It’s that time of year again, when a lot of your clientele, who have endured an especially long winter, are foregoing the gym for more exercise outside. But this time of year also affords us an opportunity to do a bit of spring cleaning without causing much disruption to our patrons, and to plan any renovations that can be made quickly over the summer months. There isn’t a better time to replace equipment, rearrange your floor space for new activities that you would like to incorporate — like adding a functional fitness area — or choose some new surfacing to give a revitalized look to existing spaces.
As long as you’re moving some equipment around, when was the last time the flooring under this equipment had a good cleaning? If you’re like many, it’s been a while. Sure, the floor between the machines is cleaned on a pretty regular basis, but what about under where the machines have sat for months? Even if you have some type of equipment matting down under machines, there is still likely some grease and dust that needs to be cleaned up. This time of the year gives you the perfect opportunity to get that done and most processes can be done over just a few hours, so it will lead to minimum disruption of your members.
If you’re cleaning your floors thoroughly, and you‘ve never done it before, or had someone else do it for you, I’d first recommend that you contact the manufacturer of the flooring for their recommended maintenance procedures and products. While most types of floors are cleaned the same way, you certainly don’t want to accidentally use a product or procedure that is going to cause some type of damage to your flooring. The manufacturers have tested all of the products that they recommend for their flooring so that you know they will be safe and effective for their particular type of flooring. Don’t think that there may be a cheaper way by using another product than the one that they recommend. Most flooring companies are more concerned that your products look the best and make little or no income by recommending a certain brand of products.
The cleaning process is typically not all that difficult or that time-consuming. On most rubber flooring, and on many commercial carpets, as well as on tile or marble, you can usually use a commercial scrubbing machine with a detergent and degreaser. You’ll likely find that these scrubbers are useful on so many different types of surfaces that you may well want to purchase your own, but if not, they can be rented fairly easily. The machines do a great job of laying down a cleaning solution, scrubbing it into a surface and then removing the liquid in a single pass. This not only gives you a visibly cleaner floor, but also ensures that any germs or bacteria have been removed as well.
After you’ve made your CV and weight areas look new again, why not take a look at your group exercise and any courts that you have in the club as well? Nothing makes these rooms really pop like a new coat of finish on the floors. I know that you’re thinking that it’s pretty expensive to sand and refinish wood floors, and you’d be right. But I’d like to propose you look at another alternative that may work just as well for a fraction of the price.
If your floors have no major scratching of the finish or the finish has not completely worn through, and if no buckling or curling of the wood is apparent, you might be a candidate to have your floor screened and refinished. This process uses a buffing machine with a special screen pad that lightly abrades just the top layers of finish. While this removes some of the old finish layers off of the floor, it does not take it down to bare wood. This allows you to put one or more new clear coats of finish on top of the surface. The process is relatively inexpensive and can usually be done in just a few days, while providing a new bright, gleaming appearance to your wood floors. I would recommend that you hire a professional for this job though, because applying new finish to a floor is a bit of an art that takes some time to master.
When your members return from outside, they’re certainly going to be impressed by the fresh look that your club has taken on. Prospective members also appreciate a club that looks like it cares about the presentation of its fitness floor, and your efforts will not go unnoticed.
Steve Chase is the General Manager of Fitness Flooring. He can contacted at 800.428.5306 or by e-mail at Steve@fitnessfloors.com.