Questions to Ask a Rubber Surface Installer
CategoriesTips & Tricks

9 Questions to Ask a Rubber Surface Installer before Signing Up for a Project

Ever heard of a rubber surface? Would you like to install a rubber surface on your business premises? If yes, you should always remember that any decision that is made in haste might prove to be quite costly in the end.

Hence, while going through the procedure of installing a rubber surface, it is essential to take necessary precautions and measure all possible risks.

In this article, we will go through a list of questions that should be asked from the rubber surface contractor before starting the process of installation.

1. Do you have a company website, blog, and social media page?

Before you jump in and hire the first rubber surface installer, it is always wise to do online research. Check whether they have a company website, blog, and social media page.

The website will tell you a lot about their history, service quality, expertise, and clients. You can decide from here whether or not you can trust the installer.

Blogs are a great place to weigh the expertise of a company. Their content will reveal whether the service they are offering will address your pain points. It will also help you make an informed decision.

A company’s social media page is where you can find out how the company interacts with and engages its customers. You want to work with a firm that replies promptly to queries and addresses concerns.

2. Can you tell me about your experience?

Though it is crucial, experience is not only about the years of service a company has provided. You want to analyze their quality of work and see whether or not they have previously worked on a project similar to yours.

A good and experienced surfacing firm will have lots of happy customers and a large social following. Look for client case studies and the types of projects they have completed.

Ideally, they will share pictures and videos of their completed projects. You should ask for references prior to signing up for a project.

3. Can I get a free estimate?

The process of rubber flooring estimate involves evaluating the surface condition, measurement, and checking for any signs of moisture. Many surface installers do this for free. You want your prospective installer to do the evaluation work for free.

4. What subfloors are suitable for rubber surfacing?

Rubber surfacing installation needs a subfloor so as to protect the surface beneath. And the subfloor has to be even. Rubber surfaces are installed on different subfloors, including concrete, tarmac, wood, crushed stone, sand, aluminum, steel, and carpet. You need to talk with your installer concerning this prior to assigning the project.

5. What is the perfect rubber surfacing thickness?

Knowing the right thickness of rubber flooring to use is crucial. It will depend on its use. If you are installing a rubber surface in your home gym, a thin rubber surface will work just fine. But for outdoor playgrounds, the play structure fall height is to be considered. Your potential expert will know the accurate thickness. So, ask your expert outright about it.

6. How much time does it take to install rubber flooring?

The time taken to install a rubber floor depends on many factors. You have to consider all factors like the subfloor type, surface condition, area to be covered, and rubber flooring thickness. Typically, it takes two days. But then it all comes down to the schedule and availability of the experts.

Knowing this will help you prepare for the downtime of your house.

7. Is there a warranty for the rubber flooring?

Reputed flooring installers usually offer a warranty of 5 years apart from boasting of the quality of the product they are offering.

8. Can rubber surfacing help build an elderly-friendly home?

Rubber has shock-absorbing and anti-slip properties. Plus, they offer a softer surface as compared to concrete. Thus, rubber surfaces can lessen the impact of surface injuries. It is ideal for a home with older people. It is even ADA-complaint.

9. Are rubber floors durable?

Yes, rubber floors can last up to a good 12 to 15 years, provided you follow the rubber flooring maintenance tips offered by your experts.

Wrap-Up

This article looked at questions you should ask of a rubber surface installer before signing on for a project. Depending on the surface, specific procedures and practices should be followed. Asking questions during your search will help you prevent making mistakes, increase the odds of success, and ultimately help you find the right contractor for your project.

Safety Rubber Surfacing
CategoriesResidential

How Safety Rubber Surfacing Can Lessen the Impact of Surface Injuries

Every year, thousands of people are involved in accidents due to surface-related incidents.

As the demand for amenities and amenities increases, companies are constantly on the lookout for materials that can add both values and appeal to their sports surfaces. Industries, such as healthcare, offices, and gyms, will benefit from recreational sports facilities that provide high levels of safety and comfort.

While there is no general rule that can prevent you from suffering an injury, the idea of installing safety rubber surfacing may lessen the impact. Safety rubber surfacing has different properties such as its shock-absorbing properties, water drainage system, and slip resistance.

These qualities make it the most effective type of surface in today’s market.

This article will outline how you can use these qualities to muffle injuries and provide safer sports facilities.

1. It has shock-absorbing properties.

One of the things that make safety rubber surfaces a better choice is their shock-absorbing qualities.

Safety rubber’s shock-absorbing capabilities lessen the impact of injuries from falls and blows because it slows the rate of energy transfer to your body, whether you’re a pedestrian, a cyclist, or a motorist.

The name “Safety Rubber Surfacing” says it all. The surface is made up of materials that have shock-absorbing properties. The use of this material in residential entryways, walkways, patios & decks ensures that if there are any accidents or injuries occurring in the home or other places where it’s installed, accidents are reduced by the floor.

What’s more, the shock-absorbing properties of safety rubber surfacing flooring can reduce the level of injury that results from jumping or falling, which is why it’s often incorporated into the design of sports facilities like playgrounds and athletic courts.

