5 Tips For Cleaning Hardwood Gym Floors

by BaldGuyClean

in Floor Care, Tools For Cleaning

Hardwood Gym Floor Cleaning Tips

The gym floor is the focal point for any school. The classic hardwood gymnasium has been a standard in the American high school for decades. Although the materials used can hold up to the most aggressive of sports, care and maintenance is required to ensure long life. Knowing the right ways for cleaning hardwood gym floors will make yours a reflection of your school’s image.

Here are 5 tips for cleaning hardwood gym floors.

1. Use as few products on the floor as possible.

Do not throw any and all types of cleaners at the floor in an attempt to solve an issue. This will only result in damage to the finish and/or the wood itself. Use a neutral, low detergent cleaner for any wet cleaning you perform.

2. Make sure you DO wet clean the floor.

Athletes perspire. Perspiration, or sweat, and body oils are high in protein and salt which will build up over time. Solvent based cleaners and too little water will not break down the residue and can lead to a dull, slippery floor. Wet cleaning of some type, either mopping or automatic scrubbing combined with the proper wood floor cleaner, will remove these films.

3. Always use an automatic scrubber when possible.

Mopping is fast becoming a thing of the past, especially in large areas like gyms. Using an Automatic scrubber
(a machine that applies clean solution, scrubs the floor with various pads or brushes and picks up the water with a vacuum system) leave the floor drier and much cleaner. Depending on the size of machine you use, a gym floor can be clean and dry within 15 minutes with very little effort. As long as your floor is in good condition and there is a quality finish, there is no concern about moisture or weight issues when cleaning hard wood gym floors.

4. Protect the gym floor.

 It can withstand many types of activities. But chairs, certain types of equipment and hard plastic or metal casters will damage the floor. Make sure everyone is aware of your policy for using the floor and take steps to keep the floor protected during events. There are many types of gym floor covers and mats that can make protecting and cleaning hard wood gym floors much easier.

5. Gym Floors Do Not Like Dust Mop Treatment.

The most important thing you can do to a gym floor to protect it is to remove dust. Traditional methods for dust mopping use a wide frame dust mop that has a treatment applied to it to hold dust. This is extremely counterproductive. The treatments are almost always oil based and leave residue. Even the water based treatments can leave a film behind. These residues trap and hold dirt which will scratch the finish. When combined with the previously mentioned perspiration, they become slippery and will be dangerous. Microfiber dust mops trap and hold dirt without any treatment. They can even be used wet for more in-depth cleaning.

By following these rules and refinishing the floor as needed with quality finish every 1-3 years, your gym floor will stay clean and maintain its appearance for years to come.

Do you have a comment or suggestion? Leave them in the comments section below. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

blackpool carpet cleaning February 6, 2012 at 7:12 am

Helpful info. Lucky me I discovered your site by accident, and I’m shocked why this twist of fate didn’t came about earlier! I bookmarked it.

Reply

Sara Kaufman August 1, 2013 at 10:46 pm

I manage a 67,000 square foot school with a gymnasium with an older wood floor. We are having a terrible time keeping it clean and non-slip. It is professionally waxed and the company explained to me that the wax begins breaking down and flaking as soon as it is applied and that is what is causing the slipperiness. Can you please advise the best way to preserve and maintain an older wooden gym floor.

Thank you kindly,
Sara Kaufman

Reply

BaldGuyClean August 2, 2013 at 11:22 am

Sara,
Thank you for your question. There are a lot of factors that can come into play with older wood floors. But if the finish the company used is breaking down as soon as it is applied, then they are either not applying it correctly or not using the right product or both. Those are the only two reasons that a finish would flake that fast. Check to make sure they are using a wood floor finish and not a tile floor finish. Before they apply the wood floor finish, the floor needs to be sanded to remove any scratches and loose finish. Then needs to be extremely clean before application of the new finish.

Once you have an answer on the finish they used, let me know. I have a feeling that the wrong product was used and the floor was not properly preped before it was applied.
I look forward to hearing from you.
BGC

Reply

Dave Thompson August 22, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Sara, I would like to add to the conversation. At GCI, we do not deal specifically with the issue you are talking about, however I do have my own blog and I did deal with some of this very issue this summer. You can look at the 3 posts on this subject which might help you.

http://www.janitorkatt.com/gym-floor-is-pealing/

I hope this will be helpful.

DT

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