On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! What You Need to Know About Running Tracks
From sprinting to cheerleading to walking, your track will be used a decent amount over the years. A lot of people wonder how long running tracks last, when to get repairs, and what to repair as well as how to prevent wear and tear. Understanding how to care for your running track will be important for maintaining a strong and sturdy track. Read this blog to learn more about what you need to know about your running track.
The first and most important component of a durable and safe running track is the installation. The installation of your running track will help to ensure that it will last long-term without need for much maintenance. It is important that the substructure and drainage of the track is of quality or else you will run into cracking, bubbling, and uneven surfaces in the near future. It’s important to understand that from the subgrade to the surface, each layer is a big part of the finished product. If installed correctly, you should not have many major issues down the road.
In order to ensure that your track can last a long time for your runners, it is important to afford it the proper care. This means being strict about the use of the track. Running tracks are specifically made for running and walking only, not roller blading, roller skating, skate boarding, bicycle riding, and motorized vehicles. These various activities will place too much pressure on your track and can tear the surface, which leaves an uneven and dangerous surface for runners. At the end of the day, running tracks are designed and built for athletes to compete on. We don’t recommend doing anything on the surface other than its intended use. One good practice to help avoid this is to place a sign listing these restrictions near your running track so that people are fully aware of what not to do. At Byrne & Jones, we like to make sure each job site has one of these signs to help deter non runners and walkers.
Just like with most surfaces, it is important to keep it clean. Loose debris can scratch up the surface, and more importantly, create an unsafe surface for people to run and walk on. Tracks should be washed down and swept regularly to ensure that debris and trash are not causing damage. Apart from damaging the surface, having a clean surface will help to keep your track looking great.
If your running track is starting to look dull or you’re beginning to see the black mat through the colored surface, it may be time for a track respray. A track respray is a new wearing course surface for your existing track surface. At Byrne & Jones, our experts will go in and spray a new 2 millimeter thick coating, which is under warranty for 3 to 5 years. Think of this as a surface maintenance that will extend the overall life of the running track system. Respraying your track every 6-8 years will ensure that you maximize the life of the system. Respraying can help to extend the life of your track.
Notice any cracks? These can form from weather conditions as well as wear over time. Cracks typically start to form on the outside or inside edges of the track and should be repaired right away to prevent further damage. If the cracks are in the upper base of the track, this can typically be repaired with patching. If the cracks go deeper, there may be an asphalt or subbase issue, which would need a larger repair. Cracks going into the asphalt could mean that it’s time to remove all of the track surface and investigate what’s going on below.
To conclude, you can save yourself from a lot of headache down the road if your track is installed professionally to begin with. With these basic maintenance tips and care of your running tracks, you can have a track that can last beyond 20 years. Take care of your track, and take care of your athletes by trusting the experts at Byrne & Jones. Give us a call at (314) 254-9766.