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.

rubber surfacing faqs
CategoriesUncategorized

Top 8 Rubber Surfacing FAQs

Everywhere you go, you see rubber surfacing these days. Apart from playgrounds and garage floors, rubber surfaces are installed in pool decks, patios, walkways, and numerous other commercial and residential areas.

Rubber floorings are known for their durability, versatility, easy installation and maintenance, and several other benefits. But when you are actually going to install it, specific questions arise in your mind concerning its application, installation, performance, technical aspects, and maintenance.

These rubber surfacing FAQs will serve as a guide and clear all your doubts. So without further ado, let’s answer the common top 8 rubber surfacing FAQs one by one:

1. Where can you apply rubber surfacing?

Owing to its anti-skid and vibration impact absorption properties, Rubber Surfacing is the preferred surface flooring option for indoors. It’s even a good option for outdoor areas that require a non-slip and hard-wearing surface.

Besides, there is a wide range of rubber surfacing options to add to the comfort and aesthetics of space.

Rubber surfaces are popularly installed in resorts, swimming pool decks, playgrounds, parks, recreational areas, daycares, senior care centers, commercial spaces, homes, garages, walkways, and more.

2. On what subfloors can you install rubber flooring?

As long as you have a stable subfloor, you can install rubber flooring. Rubber surfaces are usually laid on concrete, tiles, asphalt, wood, stone, brick, steel, and carpet.

3. What surface depth is needed for rubber surface installation?

The minimum thickness that can be laid will depend on the existing base.  Usually, 20mm thickness and above can be installed onto a stable, concrete area. If your subfloor is type-1 mot stone, a minimum of 40mm thickness can be installed.

Since playground areas are flooded with swings and other such equipment, the depth of wet pour rubber will be determined by the equipment. You will have to meet the critical fall height based on that equipment.

4. How long do you have to wait before you walk or park on your rubber surface?

The curing period for pour-in-place rubber differs from place to place. It is determined by temperature and humidity level. However, typically, it takes 48 hours for pour-in-place rubber to set properly before you are able to walk on that surface.

However, for parking a car or placing any heavy or high-pressure equipment on the new rubber surface, it is best to wait for 3-5 days.

5. What is the best tip to maintain a rubber surface?

It is easy to maintain a rubber surface. You can simply brush the surface regularly or use a blower on the surface to get rid of airborne particles or other debris.

After 3-5 years, you will be required to deep clean the surface using a pressurized water process.

Outdoor rubber flooring needs extra care. Since it is subject to wear and tear, to extend its lifespan, you can:

  • Use UV-stable rubber flooring. It will prevent the product from fading after a while.
  • Owing to its porous nature, salts from the rainwater get trapped in the rubber floors. Clean the surface on a regular basis using a mild cleaning solution. It will remove the deposits.
  • Ensure that your installation experts are aware of technical details such as the expansion and contraction of rubber. The tech details should be factored in when working on a project.

For winter maintenance, use snow shovels with plastic blades. For avoiding ice and slippery conditions, you can use ice melt products.

And in the spring, use pressure washing to get rid of any stains and residue.

6. What is the lifespan of a rubber floor?

Usually, rubber floor manufacturers offer a warranty of 5 years. But the lifespan of a rubber floor will depend on how you use and maintain the floor. You can follow the tips mentioned in point 5 to elongate the lifespan of your rubber surface flooring.

7. What if an area of your rubber surfacing gets damaged?

If an area of your floor gets damaged, you can replace it by re-pouring the rubber-resin mix. It will mix well with the rest of the surface. You won’t even notice any trace of the repairs.

You can get the help of certified professionals for handling such tasks.

8. Is rubber surfacing eco-friendly?

Some of the rubber surfacings are made with recycled and pre-cycled tire materials. Since old tires are a significant problem in the landfills and add to the release of methane, opting for rubber flooring is taking an eco-friendly step. You will be helping in reducing the number of old tires that get dumped in the landfill.

