As we ease into the month of October, the coming cold winter months are undoubtedly approaching faster than most of us would like. Despite being treated with football seasons and October baseball, all of us in the athletic industry must be vigilant in preparing for the winter months, particularly in protecting and extending the life of any outdoor equipment.
While most of the products we market for outdoor use are more than capable of withstanding everything Jack Frost can throw at it, some preventative maintenance and small tweaks can certainly help certain pieces of equipment brave the elements.
This is always your best bet for equipment that can be moved indoors, but is often contingent on available space, which for many facilities can be sparse. If you facility is equipped with additional storage areas on-site or if you have access to rental spaces such as storage lockers, moving items indoors is always a good plan. As smaller banks of bleachersare made from both aluminum and galvanized steel, if they can be moved indoors and out of the moisture, it will be the best thing for them.
Many athletic, educational and municipal parks and facilities are equipped with outdoor basketball courts and accompanying systems, either placed permanently in the ground or situated by an outdoor wall. Again, while these systems are built to withstand the outdoors, and especially winter, however, we do recommend removing any nylon netting and also lubricating any moving parts, if so equipped. Overtime, moisture does have the tendency to wreak havoc on materials such as nylon, so storing it indoors is an easy way to extend the life of your netting.
Much the same as the small nets hanging from a basketball hoop, many outdoor fields are equipped with either permanent or temporary barrier netting used for a variety of summer sports. These two are built to last through many winter months, but where and when removal is accessible, it is never a bad idea.
There are two key times to have your outdoor equipment inspected: before or after the winter. By performing this type of maintenance, you are ensuring outdoor seating structures such as bleachers are ready to roll come spring, as our trained team will inspect every nut, bolt and nook and cranny to ensure the system is safe and properly lubricated where necessary.