In today’s sports world, competition is expanding to include flooring. Everybody wants to play on the newest, brightest and most breathtaking sports floor. Courts are becoming pieces of art. Great examples of ‘art’ could be seen watching basketball games leading up to and watching the NCAA tournament. Universities and public schools are applying painted mosaics and faded, multi-tones artwork to their court floors.
The most frequent question that comes up on these floors is: What can be done to keep them looking like new?
The answer: Proper care and maintenance. Whether the sport floor surface is hardwood and synthetic, properly caring for and maintaining it will maximize its life. Sport floors are a large investment. When properly maintained, the life of a hardwood sports floor can exceed 40 years. If neglected, that number is greatly reduced.
The floor is installed. Now what?
Many questions arise after the installation is complete — Who can be trusted to provide the right information? Who can assist if there’s a problem? Oftentimes, the first and best point of contact for all surface related questions is the certified installer.
Organizations, such as the Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association (MFMA), require that a member mill first certify all their certified installers. This ensures that installers are properly trained on sport floor installation and maintenance.
Owners and facility caretakers also play an active part in the floors longevity. There are six main steps to follow to maximize the floor’s performance and life:
- Maintain the relative humidity (RH) and temperature in the environment. Ideally, the RH level should be between 35-50 percent and the temperature 55-80 degrees.
- Sweep the floor dialing, After each use or whenever possible, sweep the surface to remove any dirt, grit, sand and other abrasive particles that may damage the finish.
- Remove any spills or marks on the floor with a recommended floor cleaner to avoid any surface staining.
- Clean the floor with a recommended floor cleaner as often as needed. Do not simply use water on the floor surface, as water may stand for a longer period of time and could cause issues. There are specialized cleaners that are mixed with water that do the necessary cleaning and then evaporate quickly so the excess moisture will not affect the floor.
These last two steps should be done by a certified installer.
- If the floor starts to develop issues out of the ordinary or need repairs, be sure to contact a professional. For peace of mind, ask about the floor warranty. Oftentimes these are available through the installer.
- Make sure your floor is refinished when needed to bring back that fresh new floor look. Certified installers have the experience and qualifications to do the job.
Moreso than ever, sport floors are becoming the central focus of facilities. When properly cared for and maintained, your floor will shine and keep the facility looking great for years to come.
Jason Nieminski is the Technical Director at Aacer Flooring.