The high school gym at Patterson Mill Middle High School has reopened for all activities, but defects in the floor like the one that splintered and sent a student to the hospital are still being discovered. Trouble spots have also been identified for the first time in the middle school gym, bringing the total number found on the new floors to 13.
School custodians found at least one of the newly identified spots while sweeping the gym floor and now perform inspections when they sweep the floors each day.
As to the cause of the ongoing problems, sources familiar with the matter say that the gym floors at Patterson Mill were initially installed and finished with an oil-based sealant. But when additional coats of sealant were later applied as a part of regular maintenance, a water-based sealant was used which may have caused a condition called “panelization”. Panelizing happens when some floorboards stick together as one unit or panel and the normal movement of a floor causes separation of the panels from individual floor boards. Other potential causes under investigation include the care and maintenance of the floors since the school opened in August of 2007.
Miller Flooring, a Pennsylvania company with an office in Bel Air, originally installed the floors and is assisting HCPS with the repairs and investigation, although the one-year warrantee on the floors has expired. It all depends of the tiling and you must use the best grout sealer. The company is also the contractor for gym flooring at the new Bel Air High School, which is still under construction.
HCPS has made no official determination as to the cause of the problems with the gym floors. Responding to a request from The Dagger about the latest discovery in the main gym, Teri Kranefeld, Manager of Communications for HCPS said in a recent email:
In regards to the status of the Patterson Mill Middle High gymnasium floor issue, one defective spot has been identified in the main gym that is located under the bleachers – the gym is usable at this point as the defective spot is covered. There are two spots in the auxiliary gym that need to be addressed and they have been remedied temporarily to allow time for a permanent solution. The flooring company and our Operations Department are working together to find the root cause of the problem. Another meeting is scheduled to inspect the floor and to identify a timeline for repair. We want find a permanent solution for this issue. We are working as quickly as possible while keeping in mind that we need take time to thoroughly address the situation. As soon as I have more information on the timeline for repairs and next steps, I will be certain to communicate them to the Patterson Mill community.
In the meantime, the custodians who sweep the gym floors at Patterson Mill Middle High School will continue their daily inspections until a lasting solution is found.
vietnam vet says
Here we go with excuses. properly installed hard wood flooring is not going anywhere.defective hard wood should not have been installed in the first place.( Improper supervision of those doing the work)
Or less blame the custodian’s. for useing a water base treatment.
Do we know what was used at other new school gyms? IE at Aberdeen HS? AHS is a fairly new school and its gym is used all the time..just curious as to why this is happening at PMHS.
Was this a gross error of judgment that a water based sealant was used versus the oil based? Aren’t the gyms in all schools hard wood? I am still not convinced this won’t happen again. Any documentation of this happening elsewhere outside of Harford county and Maryland?? Glad to know the installer is still assisting with the resolution of this problem. Please keep us posted.
vietnam vet says
Lynne Water is the root of all evil.It’s blamed for every conceivable occurance known to man. the splintering is or was #1. due to a failure to inspect the edges for cracked joint’s. a special tool is used to set the hard wood.
Which in turn would loosen, a large splinter. as for ”panelizing” I suppose the custodian’s could have ”Flooded” the gym floor with water’ left it for hour’s we would have warping, but very unlikely. large ”Splinters”
Our custodian’s are very well trained. and require a High school diploma to get the job. let’s put the blame on who deserves it. the contractor.
I have worked with many different gym floors that have failed and the number one cause is typically due to poor maintenance procedures or improper controlled environmental conditions. After reading the article, I feel that heavy lifts or equipment were introduced to the floor without proper prospective covers being used. Maple gym floors are built today with resilient properties that allow it to absorb pressure from the athlete’s knees. Once you figure out if the people taking care of the floor understand how to take care of the floor, you will never run into this problem. In the future, never place a lift on the floor without using proper protective sheeting. Never use power scrubbers on a maple gym floor. The maple flooring manufacturers association can help with future issues.
kevin o"brien says
you should get in touch with gymfloorinspectors.com