Track Falling Apart?
Click on your problem for more information
Moisture is one of the most damaging elements to your running track. It simply destroys the foundation upon which everything is built on. The most common contributors to moisture issues are:
When moisture is under the asphalt it will move upward through the asphalt and try to escape. This will usually happen during the hot summer months. If there is a rubber surfaces over the asphalt much of this moisture is trapped even with a permeable surface. If there is an impermeable surface over the asphalt, the moisture is surely trapped. If the moisture is excessive, the surface will become loose from the asphalt and can even bubble.
The rubber surface draws the moisture out of the asphalt. An example would be, when a welcome mat is removed from a concrete patio and it is wet under the mat, even though it is hot outside and might not have rained for awhile. If this underground moisture is not able to escape, it is left in the asphalt and surface and simply cooks the system.
It is not uncommon for running tracks to reach 180 degrees F on the surface in the hot summer months. Combine these temperatures with moisture is a recipe for asphalt and surface failure.
Sprinkler systems are one of the most common contributors to moisture problems. If you have a natural grass football field, more than likely, you are watering regularly. Make sure sprinkler systems are adjusted properly and checked often. Over watering can also cause problems. Customers in dry regions are often reluctant in believing they have moisture issues under the track because they are usually in a drought. Over watering the football field to compensate for the lack of rainfall is a mistake and many times the track will suffer. Wherever you live, if your trying to achieve a "golf course like" football field, be very careful what your watering and how much you are watering. Wind casting a mist of water on the track isn't a problem, but sprinklers should not be pounding on the track.
Here are some examples of tracks with water damage caused by sprinkler systems. Just click on the thumbnail and a slide show will open that you can scroll through.
One of the most overlooked parts of running track construction is proper drainage. Normally, a football field is crowned, sloping towards the track. A running track is sloped towards the football field. Without a good drainage system, water will pool at the inside edge of the track. If this water has no where to go, eventually if will get absorbed by the ground and seep under the track and infiltrate the base. Through freeze and thaw cycles, this causes the sub-base to become unstable which in turns cause the asphalt to become unstable resulting in asphalt cracks, settling, heaving and deterioration. Just as important is proper grading. Many tracks have good drainage systems installed but the water never gets to the drain because of improper grading.
There are many kind of drainage systems. They all have various price tags. We install a drain basin system. These systems are easy to customize, affordable and the biggest bang for the buck (Check out our Drainage Systems page for pictures of this kind of system). Nonetheless, there a several good drainage systems. The most important thing is design and installation. A drainage system will not work properly without both of those things. There's more to it than "water runs down hill".
Below you can see some common drainage problems. Click on a thumbnail to start the slide show.
So how can you protect your New Surface against Moisture?
Contact Us and ask for:
Water damage from sprinkler system
Water damage from sprinkler system
Water stains from moisture trying to escape through the track surface.
Rubber surface bubbling from moisture
Asphalt bubbling from excessive moisture in the base
Asphalt failure from a water wheel continuously hitting the track.
Asphalt breaking down. Sprinklers hitting the track was the cause.
Inadequate drainage and football field sets higher than the track.
Water never reaches the drain.
Drains can also be installed in sand pits.
Improper backfill and no drainage system
Improper back fill around the track. The water cannot run off the track and no drainage in place.
The dreaded crack in the asphalt. This is a subject that has been studied, tested and everything but the kitchen sink thrown at. I have certainly had more than my share of experience in this area. But where I live, and because of lack of funding, many small school districts struggle to have a nice facility. With the rise in cost of new running tracks, many schools are faced with a "just get by approach".
There's a few things that need to be understood:
There are many different methods to deal with cracks. To name a few:
Any of these methods usually provide a temporary result. Why? Because the rubber surface is adhered to the asphalt and the asphalt and the base is moving through freeze and thaw cycles. It's inevitable that the asphalt will eventually crack and in turn the surface will also.
So how do you make cracks go away?
The Conventional method is to mill the asphalt up, re-stabilize the base and lay new asphalt. Then start the cycle again. There's no guarantee when the cracks will return. I've seen new asphalt crack within a year or not crack for many years. There's too many variables to give a definitive answer. In short, no one I know of guarantees "no cracking".
OR for a better option
Contact Us and ask for:
Grass seems like a such a harmless thing. It is not, especially Bermuda grass. Grass can destroy your asphalt. If grass isn't controlled it can grow into the asphalt and through the asphalt. It can cause your asphalt to crack, crumble and even heave. A good grass sterilization program is an important part of maintaining your running track. Also, adding a concrete curb can help protect against grass encroachment. For more information on concrete curbing ( Click Here )
If you have grass growing through your running track, you can be assured there is moisture under the track feeding the grass. see Moisture Problems