Today’s gym floors see a ton of activity. From school sporting events to dance competitions, drama performances, and conferences, a hardwood gym floor is subject to a lot of wear and tear. A hardwood gym floor is a massive investment for your sports facility. So, of course, you’ll want to protect it. But many sports facility managers and gym owners don’t understand how to conduct a suitable daily cleaning schedule to preserve and maintain the integrity of their sports floor. You’ll want to schedule a screening and recoating about once a year. But cleaning the gym floor daily will keep the hardwood well-maintained and safe for people to use.
Myths and Misconceptions of Daily Gym Floor Cleaning
There’s a lot of confusion surrounding the proper type of daily care you should conduct on a sports floor. Part of the reason why many sports facility owners struggle with this aspect of gym floor ownership is because of the very nature of the gym floor itself.
It’s made of wood, which many people aren’t familiar with maintaining in the first place. But that’s not all. A hardwood gym floor has a special coating and finishes on the wood. These layers of material are used to protect the wood and to prevent people from slipping on the floor. The finish gives the floor it’s shiny look. Many sports facility managers think they can’t put water on the gym floor to clean it. But that’s not entirely true.
The Truth About Water and Hardwood Gym Floors
Too much ambient moisture, or humidity, is definitely harmful to the gym floor’s integrity. Standing, pooling water is also hazardous to the wood’s health and can cause cupping and buckling. But using water to clean the floor won’t harm it. Many sports facilities’ daily care is neglected because of this misconception about water and gym floors. Neglecting daily cleaning routines for a sports floor can make costly repairs more likely to occur, and more frequently, too. Plus, a lackluster, shabby-looking sports floor won’t inspire confidence in visitors or customers.
Keeping a hardwood gym floor clean and pristine is a must. Below are the following steps you can take to ensure that your sports facility looks professional, polished, and safe for athletes to use.
Daily Gym Floor Cleaning: The Bare Minimum
The bare minimum for daily gym floor cleaning is a once-daily dry mopping and tacking, preferably performed first thing in the morning. Why? Dust and dirt tend to settle over the floorboards throughout the night. While we can’t really make out the shape of a speck of dust with the unaided eye, dust is an abrasive material. At least, to your gym floor, it is.
Remember, sports floors are coated with a sticky substance to create traction and keep athletes from slipping. When the dust settles on the floor overnight and isn’t cleared away before people walk on it, foot traffic is essentially scratching up the floor and wearing away the coating and finish faster.
Dry mopping and tacking are the bare necessities for gym floor cleaning. While dry mopping and tacking can get rid of dust first thing in the morning, you must perform more robust daily cleaning measures to keep the gym floor in good condition.
Make sure you wet the floor.
When something becomes dirty or unsanitary, do you simply wipe away the grime and bacteria with a dry towel? Doubtful. To get something adequately clean, you have to use water. Not to be gross, but athletes do perspire.
Sweat is full of proteins and salts. Over time, bacteria can begin to grow, feeding off these organic substances. Using a solvent-based cleaner without enough water won’t work to break down these substances and get the floor clean. Using a wet mop or an automatic scrubber along with the proper cleaning solution will get rid of icky residues. So, don’t be afraid to use water for cleaning purposes. Just be sure to dry the floor once you’re finished cleaning.
Use fewer chemicals when cleaning the gym floor.
Less is more when it comes to a sports facility. Hardwood, along with the special coatings and finishes applied to a gym floor, do not like different chemical cocktails. Please keep it simple and use a neutral and mild detergent cleaner. Harsh chemicals or chemical mixtures can hurt the sports floor and shorten its lifespan.
Consider using an automatic scrubber instead of a wet mop.
Mopping is becoming a thing of the past, and good riddance! Traditional wet mops can be hard on the back and hips. Plus, it takes longer to mop a large sports floor. An automatic scrubber can get the floor cleaned and dried within 15 minutes or less. If you don’t have the budget to invest in an automatic scrubber, you’ll still need to use a wet mop on the floor every so often.
Keep dust to a minimum.
Dust is a significant problem for sports facility owners. It’s a never-ending battle to keep the gym dust-free. Dust that settles on the hardwood floor can wear away the finish. It can also make the floor slippery, increasing the chances of injuries and falls. One way to reduce dust in the gym is to make sure the HVAC system and ductwork are in good working order. Be sure to change furnace filters and have the ductwork professionally cleaned to keep the facility as dust-free as possible.
Protect the floor with mats.
Walk-off mats are a must when it comes to daily gym floor cleaning and care. Using walk-off mats serves multiple purposes. For one thing, they reduce the amount of dirt, dust, and debris that gets tracked into the gym from spectators and visitors. But the trick to using walk-off mats and having them work for you is to clean them regularly. A dirty walk-off mat makes it easier for foot traffic to track grime throughout the facility. A good practice is to vacuum and wipe the mats daily. Place the mats near entrances and exits, too. They will also help reduce the chances of standing water pooling on the gym floor during winter when snow is on the ground.
Gym Floor Daily Cleaning: The Bottom Line
The easiest thing you can do to maintain the integrity of your gym floor and protect its lifespan is to keep it as free from grit and grime as possible. Keep these tips in mind for daily gym floor cleaning and maintenance.
Investing in gym floor cover systems is an excellent way to protect your hardwood sports floor. At J&J Gym Flooring, we offer a range of durable and beautiful floor cover systems for sports facilities. Call us today at (973) 801-7219 to request a quote.