2. They have a softer surface.

Envision falling on a hard surface or concrete? You’re correct – it often results in hands and knees getting scrapped.

And that’s where safety rubber surfacing comes into the picture. Durable rubber flooring offers the best protection against surface injuries due to falling, slipping, tripping, and sliding. And you can thank its soft surface for it.

The great thing about this surface is that, even if the kids are using the playground very rough, they will not get hurt much. It is because the texture is soft and has no stiff edges that could hurt the kids.

With this in mind, rubber matting has become the material of choice for use in schools, medical facilities, factories, football fields, and sports courts worldwide.

3. Non-Slip Surface.

When working in the workplace, you are at risk of being injured because of falls or slips that can occur. However, safety rubber surfacing is one of the best materials available when it comes to providing a slip-resistant flooring surface that can lessen the impact of surface injuries.

Safety Rubber Flooring, with its non-skid surface, provides good traction even during wet conditions making it ideal for low impact activities, such as aerobics or dance class.

As a result, safety Rubber Surfacing is highly recommended for Gymnasium, Playground, School, Training Center, Factory and other Industrial Use.

Rubber also has the ability to have non-skid properties across its entire life span, which allows workers to maintain their balance while traversing various work areas. The non-skid surface makes it easier for workers inside industrial plants to work on scaffolding, ramps, and elevated platforms where stairs would be typically used.

Wrap-Up

It’s a familiar scenario: a young child slips on a wet tile in the bathroom and is sent face-first to the floor. A teenager trips on a basketball court and twists his ankle. An adult trips on a raised sidewalk and breaks their wrist. These injuries can be caused by many different types of surface accidents, but all have one thing in common: they could have been prevented with an appropriate safety surface.

It is good to make use of modern technology to lessen the impact of such injuries.

Safety rubber surfaces can be a suitable material to lessen such injuries. Even though safety rubber surfaces do not completely remove the risk of injuries, they can help by simply reducing their impact and severity.

The safety rubber surfacing is often used in schools, hospitals, sports venues, and many more places for its extensive safety benefits. It is important not only because it offers grip when wet, but when combined with its anti-slip properties, it’s even more effective.

Pool Deck Maintenance Mistakes That Must be Avoided at Any Cost
CategoriesResidential

Pool Deck Maintenance Mistakes That Must be Avoided at Any Cost

Having proper pool deck maintenance in your residential or commercial place can ensure that your place looks aesthetically appealing, safe for you and your family, and at the same time, keeps the value of your asset intact.

However, when you are in charge of this maintenance, or when it is being outsourced to a contractor who is not aware of the best practices in maintaining pool decks, one can easily make some undesirable mistakes.

Here are some of the common pool deck maintenance mistakes that you must avoid at any cost:

1. Not considering your flooring options

Your pool deck surfacing is bound to gain heavy foot traffic. Plus, it is going to be constantly splashed with chlorinated water, subjected to high UV radiation and moisture damage, and there are several other factors that will compromise its durability, safety, and functionality in general.

It is thus crucial to consider your pool’s flooring options carefully. Many homeowners or even commercial establishments that own a swimming pool use rubber flooring.

It is because rubber surfaces are easy to install, skid-proof, waterproof, moisture-proof, absorb shocks, resistant to mild and dew, durable, and can be easily cleaned and maintained. High-quality rubber surfaces can even offer superior UV protection

Plus, there are different types of rubber flooring options with appealing aesthetics to choose from.

2. Hard and fast deck cleaning

The worst thing you can do during the maintenance procedure of your pool deck is to conduct a hard and fast cleaning. This includes implementing power tools and over-cleaning.

When you scrub or blast your pool too harshly, it will strip off the top surface. If you are using wood, you will notice patchy and uneven color. It will also increase the risk of water damage as it will allow moisture inside. Your wood will rot and ultimately your deck will have a bending shape. Even if you are using a sealant, vigorous rubbing and blasting will strip away the sealant.

For those pool owners who use jet washers while cleaning your deck, see that you are standing back from the deck. Also, use a fan tip. Don’t use wire brushes. They may damage the delicate wooden surface. And avoid using very strong chemical cleaners. They are notorious for corroding wooden surfaces if used for prolonged periods of time.

3. Neglecting the chemistry

You might have hired the services of professionals to do the cleaning job for you. Or you might be managing the maintenance yourself. Either way, it is crucial to stay on top of every chore.

Apart from cleaning your pool, you need to test the water chemistry and add the required chemicals at least weekly or more if the pool water is changing color from clear blue to a funky green.

If you maintain proper water chemical balance, your pool will always be clean and crystalline. Use algaecides like Yellow Treat to get rid of algae in the pool water.

Most algaecides are known to lessen your chlorine level when applied. Thus, you should see that there is a high level of chlorine in the pool before you start the treatment.

Low chlorine levels combined with the algaecide will make your pool even greener in color.

Make sure to go through and follow the instructions left by the manufacturer. At the same time, check your pool pump to ensure the algaecide reaches every corner of your pool.

4. Not going for the resurfacing

After some good years of use, your pool deck will wear out and need refinishing. If you don’t look into it at the right time, you will incur heavy property loss.

