Outdoor sports court material, accessible pathways, amazing outdoor safety flooring, and more!
What is EPDM?
EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, a bonded rubber mulch material used in many areas of construction. Its weather resistance and high elasticity make EPDM perfect for exterior surfaces like rooftops and use in bungee cords and straps in industrial settings. But most importantly for us, the durable sturdy EPDM material is an excellent idea for your outdoor playground flooring.
How is EPDM different from other Outdoor Rubber Flooring for Playgrounds?
The bonded rubber mulch or rubber playground chippings used in EPDM MulchSmart are specially designed with a range of unique benefits built in. Our use of Peroxide Vulcanized True Colour Virgin EPDM rubber shred means that your EPDM surface from PlaySmart is…
- Hygienic and hypoallergenic
- Eco-friendly with no carbons or particulates released in the environment over time
- Ignition resistant
- Non-toxic flooring suitable for use in nurseries and preschool sites where SBR recycled rubber mulch is not suitable
- Vibrant for longer without fading to white like Sulphur-Vulcanized systems, or staining clothes, skin, metals, or PVC
- UV, ozone, water, and chemical-resistant
PlaySmart provides a range of rubber flooring, including wetpour, rubber mulch, and rubber aggregate paving, which all make for long-lasting, vibrant playground surface options with their own unique applications. EPDM can be combined with many of these options to provide a uniquely well-rounded play area.
The Dangers of Carbon Residue
Due to the long-lasting virgin rubber used in EPDM, no harmful ‘Carbon Black’ residue or rubber crumb is released as would be in less UV stable rubber flooring solutions. This is important, especially in early years play areas where children crawl and play. If you see black marks on skin and clothes, this is a sign that the surface uses black rubber granules called DBR that is derived from recycled tyres and can be harmful.
When children play, they often put things they shouldn’t in their mouths. It is important to avoid surfaces that cause carbon residue or contain larger rubber bark granules that can be picked off in areas where young children play like with some rubber mulch options.
Loose fill or improperly bonded rubber mulch can cause a choking hazard if young children are able to dig the rubber out and chew it. But also, ingesting the dark particulates on children’s’ hands after play can be harmful to health, especially with the higher levels of carbon residue in older, more worn down surfacing.
Supplement Your Existing Surfaces with EPDM
No matter the current materials or state of your site, EDPM has a place on your playground or any other outdoor space. Bonded rubber mulch safety surfacing is becoming a popular alternative to grass lawns and loose-fill chippings across the UK as an easier-to-maintain surface with more effective shock absorption and accessibility.
EPDM installation is suitable for a range of depths, requiring a minimal sub-base or a quick, non-disruptive process. In heavy-use areas, EPDM is able to reduce the frequency and therefore cost of playground repairs by providing a durable overlay surface to wetpour or rubber mulch. Shaped and coloured for creative patterns in high-impact zones, EPDM play pads are a cost-effective way to bring longevity to your surfaces.
Combining surface options, especially different types of rubber surfacing with their own benefits and drawbacks, can create a play area or sports zone that meets any challenge given to it. Smart playground design installs suitable materials in each area, creating a differentiated but fully functional site for play and fun.
Long-term Benefits of EPDM
One key differentiator for EPDM is its unmatched durability and the protection it provides to your surfaces in the long term. Rubber wear can be a concern for public playgrounds that experience heavy foot-fall as this can lead to the small cracks and peeling rubber of less durable flooring turning into larger issues the pose tripping hazards and make the site look run-down.
Unlike some rubber surfaces, MulchSmart EPDM’s unique use of extremely durable synthetic rubber, exclusive organic pigments, and an expert binding process does not require extensive and expensive upkeep. As a virgin rubber, the rubber mulch colour is spread within the entirely of each granule, not just applied to the outside like in some recycled rubber, meaning the EPDM does not fade to black over time or rub off colour onto clothing or skin.
The high tensile strength of rubber is combined with the binding agent to create an especially durable surface resistant to wearing, cracking, and damage from weeds. Unlike other rubber flooring options, like wet pour, EPDM’s unique rubber shred with fine granulation and high tensile strength has a reduced likelihood of shrinkage. Colourful rubber mulch with small particles has an especially high tensile strength making it the perfect solution for repairs and edge strips.
EPDM as an Active Play or Sports Surface Material
EPDM is a true all-rounder surface solution for any outdoor space. Designed with children’s safety and suitability in mind, we recommend EPDM for all sorts of purposes, the versatile surfacing is perfect for underneath play equipment, on pathways, in sports courts, and on outdoor running tracks.
PlaySmart’s EPDM MulchSmart has been tested and approved by LaboSport for its use as safety surfacing with excellent slip resistance and high elasticity. As a result, we recommend our EPDM solution as a great, cost-effective surface material for areas used in part or primarily for sports to lessen the risk of injury and provide better accessibility.
Here are some of the ways EPDM MulchSmart can benefit an active play area:
- Unique texture to promote slip-resistance
- Fully wheelchair and buggy accessible
- Cushioned landing for a range of critical fall heights dependent on certified installation depth
- High elasticity recovery, lessening the impact on the feet and legs from running on the surface
- Flat, quality surface for ball-bounce suitable for a range of sports
- Seamless surface without joints, avoiding tripping hazards
Discover the Benefits of EPDM with PlaySmart
PlaySmart’s experts can help you renovate and redesign your outdoor space with the right materials for you. Get in touch today with the handy contact form at the top of the page, or call us at 01564 742811.