High-quality wood gym floors, like ones installed by Sports Floors, Inc., are sensitive to the setting they are in. Thankfully, there are definite steps you can take to maintain the right environment for your gym floor. This includes controlled humidity, temperature, air quality, and keeping water, dirt and debris off your gym floor. Sports Floors, Inc. has decades of experience working with wood floors and we know exactly what it takes to keep them looking good and functioning the way they should! Keep reading to learn more!
Humidity and Your Gym Floor
Living in the Mid-South, we are no strangers to humidity. This reality does not just affect outdoor activity. It is essential to control the humidity levels in your gym or it can have an obvious effect on your wood floor. As relative humidity changes, wood flooring will expand and contract. These changes are usually small and unnoticeable but drastic changes in relative humidity can cause significant issues. The specific recommended moisture content of your wood floor will depend on your geographical region. As a general rule, you’ll want to aim for no more than a 15% fluctuation between the highest and lowest average indoor relative humidity to limit how much the wood shrinks and grows.
At Sports Floors, Inc., we recommend maintaining relative indoor humidity between 35% and 50% year-round. In areas with consistently high or low outside humidity, a 15% fluctuation will not adversely affect the maple. A properly functioning HVAC system is the only way to ensure ideal indoor conditions.
It’s not uncommon to notice the separation between your flooring during the winter months when humidity levels are lower, so don’t panic! The separation will usually correct itself during peak summer humidity. Although moderate shrinkage and expansion are normal, be sure to utilize your HVAC system to prevent the floor’s excessive tightening and contraction.
We install all of our gym floors to account for these accepted changes and meet MFMA standards. While this is easier to do in new facilities, we will inspect the conditions of an existing facility when replacing a floor and work with you to create and maintain the right environment for your gym floor. Adjustments you may need to make include insulating ductwork, interior drains, and downspouts to prevent condensation.
Maintain the Right Temperature
Just like humidity, the temperature can have an effect both on your facility and the performance and safety and of the athletes using it. If the temperature is too low, athletes will struggle to perform at their best because they will be using energy to stay warm. They may also experience reduced coordination. If the facility is too warm, athletes can overheat or become dehydrated more easily.
Controlling the temperature correctly will also help control the humidity. The ideal temperature range for wood gym floors is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This is also the ideal range for athletic performance.
Check Humidity and Temperature Daily
Since keeping relative humidity within the recommended range of 15% variation between highs and lows, a humidity reader is an invaluable tool. There are many types of indoor humidity monitors on the market, and they can cost anywhere from $10 to several hundred dollars. To calculate the relative humidity, you’ll want to invest in one you can trust to be accurate and reliable rather than merely choosing the cheapest one. Since you’ll be keeping an eye on the reading daily, a wall-mounted reader may be the most convenient option.
You will also need to monitor your facility’s temperature to help maintain the right environment for your gym floor. You can choose to buy a humidity monitor that includes a thermometer, purchase one separately, or rely on the reading from your thermostat. The benefit of a separate thermometer is that you’ll tell right away if your HVAC system isn’t working correctly.
Make Sure Air Filters Are Clean
Gym facilities require a well-designed HVAC system to expertly handle ventilation needs and effectively control air quality. The air filter used in your gym facility is vital to maintaining the environment because there is a wide variety of airborne pollutants and particles that can damage your gym floor and harm those using it. Dust and other particles can make your floor slick and unsafe or scratch the finish. That’s why it’s so important to check all air filters used in your HVAC system regularly. Since wood gym floors are so sensitive to their environment, it’s wise to check filters more frequently than you would at home.
Use Walk-Off Mats
To protect your wood gym floors, place floor mats at all gym entries so people entering the gym can clean debris off their shoes. This will help keep water and grit off of the wood. In some instances, particularly when a gym is being used for something other than an athletic event, it’s a good idea to create walkways with mats and runners. This allows many people to walk through the gym while still protecting the floor. Be sure to check under mats frequently to ensure that no moisture or dirt is trapped underneath.
Protect your wood floor for years to come with Sports Floors, Inc.
To keep your wood floor looking great and performing exceptionally well over the years, it’s important to give it the appropriate care and attention. If you’re feeling unsure about how to care and maintain the right environment for the gym floor in your facility, our expert team would be happy to assist you! To ensure you have many more years of enjoyment from your wood floor, get in touch today.