Remember, pool deck resurfacing is not a simple task. It is not just repainting the oil on and leaving it to dry off. It involves a demanding process, and the job is best left to a professional.

First, you need to deep clean the entire deck. If there is dirt, it will block the oil from penetrating the wood. You will thus have a patchy finish. The process also demands deep sanding in some areas.

You can also consider installing rubber surfaces while resurfacing your pool deck. It is a cost-effective option, and you have plenty of design choices. You can either use natural rubber or synthetic rubber. These are the two major rubber types used in rubber surfacing.

That’s a Wrap!

If you are someone who has to take care of their pool deck, then you know how much you need to pay attention to it. This is your main entrance to your house, so you want to make sure it is always looking its best. The simple truth is that there are things that must be taken care of in order to take care of your pool deck.

Follow these points mentioned above to make sure you avoid all the major pool deck maintenance mistakes.

Everything You Should Know About Cleaning and Maintaining Rubber Surfaces
CategoriesTips & Tricks

Everything You Should Know About Cleaning and Maintaining Rubber Surfaces

Statistics show that nearly 79% of playground injuries involve falls. A rubber floor can certainly reduce the impact of the fall due to its anti-skid and shock-absorbing properties. This is the reason rubber surfacing is becoming a popular flooring choice, not just for playgrounds but also for other public and residential facilities.

Although it is tough and hard-wearing, a rubber surface needs a little care and attention.

So, let’s discuss some simple and easy-to-follow cleaning and maintenance tips to keep your rubber floors in good condition for years to come.

What is Rubber Surfacing?

Have you noticed a soft surface underneath your feet at gyms or pool decks?

Yes, that is a rubber surface. It is one of the most durable and multipurpose flooring solutions available today. A rubber floor is crafted from natural or synthetic rubber. Hence, it absorbs the shocks and provides good traction.

Due to the above qualities, rubber surfaces are an ideal choice in high footfall places such as fitness/sports facilities, hotels & resorts, and playgrounds. It is also becoming popular among residential properties.

Rubber surfacing is an investment that will last longer if you take basic care of its cleaning and maintenance. Let’s find out how.

Cleaning Materials

You do not need to spend much on the cleaning materials for your rubber floors. You will need basics cleaning supplies:

  • Vacuum cleaner or broom
  • Mop and bucket
  • Cleaning sponge
  • Mild detergent

Set Up a Cleaning Routine

There’s no extra work. Trust us! You would anyway maintain a cleaning routine for your floor whether it is made from rubber, concrete, or any other material.

Similarly, for rubber surfaces, we recommend that you set up two different cleaning schedules.

Daily or Weekly Cleaning

If you have installed a rubber surface in the residential facility, one of the most frequent cleaning tasks you need to do is removing small particles of dirt, dust, and debris. In case you have toddlers, daily vacuuming can save them from the risk of ingesting these impurities. Otherwise, you can vacuum and mop the floor once a week if your floors tend to attract fewer dirt particles.

However, commercial settings and public facilities’ rubber floors should be vacuumed and mopped daily as they experience higher footfall and contamination. For mopping, consider a mild detergent diluted in water.

Periodic Cleaning

Just like you conduct seasonal cleaning of your home or workspace, you can consider a wet vacuum cleaning once every month or two for your rubber surfaces. Start with mopping and let the cleaning solution sit for about 10 minutes. Then, rinse the floor with a wet vacuum.

For better cleaning of large spaces, we recommend that you use a floor cleaning machine. A walk-behind scrubber should be adequate for medium-large areas such as pool decks, gyms, and sports courts. However, for larger spaces like driveways, playgrounds, stables, and barns, you should use a ride-on scrubber.

Moreover, you should deep clean the surface using a pressurized water process after three to five years of installation.

Maintenance Tips for Rubber Surfaces

How about retaining the aesthetics and adding more years to the life of your rubber surface? Read and follow the maintenance tips below.

  • Use dust control mats: Place doormats at entries of your residence or commercial facilities to avoid the accumulation of dirt and dust particles on your rubber surface.
  • Clean all spills: Though rubber flooring is water-resistant, too much moisture can affect its adhesive property. So ensure that you clean spillages at the earliest.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals: Chemicals can erode the rubber and its color. Besides, the rubber surface is very easy to clean. Simply using a mild detergent diluted in a little bit of water should do the trick.
  • Use soft nylon brushes: Do not use steel wool, abrasive brushes & pads.
  • Outdoor surfaces: Install UV-stable rubber flooring, and during winter use snow shovels with plastic blades.

In addition to the above cleaning and maintenance tips, we also recommend you follow the maintenance guide provided by the manufacturer.

Wrapping Up

As we discussed, rubber surfaces are highly durable and low maintenance in nature. This makes them a worthy long-term investment for your property. All you need to do is evaluate the area where you have installed them and accordingly follow the simple cleaning and maintenance tips shared above. It should be enough to preserve them for a longer period of time.

Compelling Benefits of EPDM Surfacing You Cannot Ignore
CategoriesResidential

5 Compelling Benefits of EPDM Surfacing You Cannot Ignore

Impeccable surfacing is an instant game-changer in areas like playgrounds or gyms that experience a lot of footfall and physical activity. Finding the right surfacing solution that can handle the ‘pressure; and pay off, in the long run, is important in such cases.

