Maintaining Your Sports Netting: Inspection, repair, and wear prevention
Netting helps keep the game on the field and protects people and property from the hazards of rogue projectiles. At InCord Play, we have 25 years experience supplying sports netting systems and advising customers on applications, material choices, maintenance, and repair.
How much do you really know about the condition of the netting in your facility? Understanding how to spot netting wear, damage, or improper use, and knowing how to mitigate these issues can help lower your liability and help keep your patrons protected.
Netting regularly exposed to UV rays from the sun will break down faster. When possible, limit sunlight exposure to get the most out of your outdoor netting.
Inspection and damage detection
Degradation of netting comes from several normal conditions – from the stretching fatigue of normal use, contact abrasion, and from exposure to the common elements of weather including airborne contaminants, sun, sand, and wind. It is important to be able to identify these trouble areas before they become a larger problem.
InCord Play recommends that every organization keep an inspection log to track wear and help keep up an inspection routine.
Download the InCord Inspection & Maintenance Log here!
Netting which spectators rely on for safety should be inspected regularly with necessary repairs made as soon as possible. Spectator nets are usually exposed to more wear, especially from peoples’ hands as they watch the action.
Inspections should be conducted on a regular basis, with frequency determined by the amount of abuse the netting is exposed to, as well as the risk it may pose to patrons or spectators. Generally, visual inspections of netting and hardware should be conducted daily, with detailed inspections weekly.
- Inspect the netting for broken mesh, cuts, pulls, fraying of material and discoloration indicating material aging.
- Inspect all stitched net borders for fraying, cuts and pulls.
- Inspect support cables for cuts, twists, kinks, fraying of strands and corrosive rust.
- Inspect support hardware to assure fasteners are properly secured and that no pieces are missing. Look for damaging rust that may affect hardware strength or abrade the net.
Nets or hardware that show deterioration from mildew, wear, or stress, that may affect their strength, must be immediately removed from service for further inspection, repair, or disposal.
Retractable or sliding nets have a higher risk of physical abrasion because of their regular movement. Keep an eye on areas where the netting may rub against moving parts.
Repairing damaged netting
If you notice cuts, tears, or breaks in your netting, there is a chance it can be repaired by your own staff at minimal cost. To determine if this is possible, take photos of the affected area and contact InCord Play. We can determine if it is safe to repair your existing netting and guide you through the best method of repair.
Preventable measures to reduce wear
Outdoor sports netting will last longer in shaded or covered areas where UV exposure is lower. When not in use and whenever practical, sunlight exposed netting should be covered or removed to extend its useful life.
Accumulated debris should be cleaned from netting on a scheduled basis. Washing the netting periodically with a hose is a good preventive measure to remove dirt and debris before they have time to cause damage. Do not wait too long before replacing rusting hardware – rust can seep into the netting and abrade the fiber from the inside.
Netting should be installed evenly to avoid stress from unbalanced loading which can damage the netting border and attachment hardware over time.
Support cables, including those from other structures should not abrade each other. Metal fasteners and anchors with nylon inserts will greatly reduce netting fatigue. Suspended netting should be proportionally supported to displace normal stresses on the net. Keep this in mind when adjusting turnbuckles and support cables. Barrier netting should be properly secured on all sides to prevent excessive wind fatigue.
For more information and where to buy InCord sports netting, call us at 860-537-1414. Our authorized dealers nationwide are trained in helping take the guess work out of ordering netting for your unique facility. For safety, reliability, and ease of a turn-key solution, ask your dealer for InCord sports netting.