8 tips to maintaining a Polyurethane Athletic running track
So, you’ve invested in building or installing a polyurethane running track…now what?
A properly constructed and maintained polyurethane running track should last a couple of decades, providing athletes with a reliable and high-performance surface for years to come. The key to achieving this longevity and ensuring optimal track safety lies in implementing a comprehensive maintenance routine and a steadfast dedication to following these essential maintenance tips.
Tips to properly maintain an athletic running track
1. Keep vehicles OFF the track
This includes gators, lawn mowers, golf carts, etc. The surface is made to be run or walked on. Wheels and vehicle weight will wear, tear, and prematurely age the surface. And depending on the weight, it could damage the asphalt below the tracks surface.
2. Keep weeds/grass away from the edges
Grass will want to grow into the polyurethane surface. When that happens, look out! You are going to have issues. A good weed killer is recommended to eliminate this from happening. Walk both the inside and outside edges of the track and treat with weed killer.
3. Don’t use a WEED EATER/Trimmer next to the rubber surface.
Too many tracks are damaged by weed trimmers. Use a weed killer.
4. Blow dirt and debris off the running surface.
Having a consistent maintenance plan of using a blower on the track to remove debris can go along way.
5. Watch for wear on lanes one and two.
These are the most commonly used running/walking lanes. They will wear first. Put hurdles or obstructions in those lanes to discourage use.
6. Switch Up Start and Stop Locations.
Practicing starts and stops in the same place will speed up wear. Ensure to vary your start and stop points.
7. Repair cracks immediately
Act quickly if you notice a crack or tear in the surface. Early repair can prevent further damage.
8. Access the color of the track
If you have a colored track surface, you’ll notice the wear occurring, by the black mat beneath showing through to the surface. As you start seeing more and more of the black mat appearing on the surface, that’s the time to re-color the top. The color is the wearing surface. The black mat is the structural foundation.
If you own a black track surface, you have to be vigilant in your inspections. Because there is no wearing surface to “warn” you that it’s time to recolor, it is easy for your track to be word down to the asphalt before you realize there is a problem.
I need to repair my running track, what are my options?
1. Respray The Track
The most common repair option is to recolor (respray) a colored wearing surface on your existing surface and restripe. You should do this every 6 to 7 years. It’s not uncommon for a running track to be recolored 2 to 4 times during its lifetime.
2. Remove the polyurethane track surface
This would be recommended if your black mat was no longer usable or safe for running/walking. Crews would completely remove and dispose of the rubber mat. They’d inspect, clean and repair any damaged asphalt. Then a new track surface would be installed and striped.
3. Remove the polyurethane track surface and asphalt base.
This would be recommended if the asphalt base was no longer stable or usable. The old asphalt would be milled and new hot-mix asphalt would then be installed. Once the asphalt has cured, a new polyuretahe black mat and structural spray will be placed, followed by striping.
4. Full removal and reconstruction
This is the most extreme of the repair options. You’d remove and dispose of everything and start over. This would include soil stabilization, grading, installing new curbs, aggregate base, asphalt or concrete, then track surface.
Get Started with your next project by speaking with our Sports Division
Remember, your new running track should last you a long, long time. However it’s going to require maintenance. It’s important to build a relationship with the company and individuals who constructed or maintained your running track. They are qualified to notice the warning signs and make the recommendations of what type of maintenance should be considered.
The American Sports Builders Association recommends you use a Certified Track Builder (CTB) to inspect and repair or reconstruct your running track.
We believe that every athlete, regardless of their level, deserves access to top-quality running tracks and athletic facilities. At Byrne & Jones, we are dedicated to helping schools, universities, and communities create exceptional outdoor recreational spaces for their athletes. By introducing Byrne & Jones as a trusted resource for running track construction and resurfacing projects, our goal is to help transform athletic facilities and foster a greater sense of pride and satisfaction among their users. If you are interested in learning more about designing, building, or maintaining a running track in your community, please reach out to us at (314) 254-9766.
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