This is where EPDM surfacing comes in.

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) surfacing, also known as poured-in-place rubber surfacing, is made of two layers of synthetic rubber. The base layer is made of bulky rubber scraps, whereas the top or the “wear” layer is made of EPDM, TPV (Thermoplastic Vulcanizate), and/or recycled rubber granules mixed with polyurethane binders.

The mixture poured by professionals leaves no seams and results in a uniform, joint-free surface eliminating the chances of rubber splintering. EPDM surfacing enhances the utility of outdoor and indoor spaces through reliable shock-absorbent properties, integrated with a visually pleasing design.

Still mulling over the advantages? Here’s the lowdown of why EPDM surfacing is considered to be a great surfacing option by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

1. Maximum safety

One of the top attributes that any surfacing system should possess is safety. EPDM surfacing effortlessly checks off that box. For children aged 0 to 19, falls can prove to be one of the leading causes of nonfatal injuries. With EPDM surfacing, you don’t have to stress about any major injuries while your child plays around to their heart’s content or have excruciating pain in your soles due to impactful exercises.

The synthetic rubber has an inherently high coefficient of friction which leads to anti-slip and anti-skid properties, making it quite difficult for any individual to trip or fall over the surface. Despite this, if you happen to encounter an inglorious fall, the multiple surfaces work befittingly to attenuate the impact by absorbing the shock.

2. Versatile

Another great part about an EPDM surface is that its use is not restricted to outdoor areas like playgrounds, gyms, and sports centers. There are many applications of EDPM surfaces as they fit in quite easily. The cushion-y material can be installed in kitchens, for example, where you may need to stand for longer durations while cooking, thus making the activity ergonomically comfortable.

The EPDM rubber surfacing is also known for its resistance to moisture, making it an ideal choice for your pool decks and bathrooms. The aesthetic appeal and compliance to ADA requirements make it the perfect solution for public places like hotels, schools, and offices as well.

3. Durable

Expecting the flooring surface to be durable in the long run is only justified. Well, rest assured, as EPDM surfacing wins with flying colors in that department as well.

Allow us to get into a bit of technicality here — EPDM is an elastomer composed of single bonds. The elastomer proves to be a pro at resisting the UV rays due to this property. This provides the synthetic rubber an edge over its unsaturated natural rubber step-siblings. This rubber surface can brace for all kinds of extreme weathering conditions and varying temperatures.

The high density and tensile strength of EPDM rubber make the surface tenacious resulting in minimal wear and tear and no splintering of the rubber particle. The EPDM rubber and other materials used for surfacing adhere to the ASTM standards that result in the longevity of the final product.

4. Pocket-friendly option

EPDM rubber surfacing proves to be cost-effective along with being durable in the long term. The maintenance of this surface is fairly easy and cost-efficient. The installation can be done directly on a crushed stone foundation and does not need a separate substructure.

Plus, EPDM surfaces are highly moisture-resistant eliminating the possibility of mold or mildew. The colors seldom fade over time which further eliminates the need for touch-ups or polishing to keep the surface looking splendid.

5. Personalized aesthetic

EPDM surfacing stands apart from other surfacing solutions mainly because it brings along the freedom to customize the design and colors according to your liking. The granules are available in plenty of colors and can be mixed and matched to create the desired color.

You can have vibrant designs when you are incorporating it in the playground or of a darker color based on the place you are selecting a surface for. The colors will not fade because of EPDM’s high stability under prolonged exposure to UV rays. You can get as creative as you want and implement the latest design trends with the colors, patterns, and textures.

EPDM

Source

Parting thoughts

Considering the varied advantages and applications of EPDM, there is little doubt that it can prove to be a great surfacing solution for many indoor and outdoor spaces. It is cost-effective, of excellent quality and proves to be durable for a long time making it perfect for commercial as well as residential applications.

2 Major Types of Rubber Used in Rubber Surfacing: A Direct Comparison
CategoriesResidential

2 Major Types of Rubber Used in Rubber Surfacing: A Direct Comparison

Are you considering installing rubber surfacing in your home or outdoors?

Then, you will be interested to know the types of rubber used in rubber surfacing. It will help you to choose the best rubber type that suits your requirements.

There are many different types of rubber that are used in rubber surfacing. However, rubber can be classified into two main types – natural rubber that is, as the name suggests, procured naturally, and synthetic rubber that is made with petroleum.

Let’s compare the two rubber types to find out which rubber will best suit your requirements.

Natural rubber

Natural rubber is made out of the latex sap derived from the rubber tree. It consists of long isoprene polymer chains that are connected loosely. Rubber is elastic in nature and has tensile strength. It is also resistant to wear and heat.

