Poured Rubber Floors -A Maintenance Guide

May 17, 2020

Poured rubber floors require proper maintenance and care to extract the material’s full lifespan. While the substance itself is the safest option in terms of fall damage control and being hazardless (seamless transitions), there are subtle dangers that can damage the flooring system. Rubber flooring is not exempt from becoming dirty like any other type of flooring and will require occasional cleaning to look fresh. More information can be found in our definitive guide.

Likewise, occasional spills/ natural accumulation of fluids is inevitable (especially if it is a gym). The purpose of this article is to illustrate how it is important to know how to properly clean and care for a rubber flooring system, as there are sneaky ways to accidentally destroy the flooring.

poured rubber flooring used in a gym setting Poured rubber floors require maintenance, just like any other floor system

Why Should you Clean your Poured Rubber Floors?

The question may seem obvious; however, it is still important to go over the potential hazards that can occur from neglect. The first problem that occurs is an aesthetic depreciation. After a large amount of foot traffic and strenuous exercise, the rubber flooring will look grungier/ and less appealing than if it were to shine. Not only is it off-putting for someone who says, would want to do push-ups, but it also poses a significant health hazard. Droplets or pools of human sweat, protein shakes, dirt or anything else can build up within the rubber flooring, and harbour bacteria. The result is an off-putting smell, grungy appearance, and possible risks of infection! No wonder many gyms provide a bottle of sanitizer to wipe down equipment after each use.

What to Avoid using on Poured Rubber Floors-

To make this simple to understand, it is easier to explain what products NOT to use on rubber floors. The main rule is to avoid using strong chemicals that are either very acidic or very basic, as these strong chemicals can degrade and disrupt the composition of the rubber. An example of this is that something as innocent as vinegar can erode the rubber due to its high acidity. Other more prominent examples include bleach, Low pH cleaners (acidic) or high alkaline cleaners/ high pH floor strippers, and solvents. If any of these are used at all, it is important to never let any chemicals/ cleaning solutions sit and soak into the floor for long periods of time. Any of these chemicals can possibly discolour and stain the floor as well as damaging it, so beware. Thus, always mop up and dry any remaining residue when cleaning a rubber floor.

Following the last example, another practice to avoid is using too much water on the mat. Some people may think that drowning the area with water and letting it sit will help break down dirt and kill bacteria (like soaking dishes), however, this is not true. Instead, leaving water to idly sit runs the risk of allowing some of that moisture to leak into the base of the rubber floor. While Softcrete is waterproof and slip-proof, it is wise never to take any chances. Water has an uncanny ability to find its way into any space, and once it does, can insidiously cause considerable damage to the underside of the floor. It’s not hard to imagine that this possible damage could result in having to remove and replace a large chunk of flooring, or even the entirety if it spreads far enough.

What to Use on Poured Rubber floors-

To keep things simple, use any neutral pH cleaning substance while mopping up the floor. A great example is dish soap and warm water, which will effectively disinfect the floor without the potential of staining or destroying the material. In addition, it is wise to always sweep/ vacuum the floor of any hard/sharp debris to avoid physical damage while dragging things across the surface. As a small side note, never use any hard/ sharp cleaning items (like certain vacuums or steel wool) as these will cause scars and damages just like the debris. Once the floor is swept and mopped with a thin layer of water and soap, clean up the remaining residue and allow for the floor to air dry. The floor is now disinfected, shining, and in perfect shape for further use. If you wish to go a step beyond, buffing the rubber with specialized waxes can increase the attractiveness of the flooring, but is not required.

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