Maple wood is the go-to for many professional basketball players. Justifiably so, as this wood has been the choice for flooring since the mid-1800s. It’s earned its reputation of durability and utility among athletes. However, this doesn’t mean that it isn’t indestructible.
Like everything else, maple floorboards aren’t made to last no matter how good of a job they do during games and matches. Even then, there are ways to preserve its condition and to enjoy its function for the longest time possible.
Go about it more holistically. Other than doing regular cleaning and maintenance every indoor court needs, there are signs of damage to watch for. Here is some evidence that something could be wrong with the court’s maple flooring.
Wooden floorboards are satisfying to see, especially their shine from being freshly cleaned. However, there’s more to it than the aesthetic it contributes to the interior. Scratches caused by debris and dirt may affect the bounce of the ball. It’s important to preserve the quality of the floor as much as possible for this reason.
Common agents that bring the dirt and debris to the floor are dirty wheels on carts and people’s shoes that come from the outside. The longer the floor is left unclean, the more build-up there will be thus more damage will be done.
Gaps Between Floorboards
Unfortunately, gaps occur due to humidity in an area. With temperatures changing, the floorboards may change in size as well. However, humidity isn’t the only cause of this. If the floors were poorly installed, to begin with, that could be the root of the problem.
The gaps between floorboards may cause players unnecessary injury in the middle of a game. Avoid unwanted tripping as much as possible. Monitor the condition of the indoor basketball court built by your trusted contractor regularly. If possible, have a cooling or heating system installed to help control the conditions the wood is directly exposed to.
Due to excess moisture, floorboards start cupping when the edges rise higher than the center. This may be caused by water sitting on the wood for a long time. Water seeps into the bottom of the board. Because the top layer of the wood is first to dry up, the edges start to rise causing it to look wavy. To prevent this from happening, employ a dry mopping method to preserve the wood’s condition better and longer.
On the other hand, when a floorboard starts to crown, the opposite of cupping happens. The center of the hardwood is higher than the edges, looking almost like a slight bulge. Both cupping and crowning are possible under excess moisture or excess contact with liquids. Either way, it’s dangerous to athletes. This can make the surface uneven, which may cause players to trip or lose balance in the middle of a game.
Buckling or Warping
This is a more extreme case than the last two. This happens when the floor is in water for a long period of time, like a flood for example. As a result, this may cause the floor to have humps. It may even make the floorboards undone. The silver lining to this though is that this predicament isn’t that common. But again, the uneven surface is not suitable for playing on.
After dealing with any of these moisture-caused or water damage-caused problems, save as much as you can from the flooring.
Extra Tips to Consider
In this case, it wouldn’t hurt to be a little extra in terms of preserving the court’s flooring. For an extra layer of protection, install walk-off mats. These should be placed most especially by the entryways and other places where people are likely to gather. The mats can serve as a guide for guests to walk, making their shoes come in contact with the mat first than directly touching the floor.
The unexpected symptom of bad floors is the nonchalance that caretakers or regular people have. If people don’t care in the first place, there wouldn’t be any floors to care for, to begin with. Make it a regular practice upon entry, and reinforce it by adding it to the guidelines. Speaking of guidelines, a caretaker can come up with more practical yet creative ways to preserve the flooring too. They can do so by reinforcing them in said guidelines.
Wood naturally expands and contracts, depending on the conditions it’s under. Since there’s only so much one can do, looking out for these signs can be of great help later. In case any of these damages are revealed, immediate action can be taken to prevent anything from getting any worse or falling apart.