wood gym floor care

Wood Gym Floor Care: What’s Damaging Your Maple Sports Floor?

With proper care and maintenance, a maple sports floor can last up to 40 years or more. However, your hardwood sports floor must be well-kept and free from any damaging elements for this to be true.  To help you create a better maintenance routine that will prolong your hardwood sports floor’s life, we want to highlight the most common causes of damaged gym floors.

Water Damage

Even a small amount of water can lead to cupping.  If your hardwood floor was covered in water, even for a short period, the chances are high that it will also start buckling.  Once the water is in the wood, you can never restore it to its original condition. 

Some maintenance companies and flooring contractors will claim they can fix a water damaged floor by dehumidifying it.  But, don’t get fooled by this, as there’s no way to help the existing damaged floor. 

That being said, dehumidifying will help dry the concrete before the installation of a new hardwood floor.  This is crucial to do before a new installation, as it will make sure that the new floor is installed correctly.

Alternatively, if only a small court area has been affected, you can replace only that part and sand the entire court. This way, no one will be able to tell that your floor is patched.  More importantly, the floor won’t suffer performance-wise.

Damage from Seasonal Changes

Just as environmental fluctuations impact the outside world, they can also significantly affect your hardwood sports floor if you don’t have proper maintenance practices in place.  These effects are most prominent in winter and summer.  Depending on which part of the country you live in, you can experience extreme hot or cold spells during the summer and winter months.

Dry winter air and hot and humid summer air can cause significant damage to your sports facility.  Make sure to have your HVAC running at all times.  Even if no one uses the facility during winter or summer breaks, maintaining a stable indoor environment will allow you to avoid any damage from weather changes. 

Damages from Improper Maintenance

Aside from damage caused by water and other seasonal circumstances and elements, it’s also essential to consider the human factor.  Your maple sports floor might be suffering damage because of improper maintenance practices.  Here are some of the most common mistakes sports facility managers make:

  • Not Monitoring Indoor Humidity — Going by the MFMA recommendations, the advisable relative indoor humidity should constantly be kept between 35 and 50 percent. Also, the indoor temperature should be kept between 55 and 75 degrees year-round. Significant swings in indoor humidity and temperature can lead to excessive floor shrinkage.
  • Cleaning the Floor with Water — Cleaning with water, or even worse, employing an automated power scrubber that uses water, can quickly lead to unwanted results.  Side effects include excessive shrinkage and expansion, splintering, shaling, and cupping. You may also prematurely wear out the finish and give your court a dull appearance.
  • Not Protecting from Heavy Weight — Hardwood floors are incredibly sturdy and can handle heavy weight loads.  However, laying heavy equipment directly on the hardwood surface without any protection can lead to scratches and scuffs.  If you run a multi-purpose facility that hosts shows, recitals, proms, and other events, consider using gym floor covers to protect your hardwood floor.
  • Using Tape as Temporary Markings — This is a surprisingly common mistake among gym operators.  Using tape as temporary markings is not worth the trouble it causes. The tape can peel away layers of the finish and expose the floor to further damage. 
  • Dirty Entrances and Equipment — The gym’s entryways must be pristine at all times. Consider installing walk-off mats at every entry and exit.  Also, keep all portable equipment free of debris.  Dirty wheels and unclean gym equipment can quickly damage the hardwood floor.

Useful Wood Gym Floor Care Tips

Keep your gym floor preserved for many years.  Here are some useful hardwood floor maintenance tips:

  • Limit the Use of Cleaning Products — Harsh cleaning products can damage your hardwood’s finish.  Use a neutral cleaner and avoid changing up cleaning products too often.
  • Dry Mop Daily — Use a microfiber dust mop to effectively remove any dirt or debris from your gym floor.  Dry mop at least once a day and twice if you have a high-traffic facility.
  • Carefully Monitor Floor Conditions — The best way to mitigate any damage early is to be vigilant in monitoring your gym floor’s conditions.  When cleaning, always pay attention to any early signs of damage, such as small cracks in your hardwood and concentrated wear and tear.
  • Have a Reliable Flooring Contractor on Speed Dial — A high-quality gym floor contractor will ensure your floor is in top condition year in and year out.  You should screen and recoat at least once a year and sand and refinish your floor every 5 to 7 years.

Need Help Maintaining Your Gym Floor? Contact Us Today!

When you’ve invested in a quality hardwood maple floor, you should protect it the best you can. These wood gym floor care tips will help you develop an effective maintenance routine and ensure your gym floor’s maximum longevity. 

If you need any assistance or additional tips on how to take care of your gym floor properly, contact us right away.  Give us a call at (973) 801-7219 or fill out our quick online form.