Pros:

  • Flexible and Elastic – Natural rubber is used in rubber surfacing mostly owing to its flexibility, elasticity, tensile strength, and wear and heat resistance.
  • Anti-bacterial properties – Natural rubber is also anti-bacterial and anti-dust mite. So, it is a hygienic solution for homeowners looking to install rubber floors.
  • Eco-friendly – Natural rubber is biodegradable, sustainable, and eco-friendly. Natural rubber flooring is also suitable for both indoors and outdoors.
  • Added safety – It provides added safety as it is anti-slip and absorbs impact. Plus, it is noise-absorbent as well.
  • Great for gyms – Due to the high coefficient of friction in the material, rubber flooring is a great option for workstations, home gyms, or any place where you have to stand for a long period of time while being efficient.
  • Affordable – Natural rubber is affordable, easy to maintain and install.

Cons:

  • The natural rubber has natural impurities and is susceptible to environmental conditions, oil, fuel, and non-polar solvents.
  • It is less resistant to heat, light, and ozone, unlike synthetic rubber.
  • Latex can induce allergic reactions.

Synthetic rubber

Synthetic rubber is a man-made rubber. It is made using petroleum and other minerals. This rubber type is more durable than natural rubber and gives many of the same benefits that natural rubber provides.

The most popular synthetic rubber surfaces include EPDM rubber, recycled rubber, neoprene rubber, nitrile rubber, and butyl rubber.

Pros:

  • More durable – Synthetic rubber is more durable and resilient than natural rubber. High-quality synthetic rubber floors can withstand extreme weather conditions and can last for up to 20 years if you maintain them properly.
  • Higher shock-absorbing impact – It has a high shock-absorbing impact and is anti-slip, and thus offers added safety during accidents or falls. It also absorbs noise – which is a great option if you are designing an inclusive home or inclusive play area for kids.
  • Serves as a cushion – Synthetic rubber floor serves as a cushion under your feet and will keep your room warm during the winter.
  • Moisture Resistant – Since synthetic rubber is moisture-resistant, water or fluid spills will not damage it.
  • Pathogen Resistant – It doesn’t breed pathogens like bacteria and fungi. Thus, it is a hygienic flooring option for those looking for one.
  • Wide variety to choose from – There are plenty of synthetic rubber floor designs and colors to choose from. Naturally, it will improve the aesthetic appeal of your home.
  • Cost-effective – Synthetic rubber flooring is cost-effective and is more readily available.

Cons:

  • When new, synthetic rubber floor emits an odor. Though harmless, it can be very unpleasant as well.
  • To install a synthetic rubber floor, you will need the help of a professional. Don’t go DIY unless you are an expert yourself.
  • You need to install a subfloor prior to rubber floor installation.
  • It is not nearly as biodegradable as natural rubber.

Natural rubber vs. Synthetic rubber: Which one is better? 

It all boils down to its application. Synthetic rubber is a better choice if you are going to use it in high-traffic areas or outdoors as it has a higher temperature, aging, and abrasion resistance. It is also cheaper to produce.

Conversely, natural rubber is sturdy, flexible, and heat-resistant. It is also a bio-degradable, sustainable, and eco-friendly option.

However, note that synthetic rubber manufacturers also make recycled rubber floors out of items like automobile tires that otherwise could have ended up in the landfill.

You can choose the rubber type depending on where you are going to use it.

Choosing the Best Running Track Surface: An Essential Guide
CategoriesTips & Tricks

Choosing the Best Running Track Surface: An Essential Guide

Are you planning to install a running track surface? The type of surface you install is going to make all the difference for runners.

The track can impact speed, improve your balance, and even improve your technique. Moreover, installing a suitable running track surface can minimize injuries during the run.

Since there are so many types of running track surfaces out there, each with its advantages and disadvantages, the choosing process can get quite overwhelming, especially if you are installing it for the first time.

This essential guide will help you to select the best running track surface as per your needs. However, before that, ask yourself these questions:

  • What are my facility’s requirements?
  • What sports program level do I aim to hold?
  • Will I use the running track for competition or recreation?
  • Who will be running on the track?

But generally, you should prioritize safety and performance.

Choosing the Best Running Track Surface

To help you make the best choice, here are the different types of running track surfaces with their pros and cons:

1. Cinder, clay, and grass

Cinder and clay are natural track surfaces most commonly used. Sometimes, even grass is used.

Pros

  • These surfaces are comfortable to run on and comparatively cheap to construct.
  • These types of surfaces will have reduced force impact on runners’ joints.
  • Since these surfaces are soft, they offer great cushioning and lessen injuries.
  • Compared to other surfaces, they create more resistance. It means legs will have to work harder. It strengthens foot muscles while enhancing running techniques.

Cons

  • These surfaces are rendered useless after the rainfall.
  • They are high maintenance and costly.

2. Synthetic rubber surfaces

Many people install synthetic rubber on running tracks as it provides optimal traction and great running performance.

The two prevalent subtypes of this running track are latex track surfaces and polyurethane track surfaces.

Latex track surfaces offer a soft surface, making it easier to run. It allows runners to run faster and enhances performance and durability in the sport. It also provides safety and is permeable.

On the other hand, polyurethane track surfaces are elastic and can withstand extreme temperatures, making them suitable for outdoors.

The surface allows for a more comfortable run, thus reducing the risk for injuries. It also increases speed and stability as it is firm. Polyurethane track surfaces are impermeable.

