Cleaning sports hall flooring is an essential part of regular maintenance. Not only will it make the floor look more visually appealing, but it will also extend the timeframe between scheduled floor sanding and refurbishment.
We recommend our 5-step process for cleaning sports hall flooring:
1. Always pre-sweep floors
The most important way to protect the floor is to dust mop / sweep on a daily basis to remove grit, dirt and other dry debris. This dirt can otherwise act like sand paper on the floor seal causing erosion over time.
Begin with a pre-sweep of the floor to remove all dry grit, dust, fibres and hair. Doing so will make the actual cleaning of the hall far easier.
Avoid using dust mopping systems that use oil based or even water based treatments to hold and retain dust. These can leave a residue behind, trapping dirt which can then scratch the finish and which could be slippery and potentially dangerous.
Use a scissor mop or V-sweeper that will trap and hold dirt without any chemicals, and cover a larger area than a flat mop.
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 a scrubber drier when possible
Mopping is fast becoming a thing of the past, especially in large areas like sports halls, due to limitations on productivity and how damp the floor remains.
Using a scrubber drier leaves the floor drier and much cleaner. Depending on the size of machine you use, a sports hall floor can be clean and dry within 45 minutes with very little effort.
As long as the floor is in good condition and there is a quality finish, there is no concern about moisture or weight issues when cleaning hard wood sports floors.
Using a scrubber drier is a great way to clean a wooden sports hall as wood doesn’t like having too much water left on the surface as it will begin to expand if the water is soaked up by the wood.
A scrubber drier will leave the floor almost dry after passing over the floor. Remember, always use as little water as possible for cleaning hardwood sports flooring.
4. Use the right products on the floor
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 cleaner recommended by the flooring manufacturers / contractors for any wet cleaning you perform.
A good cleaner would generally be an alkaline based cleaner along the lines of Granwax Sportsclean or Junckers SYLVA Cleaner.
These will help remove all traces of grease and the dirty marks that are left on the floor and on the sports lines. Sometimes it might be necessary to apply the floor cleaner in higher concentration as a pre-spray leaving it for a few minutes in order to remove all black rubber sole marks.
5. Preventative maintenance – Protect the floor!
Hardwood sports flooring is designed to withstand many types of activities. However, furniture such as chairs, certain types of equipment and hard plastic or metal casters can damage the floor.
Make sure everyone that uses the floor takes appropriate steps to keep the floor protected during events.
There are many types of floor covers and mats that can make protecting and cleaning hard wood sports floors much easier.
Use large barrier matting to protect the floor from grit and water. Clean and replace the matting regularly.
Finally, check ventilation and heating systems to prevent condensation and use cleaning products without wax content.