Interview with Nick Maynard (Motz Group) about running track cleaning best practices
We sat down with the running track cleaning in-house expert, Nick Maynard, from the Motz Group to ask him a few questions about the best practices regarding athletic track cleaning and maintenance.
Sports Venue Calculator (SVC): Hello, Nick. Thanks for sitting down with us today.
Nick Maynard (NM): My pleasure.
SVC: So, let’s kick things off. What steps do you take when cleaning a running track?
NM: The typical steps in the running track cleaning process are:
- Blow off track to remove large debris
- Pre-soak the track with filtered water
- Begin the cleaning with pressurized, heated water (3-5 day process)
- Evaluate track for any visual issues. Document and make recommendations for repairs.
- Provide a summary report
SVC: At what intervals should the running track be cleaned professionally with machines and skilled workers?
NM: A track should receive a light clean annually, or receive a deep clean every 3-4 years.
SVC: How can sports facility operators clean the running track themselves so that it can be used for as long as possible? What mistakes should be avoided?
NM: It is difficult to clean a running track without specialized equipment.
SVC: What are the advantages for the sports facility operator if the running track is cleaned professionally on a regular basis?
NM: There are several advantages to getting your track cleaned annually. The biggest one is that the life of your track will increase, and your track will perform with higher safety. Aesthetically, your track will look brand new every year, and your track striping will have a longer life with brighter colors. You will also receive a Track Evaluation Report that will make recommendations to optimize your track’s performance.
SVC: What are the risks if the running track is not cleaned regularly and professionally?
NM: There are several safety risks of not receiving an annual clean, some include slippery surfaces and loose debris. Athletes could be injured from the slippery surface of an uncleaned track. The life of your track will also decrease as it is not being taken care of properly.
SVC: Are there differences in running track cleaning, depending on the surface of the running track?
NM: All kinds of tracks can receive a cleaning. Different types of track materials call for different variations of pressure and temperature of the applied water.
SVC: How long do you need to clean a running track?
NM: You will need anywhere from one day for a light clean or 5 days or more for a deep clean. The size and condition of the track can add time to the process, as well as if the track is needing restriping after the clean. A restriping can add two more days to the process. Indoor tracks can also take less or more time depending on size and accessibility.
SVC: What machines are used to professionally clean a running track?
NM: Specialized and Proprietary Motz Equipment
SVC: At what intervals do you advise resurfacing the running track and are there other (cheaper) solutions to renew the running track?
NM: A track should be resurfaced every 8-15 years depending on the usage and material the track is made of. A track owner should only resurface their track one time before a full replacement. A great way to determine if your track needs a full replacement is if the bottom layer of asphalt is starting to crack and deteriorate, then it‘s time to be fully replaced. If the base layer is still in good condition, resurfacing can be completed.
What is the difference in cleaning an indoor running track compared to an outdoor running track?
An outdoor running track has a natural cycle of cleaning. The rain, sun, and wind help remove bacteria and dirt. An indoor track might not experience as much dirt and grime, but there is no natural cleaning process occurring indoors. This causes lots of germs and bacteria to grow from the bodily fluids and sugary sports drinks that have touched the track‘s surface. It is very important for the health of the athletes that the surface is annually cleaned and disinfected.
The maintenance of a running track requires constant attention. This can be done partly by the in-house team of the sports facility, but more often than not, there comes a time when professional running track maintenance services are needed to keep the running track surface clean and safe. Regular maintenance also enables you to squeeze out more years from the athletic track which obviously improves the return on investment on your prized asset.
We highly recommend schools, municipalities and private sports facility operators to get in touch with professional running track maintenance companies for further information and possibly to get an audit for their track.
If you are planning to build a new running track or a replace the surface of your existing track, try our running track cost calculator to get a customized cost estimate for your project specs.