Pros

  • Synthetic surfaces create a fast and high-performing track and increase runners’ speed.
  • It provides excellent shock absorption and cushioning, decreasing the risk of injury.
  • It absorbs impact while reducing muscle stress and supporting leg exertion.
  • It is incredibly durable and can last up to 20 years or more. Synthetic surfaces also require very little maintenance.

Cons

  • While installing synthetic rubber surfaces initially, you will have to undergo many small details. It needs proper planning.
  • You will have to create an initial flat base surface of gravel or crushed stone to allow for drainage.

3. Asphalt-bound surfaces

The asphalt-bound surfaces are also known as all-weather surfaces. They are a mixture of asphalt and rubber or sand.

Though people still commonly use asphalt-bound tracks, they are no longer widely built as the material is costly and the surface is unpredictable.

Pros

  • The asphalt-bound tracks are durable.
  • The tracks allow fast speed and let runners maintain a steady rhythm.

Cons 

  • Asphalt-bound tracks become soft in the summer heat and harden as the temperature decreases in the winter.
  • After some years, asphalt will become hard and lose its resilience. Old tracks are bad for runners’ joints and muscles and can cause injury.
  • It is costly.

Which type of running track surface should you choose?

It boils down to your requirements and budget. If you need a professional-level running track and have the budget, synthetic surfaces are the best option out there. Once installed, it is super convenient, durable, fast, and high-performing. Synthetic surfaces also reduce the risk of injury, and they will help you create an inclusive sport or recreation area.

Wrap Up

Your running track surface is going to highly impact the performance of the runners. It will also ensure the runners’ safety as well as functionality and durability of the running track.

Before you choose your track, first, answer all the crucial questions mentioned above. Only then choose from the different types of running track surfaces. Whichever running track surface you choose to install, prioritize safety and performance.

Playground Glossary
CategoriesTips & Tricks

Playground Glossary: 9 Terms Used by Certified Playground Safety Inspectors Explained

Playgrounds are important sources of recreation and merriment for children in their formative years. The activities in a playground can not only offer them the necessary physical exercise but also ample opportunities to develop their motor and cognitive skills.

If you are building a playground or are in-charge of one, you will have a lot of crucial decisions to take. Right from the kind of equipment you want for the playground to the kind of safety measures to put in place. Nearly 200,000 children visit the emergency room every year due to an injury at the playground.

With these statistics in mind, the government encourages that you should get your playground audited regularly for compliance with safety standards. If you are planning for an audit or inspection of your playground, here are a few terms that you should know about:

#1 ADA

Short for American Disabilities Act — a civil rights law that was enacted in 1990, to promote accessibility to individuals with disabilities in public spaces. The act is especially important when you are building a school or playground.

#2 Critical Height

Critical Height is the maximum height of playground equipment wherein a fall will not result in a serious head injury. It is considered to be quite crucial to playground safety. The play surface should be kept lower than critical height at all times to prevent serious injuries in the playground.

#3 Fall Height

Most playgrounds implement an impact-absorbing surface to prevent any serious accidents from taking place. The distance between the highest point of a play structure and this surface is known as the fall height. The fall height should be measured in a way that if a child falls from this point, they should land safely without incurring any life-threatening injuries.

#4 Safety Surfacing

Safety Surfacing or an Impact-Absorbing Surface is absolutely critical to building a safe playground. It is a protective surface that is installed in the play area to lessen the impact of a trip or fall. Poured-in-place (PIP) rubber surfacing is considered to be an ideal option for creating an impact-absorbing surface.

#5 Safety Audit

A playground safety audit is a one-time inspection wherein a safety inspector will visit your playground to assess the safety. The key assessment factor in a safety audit is compliance with the current standards of care, prescribed by the governing authorities. The safety inspector will be on the lookout for any potential hazards that might endanger children, and recommend solutions to solve such issues.

#6 Maintenance Inspection

Maintenance inspections are conducted periodically as opposed to safety audits and are targeted at checking the condition of the equipment and materials on the playground. The safety inspector will be on the lookout for outdated equipment or rusty surfaces that might cause injuries.

#7 Entanglement

If you have ever been subject to a maintenance inspection or a safety audit, chances are that your safety inspector will point out “hazards leading to entanglement”. Entanglement is basically an incident wherein a child’s jewelry or clothing might get entangled on a playground equipment. Such incidents can lead to injuries or falls, and can often be prevented by maintaining the ideal playground safety standards.

#8 Use Zone/Safety Zone

Safety Zone or Use Zone is where your Safety Surface should be installed. It is an area that is beneath or adjacent to playground equipment at places where a child is likely to fall.  It is a ground level area and is generally the most protected and well-maintained part of a playground.

#9 Inclusive Playground

An inclusive playground is one in which all children — regardless of any physical disabilities or conditions can have access to equipment and enjoy. In such playgrounds, the structures, equipment, and other accessories are designed to benefit all children. Such playgrounds feature a combination of ground-level activities along with other activities.

More importantly, such playgrounds are completely ADA-compliant.

Wrapping Up

Playground safety is an important issue of concern for parents as well as educators. While no child is absolutely safe on any playground, policy makers have been able to come up with regulations and standards that will prevent serious injuries from taking place. It is important that every playground adheres to these standards, and more importantly, conduct regular audits to ensure safety of the children.

