How to Clean Bleachers

It’s that time of year again when the weather finally begins to warm up and many sports head outdoors. As athletes of baseball, soccer, and football lace up for the big season, fans hit the bleachers ready to cheer them on. This is always an exciting time, but it’s also an important time to make sure bleachers are clean and maintained for future use ahead. 

Each year, spectator seating like bleachers or grandstand seating will see everything from spilled snacks and drinks to muddy foot traffic. Over time, this dirt and debris can be damaging to bleachers, so it is vital to learn how to clean them so spectators can use them for years to come. Continue reading to learn more about how to clean bleachers. 

Scrub with Soap and Water

As simple as it might sound, using soap and water is an easy and cost-effective way to keep aluminum bleachers clean — especially for aluminum bleachers that are anodized. Bleachers that are anodized are known for being durable and corrosion resistant. Anodizing is an electrochemical process that stops the process of oxidation. Aluminum bleachers often go through this process to make them last longer through different types of weather, but it also helps make them easier to clean. That said, bleachers that are anodized can be cleaned with soap and water.  

At National Recreation Systems, we offer aluminum bleachers with anodized seat planks to help protect bleachers from the elements. If you’re looking to renovate or replace your bleachers, get in touch with us to discuss your options.

Use a Pressure Washer

While soap and water may be the perfect solution for cleaning a set of small bleachers, it may not be ideal for larger sets of bleachers. For areas that need more time and attention, using a pressure washer is another great way to get bleachers clean.

With a pressure washer, you can use hot soapy water with a high PSI to remove any dirt or debris that is left behind. Sticky substances like spilled soft drinks can be removed easily with a pressure washer. Removing dried gum could also pose an issue when cleaning bleachers and a strong pressure washer could help alleviate the difficulty of that task. 

A warning against using a caustic agent in the cleaning solution in your pressure washer. A caustic agent is an acidic formula that will cause a slipping hazard if it isn’t rinsed off properly.

Inspect Bleachers While Cleaning

Cleaning your bleachers regularly is a great way to keep them in good shape but also to ensure that they are meeting code requirements. Performing a periodic maintenance check at least once a year by someone who is qualified such as a professional engineer, registered architect, or manufacturer is key to ensuring safe conditions. 

Bleacher manufacturers typically provide a maintenance checklist during an inspection. Depending on the type of bleachers you have installed and the local code requirements, a maintenance checklist will review all of the components that make up your bleachers such as the bleacher understructure, seat planks, aisles, stairs, ramps, platforms, and wheelchair areas. The inspector will then look at each component to check for any loose bolt connections, improper attachments, etc. 

If you own bleachers from National Recreation Systems, we have created two maintenance and bleacher checklists that can be used for inspections. Feel free to review our elevated bleachers maintenance checklist and our non-elevated bleacher maintenance checklist to get use for your next inspection.

Check for Signs that Bleachers are Outdated

With that said, it is important to identify the difference between dirty bleachers and bleachers that should be replaced. As weather and time wear down on bleachers, there will come a year when they are beyond the point of repair and ready to be replaced (this especially applies to older, wooden bleachers).

To get an idea of the current state of your bleachers, here are just a few updated bleacher options you should take into consideration when deciding whether to renovate or replace them: 

  • Are your bleachers ADA accessible? 
  • Do your bleachers have guardrails?
  • Do your bleachers have aisles and handrails?
  • Are there any openings that are 4” or wider? Can they be closed in?
  • How many exits do your bleachers have?

While these points are a great reference for reviewing the safety and accessibility of your bleachers, your manufacturer specifications and local building code will present a better understanding of the expectation for up-to-date bleachers. With that said, bleachers come in many different sizes, so some of these options may not always apply. 

Regardless, bleachers should feel safe for viewers as they watch sports and other spectator events. Signs that your bleachers could be ready to be renovated or replaced commonly include broken or weak wooden planks or lack of ADA accessibility options. 

Many of today’s bleachers feature wheelchair seating areas that meet ADA accessibility requirements. For example, when planning for ADA accessible bleachers, it’s important that there are an appropriate number of wheelchair spaces per seat available. Bleachers that seat 4 to 25 people should have a minimum of one wheelchair space. Bleacher seating that has 151 to 300 spots available, should have a minimum of five wheelchair spaces.

If your bleachers are beyond cleaning and are ready for a renovation, these are all important points to consider when planning to buy a new set of bleachers. 

Buy Aluminum Bleachers at National Recreation Systems

National Recreation Systems is an industry leader in aluminum bleacher design, manufacturing, and project management. We provide quality innovative seating solutions through a nationwide dealer network and a nearly 100,000 square foot manufacturing facility. We also care deeply about our customers after we’ve built their bleachers and want to ensure our product is providing a safe and fun way to watch a game. We wish you the best of luck with cleaning your bleachers. If you’re curious about learning more about our products, get in contact with a sales rep today.