We all lead busy lives and at times, months, maybe even years seem to pass rather quickly. For facility managers, there are just so many moving parts to a gymnasium or other athletic facility that overtime, certain pieces of equipment might be overlooked.
It is no secret that the wall padding inside your gymnasium plays a very important role in the safety of those who use it. High speed sports such as basketball often have players bumping into wall surfaces as they pivot to get back in the game. These wall pads can also turn out to be quite versatile to many facility operators. When equipped with a removable wall padding product, individual slab mats are easily taken down for other uses such as gymnastics, wresting and other exercises.
But, at what point should you consider replacing your gym wall padding?
The answer to that question is not always apparent as there are many factors to be considered when evaluating the condition of your current padding:
Is it Dual Use?
As stated above, some wall padding is removed from the wall and often used quite heavily for a variety of other sports and activities. If this is the case in your facility, be sure to inspect the padding for damage often, as these mats will undoubtedly see more use than permanently fixed wall mats.
Does the Padding Meet ASTM Standards?
If your padding does not meet these stringent standards or is out of date, you should immediately replace it. These standards are in place to not only ensure the safety of participants, but it is also used to test the padding’s resiliency to fire.
Test the Thickness and Firmness of the Padding
Over time these pads will usually lose some of their strength and shape. Be sure to measure the padding and ensure it is at least 1.5” in thickness, although 2” thickness is usually recommended. If your pads are losing some of their shape, they probably won’t do much to protect anyone who runs into them.
Perform a Visual Inspection
This is the most straightforward recommendation of all. It takes no time at all to give your wall padding a quick one-over each time you pass by. If there are any visual signs of tearing, holes, rips or faded colouring it likely isn’t going to provide much protection for the users of your facility. In addition to the obvious safety concerns, tattered and worn out mats do nothing for the aesthetics of your facility.