Athletic Track Construction – What to Look for in Warranties

Written by Bill Narozanick / Published in Running Tracks, Tennis Courts

CRISIS AHEAD on Running Track

Athletic Track Construction

Your new athletic track construction project can quickly grow into becoming far more expensive than you bargained if you are not protected by the right warranties. You are getting ready to spend a lot of money on your athletic track renovation or new running track facility, and you owe it to the taxpayer’s, fundraisers and kids who will use the facility to ensure that the hard earned money you will spend is well protected. If this is a publically funded project, you probably will be forced to award the job to the ‘low qualified bidder’. If it is a privately funded project, you will do the normal due diligence and attempt to sort out who will be the best contractor for the project. Regardless of whether the project is public or private, you can protect all those involved by ensuring that you have a solid warranty in place. Here are three tips on what to look for in the warranties for your new athletic track construction:

#1. Find out whose work is being warrantied

The standard warranty for athletic track construction is typically one year on the site work and five years on most higher- end, polyurethane surfaces, AND this does NOT adequately protect the owner. In addition, most of the contractors who perform the site work versus the polyurethane surfacing are NOT THE SAME. This is why you need to find out whose work is actually being warrantied in your athletic track construction project.

#2. Don’t Settle for ‘Good Enough’

Quite often the site work general contractor’s main line of business is not athletic track construction, but general sports construction or general building construction, infrastructure work for roads, bridges, parking lots, etc. Also, the synthetic surfacing contractor, although committed to sports- surface surfacing work, will have little control over how well the site work is performed. They are often forced to accept the completed site work and asphalt surface the GC just completed as ‘good enough’ prior to beginning their surfacing installation, even though they have asked for specific tolerances to be met. The surfacing contractor cannot afford to ruffle feathers and potentially lose an important client that they have worked hard to obtain. As you can imagine, this is a poor model for a quality athletic track construction / installation and the protection of an owner’s investment. But, it happens time and time again within the industry. When warranty issues do arise, it too often results in one party pointing a finger at the other. The owner is stuck in the middle and the issues may take a long while to resolve. For your information and to validate this notion, please note a New York Federal Court lawsuit involving the Merchant Marine Academy and the two opposing sides of the sitework versus the surfacing companies. Time will tell who is at fault, but the owner and kids will most often suffer until there is resolution.

#3. Find the Warranty that Protects the Owner

So, how do we eliminate these problems and find a warranty that protects an owner? The answer is, by finding the ‘authentic builder’ with a long history of proven success in the sports construction industry, who installs correctly all of the major components of running track construction including drainage, base construction, laser- controlled asphalt paving and polyurethane surfacing with a high quality installation and backs it up with a warranty that exudes confidence in that installation. You should be looking for a warranty that ties both the asphalt pavement structure and the synthetic surface together, thus eliminating the finger pointing when issues do occur. As high- end polyurethane systems should last 20 years or longer with proper maintenance, you should be looking for warranties that exceed considerably the standard 5 year. So please remember, look for a company with significant successful experience, one who installs the 4 critical components of running track construction and offers an extended warranty on all of the important components. At American Athletic, you have total peace of mind with our unprecedented Platinum Protection Warranties.
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