Supplement Feature - September 2014
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The Big Bounce

Innovations in Sports Flooring Abound

By Rick Dandes

Maintenance Issues

Both wood and synthetic floor systems require daily and weekly cleaning, said Drew Beynon, chief operating officer of a surface manufacturer based in Hunt Valley, Md. A synthetic floor is cleaned with water, but water should never be used on a wood floor. A wood floor is cleaned by using a wood floor cleaner. A wood floor needs an annual coating of new polyurethane. The annual maintenance for a synthetic floor typically involves making repairs to damaged areas.

All products have key maintenance guidelines provided by the manufacturer that must be followed to maximize the life of the surface and mitigate warranty concerns. One particular concern and competitive advantage for some products in the market today is the use of an aliphatic or UV-stable, water-based coating over the finished product to prevent staining from beverages, etc. To enhance the appearance of your finished surface for an extended timeframe, the application of a stain-resistant coating is highly recommended.

Wood floors have extremely long life spans compared with other surfaces, because wooden sports floors can be refinished and re-sanded multiple times over their life span. A good performing floor with a low lifecycle cost is a much better investment than a good performing floor with a high lifecycle cost, Williams said.

Moisture can cause wood to swell and warp, noted Randy Swartz, president of a Philadelphia manufacturer. It can also be a breeding ground for mildew. Proper vapor barriers, air ventilation system, dehumidifier, air filter maintenance and maintenance systems can keep this problem in check.

"Body oil, foreign substances, dirt, dye and scuff marks can play havoc with the floor surface, Swartz cautioned. "Use manufacturer-recommended products that address these issues. An unattended floor will wear faster, look terrible and can become slippery."

With proper maintenance, your new floor can look good and last long.