A lot of the gym floor issues you’ll find on a jobsite have to do with not properly setting expectations with your clients and the maintenance people regarding how to care for the floor. The key is to tell them how to properly maintain the floors when you’re not there.
Here are a few common gym floor issues to look out for when you show up to a jobsite, and how to fix them or, better yet, prevent them from happening in the first place:
Moisture issues – Moisture issues are probably one of the most common problems you’ll see with a gym floor. Excess moisture present in a floor can cause cupping in hardwood floors because wood is a hygroscopic material, meaning it absorbs and releases moisture based on the conditions in the surrounding environment.
The best way to prevent this is to make sure that you are advising your clients how to properly clean and maintain the floor so these problems don’t arise to begin with. Leave some sort of maintenance information behind when you’re done with a job. Let them know that they shouldn’t use a soaking wet mop to clean the floor, and that they shouldn’t leave any wet spots on the floor––any excess moistures or spills should be wiped up as soon as possible to prevent cupping in the floors.
Finish adhesion issues – Finish adhesion issues usually happen when your clients are using the wrong chemicals to clean the floors. When you show up to do a screen and recoat job, you might have a problem with getting the new finish to adhere if they’re using incorrect products to maintain the floor. This can ultimately affect the quality of the recoat job that you can do. Make sure your clients have a list of approved and not approved products to use when maintaining their gym floors. One example that we like to recommend for large-scale gym floors and commercial floors is Squeaky Clean. You can make it even easier for them to maintain their floors by allowing them to order cleaning products from you!
Floors being installed too tightly – A spongy spot in the gym floor is usually caused by the floorboards being too tight. Leads to sponginess and the boards coming off the floor because it has nowhere to go but up. Gym floors are usually floating, meaning that if someone installs the boards too tightly against the walls, this can can cause serious issues. The floor is constantly expanding and contracting and if it has nowhere to expand it goes up and cups or causes spongy spots which have to be replaced.
Don’t put tape on the floor. Make sure your clients know this! Recreational coaches and gym teachers sometimes put down tape for games and class activities. But putting down anything other than vinyl tape specifically made for gym floors can ruin the finish when it’s removed. Tell the maintenance workers to inform the staff of this.
Dragging items across the floor – Of course, some scuffing is inevitable on any gym floor. After all, it’s meant to be used and abused to a certain extent! But some extra, unnecessary damage can be prevented with some extra care. Sometimes, teachers and students will drag equipment and other items across the floor instead of lifting it up or carrying it across the floor. Let them know that this will scuff up the finish and will cause for a recoat sooner rather than later.
With these things in mind, your client can take better care of their gym floors, leading to higher satisfaction and less callbacks once you leave a jobsite!