According to the Center for Public Education, while each state sets its own time requirements for schools, most require between 175 and 180 days of school instruction per year. However, when classes conclude, this doesn’t mean that schools close their doors. Many remain in use year-round for summer school, athletic training, curriculum planning and community events. Some schools even institute year-round schedules so that students are continuously challenged in their studies. All of these factors mean that continuous floor care is essential in school environments.
Going Beyond Athletics
The wood floors of school gymnasiums have to withstand a lot of abuse from the shoes of players, coaches and spectators. From basketball to volleyball to gymnastics, there are numerous athletic teams and clubs that use these spaces throughout the year for games, tournaments and training. Increasingly, these gymnasiums are also used for other non-sporting events. These may include assemblies, book, craft or science fairs and even polling places during elections.
With numerous activities bringing a lot of people into gymnasiums, schools should make sure these areas look their best. This means glossy floors that are free of dark scuffs and deep scratches. These spaces are a large investment for every school, making proper care even more important.
Consider these best practices to keep your school’s wood floors looking amazing year-round:
- Develop a consistent maintenance schedule.
The right floor care routine protects your investment and holds employees accountable for the appearance of wood floors. Create a schedule that incorporates the appropriate prep work, daily cleaning and preventative and periodic maintenance to eliminate soil build-up and ensure floors always shine. Train workers so they understand best practices and the importance of each step in the process.
- Select a durable waterborne finish.
Today’s waterborne finishes are more advanced and can outlast the durability of oil by years while retaining shine and build. The product also levels very well, allowing for easy application and an even finish. Look for a finish that is Green Seal® certified and will improve the appearance of floors by resisting black heel marks, scuffs and dirt penetration. To allow floors to be ready for play more quickly than traditional finishes, use a fast-drying one component formula that dries within 2-3 hours.
- Conduct daily dusting and clean ing.
Dry dust daily with a microfiber pad to remove dust, grit and other abrasive particles. Damp mop all spills or spots with a microfiber wet tacking pad using a cleaner concentrate specifically formulated for hardwood floors. This daily-use floor cleaner should thoroughly clean floors without leaving a residue.
- Incorporate cleaners designed for tough winter contaminants.
For the winter months, choose a floor cleaner that is specially formulated for athletic floors and can break down calcium, magnesium and sodium salts that are tracked inside. A winter cleaner should restore gloss without damaging the finish.
- Refresh the floor during the school year.
The right system will allow you to easily recoat gym floors throughout the year, such as during fall, holiday, spring and summer breaks. Regularly recoating ensures floors look their best for every occasion. Choose a multidisc system complete with diamond abrasives and a low odor, fast drying finish to make the recoat process easier than ever.
Learn how the Wood Care by Diversey, powered by Bona® program helped Sunnyside School District improve the look of its gymnasium: www.diversey.com/success-stories/education/sunnyside-school-district
Then, visit www.diversey.com/solutions/floor-care or contact your Diversey representative to learn about the chemicals, application tools, smart machines, training and support that ensure a successful floor care program.