The way you care for and utilize your indoor track directly impacts longevity, surface performance, and many other factors that contribute to the overall athletic experience. As a facility owner or manager, you may be asking yourself, “How can I keep my surfaces in great condition?’ ‘What can I do to protect my investment?’ or ‘What does it take to maintain an indoor track year-round?”.
Fortunately, the resilient and low-maintenance properties of most indoor track surfaces are relatively easy to care for. To keep your surfaces safe, stable, and prepared for long-term performance, here are some helpful rubber running track surface tips to get the most out of your track.
1. Establish Optimal Indoor Conditions to Preserve Your Materials
Your indoor running track may not be exposed to the elements, but the indoor climate still matters. Humidity and temperature levels can directly influence material stability and the lifespan of your running track surface. While the optimal levels of humidity and temperature depend on your track’s exact material composition, here are some general guidelines to help you maintain the right indoor conditions for your facility:
- Humidity: When relative humidity levels increase (the amount of moisture in the air), porous materials absorb some of this moisture. This makes materials like rubber and other synthetic track types softer and more flexible, leading to enhanced shock absorption. As a result, increasing your facility’s humidity levels can enhance player safety, but too much humidity can lead to slippery surface conditions and premature material breakdown. To maintain balanced performance, aiming for around 40-60% indoor humidity is a safe range for most material types.
- Temperature: Maintaining facility conditions between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit is an appropriate range to preserve most materials. If your facility becomes too cold, surface materials can become rigid, leading to premature cracking and seam separation. If your facility is constantly too warm, excessive heat can accelerate material breakdown and cause tacky surface traction.
It’s important to research your specific material type and organize a plan that accounts for both heat and humidity. If your facility is located in a dry region, you may need to invest in humidifiers. Alternatively, if you live in a humid region, investing in dehumidifiers and better ventilation can extend material lifespan, prevent mildew/mold formation, and help you avoid slippery surface conditions.
2. Prevent Damage & Keep Up With Routine Maintenance
Even the toughest of track surfaces require protection and vigilant upkeep. Protecting your track from trash, certain types of cleats, and food/drinks is the first step in preventing the majority of premature problems.
Alongside enforcing these basic track protection measures, organizing a routine cleaning/inspection plan is a great way to minimize surface damage and catch minor issues before they progress. On a daily/weekly basis, your team should:
- Gently sweep the track to remove dirt, rocks, and debris
- Inspect all surfaces for cracking, edge separation, or sections of missing material
- Spot clean surfaces with an approved cleaner to remove rubber buildup, stains, and spills that could affect running safety or damage the materials
In addition to these routine upkeep tasks, scheduling a professional indoor artificial turf and track inspection is the best way to shield your facility from unexpected problems. We empower our clients with comprehensive maintenance and can help you with budget-friendly repairs or a complete replacement if the damage is extensive.
3. Improve Your Facility With a Better Track
Oftentimes, it is more cost-effective to replace or resurface your indoor running track. If your surfaces are unsafe, unsightly, or have reached their expiration date, we offer a variety of innovative running track solutions. Our leading lineup offers dynamic benefits like enhanced foot traction, customizable style, and the most reliable shock absorption in the industry.
To learn more about our best track resurfacing and installation options, reach out to our experts at Keystone Sports Construction for an informative consultation today!