Every year 220,000 kids go to the emergency room due to Playground Resurfacing injuries. And most of those are falls. Properly surfacing a playground is essential to minimizing these injuries. But what are the best playground surfacing options? Grass and dirt isn’t an option as they don’t provide sufficient impact attenuation. There are several surfacing options on the market today, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Unitary surfaces are seamless surfacing that’s either poured in place or laid out in blocks to form a continuous surface. Examples include rubber tiles, synthetic turf and bonded rubber. Unitary surfacing doesn’t require as much maintenance, which makes it an excellent choice for facilities that don’t have a lot of maintenance personnel. They also typically have longer warranties than loose-fill materials.
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Loose fill surfacing is the least expensive upfront, but it requires weekly maintenance to stay within safety and ADA guidelines. This is primarily because loose-fill material such as wood chips, engineered wood fiber, and shredded rubber requires replenishment or raking to maintain depth and cushioning.
When selecting a safety surfacing provider, it’s important to find one that offers a wide range of material options and can recommend what will best fit your needs, budget and desired level of safety. It’s also essential to hire a team of professionals who are knowledgeable about the installation and maintenance of all types of surfacing materials. They should be able to properly prepare the sub-base, ensure proper drainage and accurately measure depths to meet fall height requirements.