An Essential Guide to Creating an Inclusive Play Area
CategoriesResidential

An Essential Guide to Creating an Inclusive Play Area

Playtime is a critical part of childhood development. It teaches children several life skills, relieves stress, stimulates creativity and exploration, and boosts confidence.

All kids, regardless of their abilities, have the right to stay active, learn, make friends, and socialize. Inclusive play areas do just that! They allow kids of all abilities to connect with others positively and enjoy their playtime.

In this post, we will share a few interesting tips to create a well-designed playground to meet the developmental needs of all kids.

1. Aim for Accessibility 

When we talk about individuals with varying abilities, it also includes those facing mobility challenges. The play area should be designed such that kids and adults with a wheelchair, a walker, a cane, or another mobility device should be able to access the space.

The ASTM F1951 standards and ADA regulations require playgrounds to be accessible to mobility devices. Hence, one of the important considerations when designing an inclusive play space is safe and accessible surfacing. An ideal surface ensures easy access and safety for all users.

Grass and materials like wood chips, sand, and pea gravel make it challenging for people with disabilities to navigate the area.

On the other hand, a firm yet shock-absorbing surface like poured-in-place rubber is perfect in such settings. The surface also offers adequate protection in case of a high-risk fall. 

2. Include Multi-Sensory Elements

Sensory play is one of the most critical features of an inclusive play area. These elements appeal to and stimulate the main senses, namely touch, sight, hearing, balance, and movement.

Here are a few sensory elements that you can include in the play area to make it inclusive.

  • Auditory
    Auditory

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Auditory processing is all about how the brain captures, interprets, and recognizes sound stimuli. Children love sounds and music and elements, such as musical instruments and talking tubes.

  • Visual

Visual

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Visual perception is how the brain processes what the eyes see. Including visual activities in the play area, namely adding flashlight tags, telescopes, shadow puppets, and brightly colored play panels can help kids interpret and understand visual information and compare them with the experiences made earlier in life.

  • Tactile or Touch

Tactile or Touch

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The sense of touch results from the stimulation of neural receptors in the skin and hair follicles. Activities involving experimenting with textures can help stimulate this sense.

For instance, climbing rocks, play panels, or walls covered with a variety of textures can generate tons of stimulation and enhance a child’s playground experience.

  • Proprioceptive

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The proprioceptive system relates to the stimuli produced by the contraction and stretching of muscles during activities like bending or pulling.

Equipment and activities involving climbing, namely climbing walls, ladders,  freestanding climbers, net climbers, and trampolines can help stimulate the proprioceptive senses.

  • Vestibular

Vestibular

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The vestibular system is found in the middle ear. It relates to the perception of our body and the surrounding factors like gravity, movement, and balance.

The products that stimulate the vestibular system include spinners, swings, and balancing activities. 

3. Make Safety a Priority 

The probability of accidents and injuries is high in play areas. Hence, it’s critical to take adequate safety measures to make the play area safe and enjoyable for all.

  • Inspect the area regularly. Check for dangerous items like broken glass or unsafe equipment that could cause serious injuries.
  • Make sure all the equipment is safe and up-to-code. For instance, protruding bolt heads, sharp edges, and hooks can lead to serious injuries. The playground equipment is free of these.
  • Avoid abrasive and hard surfaces. Instead, go for a shock-absorbing and anti-skid surface like poured-in-place rubber surfacing.
  • Include equipment-to-surface transition areas, such as ramps and slides that can help kids with all abilities access the area with ease.

4. Don’t Miss Out on the Fun Part 

Adhering to the ASTM and ADA requirements is core building an inclusive play area. But remember not to miss out on adding a fun element to the space.

Integrate these requirements into the playground design and create an exciting visual path that will engage all the little users. Enhance the area with varied colors, shapes, and materials.

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Finally, add innovative equipment like a no-transfer inclusive swing that enables kids in wheelchairs and other mobility aids to explore and have fun. 

5. Plan Spaces That Offer an Opportunity for Calm

Children tend to feel overwhelmed when they experience sensory overload. Hence, they need a secluded and quiet space to catch their breath and re-calibrate.

Make sure the play area has a few multi-play structures or playhouses that feel secluded and enclosed, yet are within the view of parents and guardians.

Wrapping Up 

Parks and play spaces are an integral part of childhood development. Hence, we need to break down the barriers that make it tough for kids with varying abilities to access the area.

The information shared above will guide you as you build an inclusive playground. If you are looking for more guidance, get in touch with the River Rock Surfacing team. We have been designing and building playgrounds for over 3 decades. Call us now!

Daycares
CategoriesResidential

Safety Flooring in Daycares: What You Need to Know

Safety is a prime concern for daycare and childcare center owners. From the furniture to the outdoor spaces, daycare providers do everything in their capacity to create a safe and enjoyable environment for kids.

Whether they are playing, crawling around, or simply exploring, flooring is where kids spend most of their indoor time. Hence, it’s important to provide them with a surface that’s safe and won’t cause rug burns.

In this post, we have shared useful tips on how to select an ideal surfacing for your daycare. Later in the post, you’ll also find the not-so-ideal options.

