How to Resurface or Repair a Worn-out Running Track

Whether used by a high school track team or neighborhood fitness enthusiasts, a well-maintained track is a cornerstone of athletic performance and community engagement. However, every athletic surface has a lifespan, and with consistent use, it’s only a matter of time before signs of wear and tear begin to show and running track repair is required.

Whether you’re facing minor surface problems or looking at a complete overhaul, understanding the essentials of running track maintenance is crucial to preserving the quality and safety of your athletic surface. In this blog, we’ll examine how to identify issues and decide between repair or resurfacing, the running track repair process, and maintenance tips to extend the life of your running track.

Keep reading to learn more about how to keep your sports track in the best condition possible and how McConnell & Associates can help.

Assessing the Condition of Your Running Track

Before undertaking any athletic track repair or track surface maintenance, the first step is to accurately assess your running track’s current condition. Identifying the early signs of wear and tear can help prevent more significant issues that may disrupt the functionality and safety of your track and save you from costly repairs down the line.

Identifying Signs of Wear and Tear

When examining your track, be sure to look for the following:

  • Visible cracks and splits in the surface material.
  • Color fading due to UV exposure, excessive wear, and weather conditions.
  • Surface bubbling or blistering is often indicative of water infiltration or poor installation.
  • Areas where the track has become uneven or is showing signs of subsidence.
  • Zones of water pooling that suggest drainage issues.

Professional Evaluation

While your facility’s staff can do initial inspections, we recommend scheduling a comprehensive evaluation by a professional. Here’s how professional expertise can help:

  • Professionals can provide a detailed condition report, which is critical for creating an effective repair or maintenance plan.
  • Expert assessments ensure that any repairs performed align with industry standards and regulations.
  • They have access to specialized diagnostic tools that can uncover deeper structural issues.

Understanding the Running Track Repair Process

When addressing the signs of wear and tear on your running track, professional contractors follow a structured approach to ensure that every inch of the track receives the attention it requires. Let’s walk through the process to restore your athletic track to its optimal condition.

Surface Cleaning and Preparation

Starting with a clean slate is crucial when undertaking athletic track repair and sets the stage for efficient and effective repair work. Professionals will start by removing all debris, trash, and contaminants that could potentially interfere with the repair materials adhering correctly to the track surface. This includes loose granules, dirt, and leaves, which, if left unaddressed, can degrade the track’s material and diminish its longevity.

Minor Repairs

Quick action on minor damages can extend the time between major renovations and maintain the usability of your track. Techniques such as sealing minor cracks with the appropriate filler material can prolong the life of the track. For surface-level scuffs or imperfections, patching kits designed for track materials can restore surface integrity, ensuring a safe and smooth running track for athletes.

Drainage Issues

Adequate drainage is critical to preventing water-related damages that could deteriorate a running track more rapidly. If you notice areas of water pooling, it may be a sign of inadequate drainage—a problem that needs prompt attention. Solutions may range from improving the grading around the track to installing additional drainage systems to channel water away from the surface.

Running Track Resurfacing Options

When the time comes to resurface your athletic track, understanding the various options is crucial for making a well-informed decision. Each type of surface offers its own set of benefits suited to different environmental conditions and usage patterns.

Types of Surfaces

  • Polyurethane: Renowned for its durability and high performance, these surfaces provide excellent UV resistance and are often used for competitive athletics.
  • Full Pour Polyurethane: Uses multiple layers of polyurethane to create a highly durable surface with exceptional performance characteristics.
  • Latex: A cost-effective and athlete-friendly option, but tends to harden and age faster than alternatives, requiring more maintenance and frequent replacement.

Resurfacing Process

  • Surface Evaluation: Before any resurfacing begins, a thorough assessment of the existing track condition is necessary to determine the level of work required.
  • Base Preparation: Any damage to the underlying structure, such as cracks or water damage, must be addressed to ensure a solid foundation.
  • Material Selection: The appropriate resurfacing material is chosen depending on your track usage and climate. This step is imperative to the track’s future longevity and performance.
  • Application: Skilled professionals lay down the new surface material using specialized equipment to ensure a uniform finish.
  • Curing and Marking: After application, the material requires time to cure. Once cured, lines and event markings are added to meet regulation standards.

Maintenance Tips to Extend the Life of Your Running Track

Maintaining a pristine running track might seem daunting, but with the right practices, you can dramatically extend your track’s lifespan and performance. Here’s a checklist to help keep your track in top condition:

  • Conduct weekly inspections for signs of surface damage, such as cracks or weathering.
  • Immediately clean up spills to prevent surface staining or degradation.
  • Remove debris such as leaves, stones, and sticks that could damage the track surface over time.
  • Use only track-specific equipment for cleaning and maintenance tasks.
  • Organize an annual deep clean to remove dirt buildup that can wear down the track surface.
  • Restrict the use of heavy equipment or vehicles on the track to avoid unnecessary stress and damage, and adequately protect the track prior to placing larger items (i.e., removable bleachers).
  • Implement a shoe policy that requires athletes to wear appropriate footwear to minimize track surface wear.
  • Address small repairs promptly—filling in minor cracks can prevent them from widening and affecting the track’s structural integrity.
  • Ensure proper drainage around the track perimeter to prevent water accumulation and subsurface damage.

Choose McConnell & Associates for Superior Sports Surface Repairs

Each of the components mentioned in this blog plays a crucial role in extending the life of your running track. From the initial assessment of wear and degradation to understanding the distinctive repair processes, each step is integral to the track’s endurance and the safety of its users.

For over 50 years, McConnell & Associates has provided high-quality, reliable, and comprehensive solutions for pavement maintenance, concrete repair, and sports surface repairs. Our dedication to using the latest technology and materials, combined with our commitment to safety and certification, ensures that every project we undertake meets the highest standards of quality and professionalism. McConnell & Associates is also an active member of the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) with two Certified Track Builders (CTB) on staff, highlighting our expertise and dedication to excellence in track construction and maintenance.

To learn more about our services, contact McConnell & Associates today. Our team of highly trained professionals is ready to deliver top-notch results that meet and exceed your expectations.