There a many schools in the St. Louis and Metro-East region that have gymnasium floors. These types of floors in schools are a very important investment. A beautiful sports floor brings a sense of pride to each school as students, sports teams and teachers use this type of floor for many types of events.
Every year janitorial staff in schools implement daily maintenance plans to properly tend to their gymnasium floors. During last year one of the challenges that came up for many janitorial teams was the regular schedule of cleaning and care for these types of floors. Due to a decrease in usage because of remote learning for many schools, maintenance crews had to adjust their cleaning plans. Is routine care enough even if the school has transitioned to virtual learning?
To address these concerns that many janitorial crews have had over this past year, we looked to one of the associations of gymnasium floors. Maple Flooring Manufacturers Associations recommends these steps for cleaning your maple gymnasium floor.
One: Sweep Your Gym Floor
School staff should be dry mopping the gym floor atleast once per day at a minimum. Ideally you should dry mop the floor two to three times per day to prevent debris from scratching up the floor. Dry mopping the gym floor will minimize loose grit, dirt and dust.
Dust and dirt will still settle on the floor regardless of how often the gym floor is used. Dust can become a big issue in older schools because of aging HVAC systems that may need to be cleaned or replaced. The U.S. Government Accountability Office noted in a June 2020 report that to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools, more than 41 percent of K-12 districts need to update or replace heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in at least half of their buildings.
Two: Your HVAC System
Your HVAC system should be checked on regularly to ensure that it is functioning properly. School districts should increase the ventilation inside of their schools. This increase in ventilation with outside air will help to prevent air from getting stagnant. ASHRAE. Air filtration should be increased by upgrading filters to MERV-13 or higher. Indoor CO2 levels should be at or below the recommended standard. Finally, the MFMA calls for an indoor humidity level between 35 and 50 percent and air temperature between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Facility managers should also avoid fluctuations in the humidity level beyond 15 percent.
Three: Approved Cleaning Methods
There are a lot of ways to clean floors, but using unapproved cleaning solutions on your gym floor can have detrimental effects. You should never use household cleaners on your gym floors. The first step is to contact the manufacturer for approved cleaners and methods. The MFMA has identified a list of cleaning solutions that are safe to use on maple floors and will effectively kill the COVID-19 virus. Some people may like the smell of bleach and the bleach’s power to kill viruses. It’s important to consider what chemicals you use to prevent damaging the gym floors surface. Sterilizing cleaning products can breakdown existing finishes, resulting in premature wear and discoloration in your floor.
Ideally, a maple floor should be cleaned with a soft towel. Mopping can increase the risk of cross-contamination as use might have used that mop in the hallway, bathroom or any other room in your building. You are bringing those germs into this new space to clean. Chemicals that you would use to clean your hallways, bathrooms are not the same that you would use on a hardwood floor in a gymnasium.
Four: Inspect The Floor
This is one part of maintenance that should be done each time that you clean the floor. You should be looking for signs of damage, including tightening, shrinking, scuff marks, etc.. Another way to prevent damage to the floor is to restrict what type of shoes can be used on your floor. Don’t allow outdoor shoes that carry dirt and grit that might damage the floor.
The longer your floor goes without proper maintenance and attention, the harder it is to get the floor back into good shape for students. If you are struggling to keep your gym floor looking great, give us a call at Grimebustersinc. We have years of experience in cleaning and caring for gymnasium floors.
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