Daycares Safety Surfacing Features

Children, especially toddlers and young kids, spend a lot of time crawling, sitting, roughhousing, or moving around on the flooring. That’s a normal day for them. It helps them learn new skills, socialize, and have fun. Hence, when choosing a safety flooring for a childcare center, it’s important to pay attention to their needs.

Consider these features when opting for a suitable surfacing for your childcare center. 

1. Comfort 

Not all the surfaces are easy on the little feet. For instance, a tiled surface or the conventional ceramic is inflexible and leads to a lot of strain on the feet.

Since your daycare members like to be on their feet at all times, they deserve a soft, cushiony, and comfortable surface. Soft surfaces cradle the feet and reduce the strain on their delicate feet muscles and joints. 

2. High Traction

Children are naturally curious and tend to climb on everything they find intriguing. Hence, slips and falls are a part of their overall development. But when these falls result in serious injuries and fractures, the daycare staff is held liable as they are responsible for the child’s safety.

Hence, it’s important to apply a surfacing material that offers adequate grip underfoot. For instance, rubber is one surfacing material that has a high coefficient of friction. Hence, it can significantly reduce the chances of children slipping or injuring themselves, even on wet surfaces.

Thus, installing a safe surface like rubber can help in creating a safe environment where kids can practice and develop new skills.

3. High Shock Absorbing Potential 

As mentioned above, falling and stumbling is a normal part of a child’s growing years. But there are two factors that determine the seriousness of a fall, namely –

  • The height from which a child falls. The lesser the height the lower is the risk.
  • The surface on which the child falls. Hard surfaces like concrete or ceramic tiles can be unforgiving, causing serious injuries. On the other hand, a springy surface like rubber has the capacity to absorb the shock and reduce the severity of the impact.

The surface you choose should possess excellent shock-absorbing potential.

4. Quiet Surface 

Daycares tend to have kids of all age groups. On one hand, we have toddlers and infants who need their share of sleep, and on the other, we have school-going kids who may want to finish their homework with minimum disturbance. As a daycare provider, you need to ensure a peaceful and productive environment for all.

Hence, daycares should install a quiet surface that has the potential to absorb and prevent the transmission of sound waves. Rubber and cork are excellent choices when it comes to quiet surfaces, except that cork is porous and prone to moisture damage. 

5. Hygienic 

With their hands and feet on the floor, your childcare center needs a surface that’s inhospitable to pathogens. Moreover, with kids, accidental spills are quite common. And not to forget, the mess they create when they play with clay or sand.

So, the surface should also be easy to clean and non-absorbent, allowing the caretakers to easily wipe off the spill before it penetrates and damages the subfloor. 

6. High Durability

Daycare and kindergarten floors take most of the battering. The flooring needs to be versatile and durable enough to play the role of a car racetrack, a dance floor, or a cartwheel zone.

You need a hard-wearing surface that can withstand the foot traffic of the kids and the caretakers.

Rubber Surfacing: The Most Recommended Surface for Daycares

When we consider the above features, the only option that ticks all the boxes is poured-in-place rubber surfacing. Rubber is a versatile flooring material that’s ideal for the following reasons.

  • It’s hard-wearing and can stand up to heavy traffic and intensive activities.
  • It’s a springy surface that’s comfortable underfoot. Hence, rubber surfaces do not cause feet fatigue.
  • It’s an anti-skip surface. Hence, it reduces the risk of slips and falls.
  • It can absorb shocks. Hence, even if a kid falls from a height they will not suffer serious injuries.
  • It is a quiet surface that absorbs sound waves and their transmission. No wonder, rubber surfacing is installed in apartments and movie theatres.
  • It’s easy to clean and maintain.
  • It is inhospitable to disease-causing pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi, making it a hygienic surface.
  • It is impervious to water. Hence, the surface doesn’t allow moisture to immediately seep into the subfloor.

Inappropriate Surfaces for Daycares

By now, you may be already convinced that rubber is a great flooring choice for childcare centers. Yet, it’s important to let you know about the flooring options that are an absolute no.

  • Ceramic tile flooring – These surfaces are hard and have a low coefficient of friction. Hence, they are unsafe for spaces frequented by children.
  • Carpet – Wall-to-wall carpeting may seem like a great option for childcare centers as it’s soft and offers adequate cushioning underfoot. However, carpets are home to pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and mold.
    Moreover, in case of spills, the surface tends to absorb the fluids, damaging the subfloor and giving off an offensive odor in the long term.
  • Cork – Cork is soft and possesses noise-canceling properties. However, the surface is porous. Hence, any spill needs to be wiped off immediately, else it will seep into the flooring.

Moreover, cork isn’t a durable surface as it’s prone to scratches and stains.

Summing Up

For all daycare providers, the safety of kids is paramount. Hence, they need to invest in a surface that’s safe and hygienic. Poured-in-place rubber surfacing is an ideal flooring option as it meets all the criteria we’ve discussed above.

If you are considering a new surface for your childcare center, get in touch with the River Rock Resurfacing team. We have been offering residential and commercial flooring solutions for more than three decades. Call us now and we will guide you with the best flooring solutions.