Wrap up

There you have it! The top 8 rubber surfacing FAQs answered. You can read this article anytime you have a query concerning rubber surface application, installation, performance, technical aspects, and maintenance. And unless you are very confident about the installation procedure or have already successfully installed it, it is best to leave the task to an expert.

rubber flooring basements
CategoriesResidential

Rubber Flooring for Basements: What You Need to Know

Are you planning to transform your basement into a gym? Or perhaps, you might even want to turn your basement into a home office.

Though these ideas are great, basements have a reputation of being damp, moldy, stinky, and high in moisture level.

However, there’s a solid solution that can help you do away with these issues for once and all – and that is rubber flooring.

Installing rubber surfacing on your basement floor will solve a huge chunk of these problems.

Here are important things you need to know about basement rubber flooring:

Why should you choose rubber flooring for basements?

Basement moisture is one of the most common issues people face. Plus, its damp and humid environment attracts molds, mildew, bacteria, fungi, and other organisms.

And many online studies suggest that mold and mildew can cause headaches, allergic reactions, and breathing issues. It is especially bad for people with asthmatic conditions.

Plus, 40% of the air that fills the first floor of your house comes from your basement. This makes it even more crucial to keep your basement clean and fresh.

And that’s where rubber flooring comes into the picture.

Installing rubber flooring on your basement floor helps you keep your basement moisture-free and dry. Naturally, you will also be breathing fresher air.

Here are the popular reasons why you should choose rubber flooring for basements:

  • To keep your basement moisture-free

Rubber flooring for basements is the ultimate choice as rubber floors can resist moisture better than other options available on the market. Even in case of water leaking from under the tile, the rubber will serve as a barrier and keep your property safe.

Plus, rubber floors will prevent slips and falls when the floor is wet due to its anti-slip properties.

  • To keep molds and mildews at bay

Molds can give you headaches, allergic reactions, and breathing problems. You can use rubber flooring to keep molds and mildews at bay by keeping your basement dry. Without moisture, molds and mildews will not thrive.

  • Because you get plenty of choices

When planning for your basement floor, you want plenty of choices so that you can choose the best option for your floor. Rubber flooring gives you plenty of options. From rubber floor mats to rubber tile and rubber floor rolls, you get to choose the best available option.

If you are planning to create a home gym, rubber mats can be an ideal option. You can lay them on any hard, flat surface for added cushioning. While thinner mats can be used for home workouts, if you are using professional sports facilities, you can go for a thicker rubber mat so that it can withstand high-impact activity and heavy foot traffic.

Rubber tiles are a popular choice for both residential and commercial areas. And if your basement area is large, you can opt for rubber rolls. They will give you a seamless floor, and at the same time, they are the most economical option.

  • For its versatility

Rubber flooring offers versatility. Whether you want to create a home basement gym, storage room, or just a cozy additional room, rubber flooring can serve many purposes.

Rubber floors are resilient, resistant to moisture, shock-absorbent, durable, easy to clean and maintain and give you a comfy ground for your feet to rest. It can also keep the room warm in winter.

  • For its aesthetic appeal

Basements are usually dark, cold, and creepy areas. Not to mention the musty smell that you get when you enter them. Rubber flooring can not only solve the problem of keeping your basement moisture-free and air clean, but it can also enhance its aesthetic appeal.

Modern rubber floors come in a multitude of colors, designs, patterns, and textures. Some manufacturers even create custom color mixtures. It will definitely give your basement a facelift.

  • For its ease of installation and easy maintenance

Rubber flooring is one of the easiest to install on almost any subfloor type. Depending on the state of the basement surface, area shape, and so on, rubber flooring installation will take only two to three days.

You can take the help of a rubber surfacing expert, discuss your requirements, and just wait and relax. Owing to its durability and sturdiness, you can expect the flooring to last for many years.

All things considered, rubber flooring installation is an excellent investment.

And once the flooring is installed, it is easy to maintain. It is easy to clean, water-proof, and can withstand high volumes of traffic and high impact.

