Damage to your gym floor can be frustrating, but there are events beyond the owners control that can cause major problems with your gym floor. See the causes below, and how Sports Floors, Inc. can patch and repair your gym floor to make it safe and playable again for your athletes. After an inspection by a Sports Floors, Inc. team member, we may find that we can save your gym floor by patching and repairing just the affected areas. Our experts will identify the problem areas, and then present a solution to best fix the issue. When you have an expert team on your side, a damaged floor doesn’t have to slow down athletic performance. Keep reading to learn more about the process, what to expect, and what to avoid. 

When You Need To Patch Your Floor 

There are 4 primary causes of damage that may require you to patch your gym floor. We’ll discuss them below: 

  • Termite Damage: If termites damage your floor, you may not notice right away. It may take months or years of gradual damage for your floor to show visual signs of damage or give way completely. Some hints are a squeaky floor or one that seems hollow. Because the gym floor is put under much more pressure than a wood floor in your home, you may be able to notice damage sooner. If you suspect termite damage, the first step is to have the floor inspected by a specialist, who can then develop a plan of attack. It’s important to get rid of the termite infestation before making any attempt to patch the floor. Otherwise, you’ll soon find yourself in the same situation again.

  • Broken Boards and Sub-Floor: This is a relatively easy problem to spot. When any part of your gym floor breaks, it can increase the risk of injury to players using your gym. You’ll also be risking the integrity of the surrounding floor if you don’t get it repaired quickly. Contact Sports Floors, Inc. as soon as you notice any broken boards or sections of the subfloor of your gym in the Mid-South.

  • Rotting Flooring: If your floor becomes damp for any amount of time, mold spores will eagerly take the opportunity to latch onto your damp floor and grow, ultimately damaging that section of your gym beyond safe usage. This byproduct of water damage can be a frustrating problem, but the real issue is the water damage itself. It’s important to find the source of the water and address it before patching the floor.

  • Water Damage

Patching a Wood Floor

Gym Floor at Trinity Church – Major Water Damage

Repairing Water Damage 

Water damage is the most prevalent cause of damage to wooden gym floors. It is responsible for 90% of the floor damage that we replace and patch. 

When your wood floor is exposed to water, the wood expands and contracts based on the amount of moisture in the air around it. If too much moisture gets into your wood floor, it will cup or crown. Cupping is when individual boards bend upward at the edges because they don’t have any more room to expand horizontally. This creates a U shape. Crowning is the opposite. The center of the board bends upward, making the middle higher than the edges (an upside-down U shape).

Even a small amount of water can damage your wood gym floor, so be sure to call a certified MFMA installer such as Sports Floors, Inc. as soon as the damage occurs.  The sooner repairs start, the less time the water has to spread to other areas of your floor – and the sooner repairs begin, the smaller the chance of developing mold. 

Patching a Gym Floor the Right Way 

Anytime you need to patch your wood floor, there is a process we have to follow to make sure all of the affected gym floor has been removed. Your gym floor and subfloor will be moisture tested to determine the extent of the damage.  

Once the damaged area has been identified, we’ll tear out the damaged flooring and inspect the concrete to make sure it’s dry. If not, we’ll let it dry for a few days. Once the concrete is ready, we’ll install the new floor and lace it in with the existing floor. You should never have straight edges where they have simply cut out a square of damaged flooring and replaced it the same way.  

Now, this is the part that determines whether your patch is going to be visible or invisible. For an invisible patch, you’ll need to have your entire floor sanded. This will make all of the wood in the room the same color so that we can then put two coats of seal down, repaint the game lines and logos, and then apply two coats of finish. Your floor will look flawless and brand new! No one will be able to guess that the floor was ever patched.

Gym Floor at Trinity Church after Patch, Sand, Paint, and Finish

Of course, patching the correct way takes time and money. It can take 2-3 weeks and costs thousands of dollars. You may not have the time or budget for this.  We understand that completely. In those cases, there is a temporary solution to the problem. To patch the floor quickly and cheaply, we can tear out the damaged flooring, allow the concrete to dry out, and install new flooring, lacing it in (as always).  We can then simply put two coats of seal on the patched area only, and then apply one coat of finish to the entire floor. When you patch the floor, it is best to sand the entire floor and start from scratch. This will make the patch harder to spot and make the court look more cohesive.

When you only patch a spot on your floor, it won’t match the existing wood and finish. As the finish cures and ambers on top of the floor, it changes the appearance of the wood. This also happens with paint. If a floor has been painted and finished for years, and then has to be patched, the paint under the existing finish won’t match the new paint since there aren’t as many layers of finish on top of the paint. See the pictures below for a quick patch that was done at Christian Brothers High School so that they could continue their basketball season after a moisture event.

Patching a Wood Floor

CBHS GYM – Buckling Boards on Playing Surface from Moisture Event

Patching a Wood Floor

CBHS GYM – Removed damaged area only to allow team to continue home games this season

CBHS GYM – Damaged area only patched, sanded, repainted, and finished

Trust Your Floor to the Experts

Our team has decades of experience repairing wooden gym floors in the Mid-South, whether the solution is to patch or replace your floor. We’ll help you determine how to best meet your needs and budget. No matter what, you’ll be enjoying your refreshed new floor soon. 

Contact Sports Floors, Inc. for a quote today.