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Climate Recommendations

  • The Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association (MFMA) recommends maintaining indoor relative humidities between 35 percent and 50 percent, and air temperatures between 55 degrees and 75 degrees year-round.

Use of Tape on Gym Floor

  • Cause/Effect: Usage of any tape for extended periods of time is discouraged. There are tapes designed specifically for gym flooring, but using them is not without risk. Most tapes are recommended to be removed within 48 hours of application. The more aggressive the adhesive the more detrimental to your top coating of finish. As the duration of the tape application increases so does the bond the adhesive has with the top coating of finish. Upon removal this very commonly causes the top coating of finish to fracture and either loosen or separate from the surface of the floor. Once that top coating is loosened or separated, there can be irreversible effects to the appearance of the surface as well as risk of bonding issues to future coatings.

  • Resolution: The most simple resolution is prevention. Courtlines can always be added to the surface of a floor and offer a permanent solution that will not hinder the life of the product. The use of tape is discouraged, but if tape must be used, we recommend a product compatible with the top coating and making sure tape is removed within the recommended time window.

Scissor Lifts

  • Scissor lifts are permitted on the surface of a floor but there must be proper protection to prevent significant damage. To disperse the weight of a scissor lift it is recommended to have two sheets of ¾ inch plywood underneath the lift at all times as well as a layer of ram board underneath the plywood to protect against surface damage. If not properly protected the weight of the scissor lift is likely to cause fracturing to the boards and understructure of the floor. 

Finish Peeling/Chipping

  • Diagnosis: At different stages throughout the life of a floor you might notice that the top coating of finish is peeling or chipping off the surface. This isn’t an uncommon occurrence but there are many potential causes such as climate fluctuation, heavy traffic, tape, and age.

  • Cause/Effect: The first cause is related to Expansion/Contraction. Due to changes in humidity the boards of a floor will expand and contract depending on moisture levels. As the boards shift the top coat of finish fracture at the seam and on occasion can cause finish to peel. The amount of heavy equipment such as stages, bleachers, etc could also play a factor in damage to the top coating. If not safely transported the weight and structure of these objects could cause damage to the surface resulting in peeling/chipping. Another very common cause of peeling/chipping is floor tape being left on the surface for an extended duration. Upon removal the adhesive bond causes the top coating of finish to fracture and either loosen or separate from the surface of the floor. Lastly, the age of the floor can play a big factor in peeling/chipping finish issues. A full re-sanding to bare wood is recommended every 8-10 years depending on surface wear. 

  • Resolution: Maintaining relatively controlled climate within the facility is a great way to prevent large swings in atmospheric conditions. If heavy equipment is being used, protect the floor by dispersing the weight of the object or use a floor cover to prevent surface damage. Use of tape is discouraged and it is recommended to have permanent lines added to the floor.

Finish Ambering

  • Diagnosis: Following the initial coating process of a new installed floor the appearance will lose its natural coloring and take on an amber colorization. During this process and the months following you might notice a slight discoloration to the paint and other features on the floor. 

  • Cause/Effect: The oil based finish used on newly installed floors is the reason for this. The amber tone of oil based products causes lighter colors, specifically white, to appear discolored. 

  • Resolution: There is no resolution as this is a normal effect of the product used to coat the floor. Degree of ambering can vary depending on product and duration since coating.

Slick Finish

  • Diagnosis: The surface of a gym floor can at times become slick and affect playability. There should be a slightly “tacky” feel on the surface for shoes to grip while the floor is being used to reduce the risk of injury. If the surface does not possess this quality anymore maintenance is required.

  • Cause/Effect: A number of factors can cause the surface of the floor to be slick. These factors include foot traffic, improper maintenance, non-compatible cleaners, and moisture.

  •  Resolution: Yearly coatings are recommended to ensure the playing surface is safe for use. Day to day maintenance is also recommended to ensure a clean surface without build up. Using a dry mop or a cleaner compatible with the coating is common practice. If a cleaner is not compatible with the top coating there is a risk for contamination that will affect subsequent coats of finish. It is crucial to rid the floor of this contaminant prior to the next coating. Lastly, floor scrubbers are discouraged as they require the surface being exposed to large amounts of water.

Poly Balls

  • Diagnosis: Polyballs are most commonly found on recently installed floors. They can be identified as “bubble-like” bumps that appear along the seams of a floor and create a visible residue. 

  • Cause/Effect: When a new floor is coated with an oil based finish, the finish that seeps into the seams of the floor can cure at a slower rate due to less oxygen exposure. As moisture levels change expansion causes the space between floor boards to narrow pushing this uncured finish to the surface. 

  • Resolution: A short term resolution to poly balls can be a screen and coat. This will eliminate the poly balls during the abrasion process. There is no guaranteeing this will prevent polyballs in the future however. The only permanent fix would be a full sand of the floor.

Cupping/Crowning & Compression Set

  • Diagnosis: Cupping/crowning is apparent when boards expand too much and create a ridge-like effect at the seams. Compression sets are visible when the boards shrink and leave a noticeable gap between adjacent rows. Both cupping/crowning and compression sets can damage the aesthetic of the floor and affect logos and gamelines.

  • Cause/Effect: Both cupping/crowning and compression sets are caused by large changes in moisture levels within the floor. Cupping/crowning is caused by excessive moisture resulting in expansion pressure. This is commonly a result of water damage of some variety above or beneath the surface. On the opposite end of the spectrum compression sets are a result of low moisture causing the boards to shrink.

  • Resolution: Addressing each scenario in a timely manner is very important. Low moisture areas can be corrected by increasing humidity with humidifiers. High moisture areas should be countered with dehumidifiers, fans, and as much air flow as possible. If moisture levels within the floor do not return to recommended levels a repair might need to be conducted.

Swirl Marks

  • Diagnosis: Swirl marks are most common with the use of disc sanders during the initial sanding process or during yearly maintenance coating. They can be identified as circular patterns appearing in different locations throughout the floor.

  • Cause/Effect: If swirl marks are still visible following the coating of the floor it’s possible the disc sanding was performed in an uneven or aggressive manner causing gauges. This is most frequently seen in the initial sanding process and not during yearly maintenance coating. Swirl marks from yearly maintenance coatings are not damaging to the surface or affect playability. 

  • Resolution: If the swirl marks are visible and have damaged the surface these areas must be re-sanded. Swirl marks from yearly maintenance can be resolved with an additional coating to the surface of the floor. 

Chatter Marks

  • Diagnosis: Chatter marks are ripple-like waves that appear across a floor that are most visible in reflective over and/or natural lighting.

  • Cause/Effect: Chatter marks are most commonly the result of vibrations from a drum sanding machine being sent across a resilient flooring system.

  • Resolution: There is no specific fix for chatter marks, however they often resolve with foot traffic throughout the life of the floor

Dead Spots

  • Diagnosis: “Dead Spots” are spots throughout the floor where the ball rebound is significantly less than other areas on the floor. If the ball rebounds to a comparable height with the rest of the floor it is not considered a “dead spot.”

  • Cause/Effect: “Dead Spots” are most commonly a result of varying complications with the sub floor system. Floating subfloor systems are most often cited in these situations, however, ball rebound can be affected with all subfloor systems. The cause of this is usually related to seasonal changes affecting moisture levels resulting in expansion and contraction in the materials.

  • Resolution: If the "dead spot" is considerable and in need of repair the most direct fix would be to expose the subfloor and replace the damaged section.

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