippery hardwood gym floors?

How To Fix Slippery Gym Floors

1. Dry Dust Mop First – Regularly

Most facility managers realize that dust mopping on a regular basis is a must for avoiding slippery gym floors and slippery basketball courts. However, it’s not uncommon for even experts to make the mistake of wet dust mopping first with a dust mop treatment.

Dust, dirt and debris can get trapped in the coatings of even the highest quality products. That makes grime more difficult to remove later, causes the buildup of residue where the dirt particles are trapped and could even lead to scratching the floor surface.

2. Use A Microfiber Dust Mop

An ordinary wide frame dust mop certainly has its place, but a microfiber dust mop will more effectively gather and hold dust particles as it sweeps over the wood. 

Traditional dust mops are great for removing the worst of the loose dirt and debris, but microfiber mops will pick up even more. Plus, you can do a wet (water only) microfiber mopping after an initial dry mop job for an extra-deep cleaning.

3. Use Stronger Cleaning Products

All too often, floor managers hesitate to use a strong cleaning product for fear of damaging the expensive hardwood flooring. Instead, they use mild, neutral products or even just vinegar and water.

But the fact is, these mild solutions just won’t do an adequate job of removing harmful floor contaminants like salt and oil left behind after sweat-water evaporates, food and beverage spills and pavement oils tracked in on footwear. 

Even after preparing the flooring through thorough loose dirt and debris removal, you still need a strong cleaner that will not harm or dull your wood and won’t leave a slippery residue. Choose a powerful product that is specifically designed for use on gym floors and basketball courts.

4. Take Care With Automatic Scrubbers

For the first year or two after installation, you should avoid auto-scrubbing your gym floor. In later years, however, an automatic scrubber will help remove the most stubborn floor stains with ease and make the process of cleaning your floor much faster.

Be sure your scrubber and cleaning solution are fully compatible and that you are using the specific floor pad that matches your floor type and the task at hand. Only go 175 rpm or less and work sections of 1,000 square feet or less at a time till the job is complete. Allow at least 15 minutes for the floor to thoroughly dry before putting it to further use.

5. Avoid Using Numerous Cleaners

You are far better off using the right product than using multiple products to clean your gym floor. Using too many cleaners could lead to unexpected interactions between cleaners and might create a slippery residue. 

Focus on doing a better job of eliminating floor debris prior to wet mopping or automatic scrubbing. Then choose a powerful, safe floor cleaner recommended for hardwoods. But don’t layer multiple cleaning products to try to make up for inadequate results with a mild cleaner you may be presently using.

6. Use A Floor Cover

Dust is constantly floating through the air, threatening to land on your freshly cleaned gym floor. And even just walking across a gym floor, when done by hundreds of feet multiple times, can begin to make the floor dirty and slippery again.

Use of a professional gym floor covering when the floor is not in use for a day or longer will greatly reduce wear and tear, maintenance frequency and slipperiness.

7. Get Your Gym Floor Refinished

Every three to ten years, you should get your gym floor sanded and refinished. This will not only improve the floor’s appearance and reduce regular maintenance needs, but it will also make it easier to prevent your floor from getting slippery.

Many people don’t realize the real reasons why a gym floor or basketball court gets slippery and dangerous to walk on. It is usually not due to the cleaner used but to the failure to prepare the floor for the cleaner through thorough removal of floor contaminants. Using a strong cleaning product, a microfiber dust mop, proper auto-scrubbing technique and a gym floor cover also help reduce the problem.

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