AdviceOutdoor Playground Solutions

Top 5 reasons to invest in modern playground surfacing

5 reasons to invest in modern playground surfacing

We've decided on our top five reasons as to why you should consider investing in modern playground surfacing, and in this article we will go in to the detail on each of them.

While modern playground surfacing may seem like a big upfront cost, we hope this article can give you a better understanding of why you should consider the investment.​

5 reasons to invest in modern playground surfacing

1. Cost & Maintenance

If you’ve got traditional playground bark, it can cost a lot of money to replenish, maintain and generally upkeep it. You’re also probably spending hours every week sweeping the bark off pathways and religiously checking for dangerous foreign objects such as glass that can easily be hidden within the surfacing.

If you’ve got cheap, rubber tile matting in your play area, this will often sink over time in high wear areas. This not only looks messy but also causes issues with safety and any critical fall height requirements you may have.

So how is PlaySmart's modern surfacing a solution to your situation?

Our JungleMulch and wet pour products are resin bound – this means there will never be any loose pieces to clear up or replace. Both wet pour and jungle mulch are easy to keep clean with a simple sweep when too many leaves fall on it.

If you’d like a natural looking playground, we recommend using our SmartPlay system – this is a combination of shock absorption pads and high quality grass matting. Not only does the system increase critical fall height coverage, it also stops grass mats from sinking and even enhances grass growth in action areas. By choosing this option, the only maintenance you’ll need to do is to cut the grass! And if you find you do need to replace a mat due to damage or vandalism, the mats are really easy to replace if our SmartPlay system has been installed.

modern playground surfacing ecosmart grass mats

While modern playground surfacing may seem like a big upfront cost, the cost saved over time in maintenance and upkeep over the 10 year life span guarantee of our matting products is more than worthwhile.

2. Safety concerns

An aged playground surface is the first red flag of being a safety hazard and should be a clear indication that a repair, replacement or upgrade is desperately needed. Here’s the key features you should look out for to know if your aged surface is becoming a safety hazard:

Rubber tile matting

As this kind of product ages, it will become hard and brittle – they may chip or break, and the tiles will have lost most of their shock absorbency. Rubber tiles may shrink a little and separate from one another too, potentially curling up at the edges causing a trip hazard. 

In situations such as this, the safest option is to remove the old surfacing and replace it with something brand new.

Low quality tiles preventing drainage, creating more mud

Wet pour rubber

While being a modern playground surface, wet pour can cause safety issues over time if it is not installed to a high standard. High use areas, such as under swings, can wear away with time. the edges of a wet pour site can also look like they have pulled away, causing gaps and letting water into the edge of the surface boundary – spelling further trouble.

Wet pour splitting from the edge of a play area

Luckily, wet pour repairs are very easy to do and can bring some new colours and designs to the area.

Low quality grass matting

If you have low quality grass mats that aren’t very heavy duty or haven’t been installed professionally, they could pull apart or rip quite easily. It’s also easier for vandals to damage cheaper grass mats, especially if they aren’t fire retardant like our FireSmart mats are.

problems with grass mats
Sunk mats creating muddy puddles - this can be prevented by installing SmartPlay alongside grass matting
Poor installation causing the matting to come apart

3. Muddy mess

It rains a lot in the UK. Or at least it certainly feels that way when every time it rains, your playground surface gets turned into a muddy mess. A common problem with many traditional surfaces, yet it is something that is so easy to solve.

While we can’t stop the rain, we can give advice on the best kind of drainage for your site. And with a product such as our EcoSmart grass matting, very little dirt and mud will get kicked up and moved around when the rain does inevitably start to fall.

If you have traditional surfacing, such as loose bark, this can collect a lot of dirt and water when it rains, causing a lot of mess that isn’t easy to clean up. Bonded rubber mulch, such as our JungleMulch, is a far superior solution as the rain shouldn’t puddle anywhere on the surface.

4. Lack of vitality

Children love to play in an area that stimulates their minds and imagination. Colour and design are very important for a child’s wellbeing when it comes to play time and are a huge consideration when designing a playground. If your area has become grey or lost its ‘wow’ factor over the years, now may be a good time to upgrade.

5. New development opportunities

modern playground surfacing
New indoor play area at Umberslade Park Farm

If you’re midway through planning a new play area or upgrading an existing one, now is the perfect time to consider a modern surface solution to match the development. We appreciate there are a whole range of things to consider when designing a playground, however the surfacing to go underneath is always going to be a critical factor to consider.

 

While you’re upgrading or developing your playground anyway, it makes sense to move with the times and choose a modern safety surface to go alongside it.

Can you relate to any of the issues mentioned above? Can you think of any others? Let us know in the comments if you think we missed any!

Perhaps we have convinced you that it is a very good idea to invest in modern playground surfacing.

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