Things to consider while choosing basement floor surfaces

Here’s a checklist you can refer to while choosing your basement floor surfaces:

  • Durability:  Your basement floor surfaces should be durable. Whether you are turning your basement into a gym, storage, or a kid’s playroom, it is going to have a high volume of foot traffic. Plus, you will be placing furniture or equipment. Since the rubber surface is able to withstand the heavyweight, it makes it a great choice.
  • Ease of maintenance: You don’t want basement flooring that needs special cleansing chemicals or tools to clean. You can clean rubber floors easily just by using the items you already have. A vacuum cleaner, soap, and mop are enough.
  • Easy installation: You don’t want to wait for weeks for the installation to be complete. You can choose rubber mats or rolls that are easy to install.
  • Consider your requirements: This one is crucial as it will determine whether you will install thin or thick rubber flooring. Consider whether the flooring needs to meet any specific standards such as traction, stability, slip resistance, shock and sound absorption, and so on.
  • The size and shape of your flooring area: You need to measure the size and shape of your floor area so that there will be no excess or shortage. A flooring installation expert can help you in this process.
  • Project budget: Rubber flooring is affordable. However, you need to talk to an expert and share your requirements to make an estimate of the project.

Wrapping-Up

Basements can be converted into an attractive, functional, and health-friendly space, provided you know how to remodel it. Installing rubber flooring is a great idea if you are aiming for a home gym, kid’s playroom, storage space, or workroom.

Also, make sure that you lay out a good plan that will be able to guide your installation process before getting started.

featured aquatic environments flooring
CategoriesResidential

Safety Flooring for Aquatic Environments: An Essential Guide

Amusement parks with water-play features often see injuries due to riding operator error, defective rides, mechanical issues, and falls. However, one of the most catastrophic injuries that occur in such aquatic environments is due to tripping hazards and unsafe surfaces. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission confirms that each year, thousands of kids and adults suffer from fall injuries on pool decks, spray zones, splash pads, rain decks, or recreation parks, resulting in emergency room visits.

The operators of such recreational spaces have always struggled with an ideal surfacing owing to their playful and interactive nature. The combination of bare feet and the absence of safety surfacing can leave the users with bruises, broken bones, burned feet, and head injuries. The liability of such injuries often lies the theme park owner, the staff and the ride operator, the equipment manufacturer, and the contractors and subcontractors working on a property.

To solve these issues and make their amusement destination safe and enjoyable, pool and splash pad owners have been applying playground safety surfaces like poured-in-place rubber surfacing. Here’s why!

Rubber Surfaces Meet the NSF /ANSI 50 Requirements

Rubber surfacing is an ideal surface for aquatic environments as they meet the NSF/ANSI 50 requirements.

The NSI or the National Sanitation Foundation is a third-party certification group that works with various stakeholders to offer safety-based risk management solutions.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization that administers the US voluntary performance standards for products and systems related to recreational water facilities.

In 2019, the NSI/ANSI introduced a standard for the surfacing requirements in an aquatic environment. It required surfaces to meet six performance and safety-based requirements.

1. Slip Resistance

All surfaces of pool decks and splash pads should be slip-resistant and offer enough traction underfoot without being abrasive. The surface is independently tested using the British pendulum method that simulates real-world conditions.

Rubber has a high coefficient of friction; hence, it is known to have anti-skid properties even in wet conditions. The flooring is non-slip and prevents falls and serious injuries. Moreover, rubber surfacing is comfortable and non-abrasive underfoot, thereby preventing scratches or bruises when people walk barefoot.

2. Impact Absorption

An ideal water park or splash pad surface should be able to absorb the impact of a fall. The surface should achieve a Head Injury Criterion (HIC) of less than 1000  with a minimum fall height of 0.20 meters. It’s critical to keep HIC below 1000 (the ideal value is 750) as the probability of serious injuries increases with the increase in the value.

When a person slips or falls, the impact force causes serious injuries. Surfacing materials like rubber have high impact-absorbing potential. EPDM rubber molecules can reduce the amplitude of incoming shock waves, thereby preventing injury to the joints or tissues. These surfaces are specially designed to cushion a falling person, making them ideal for areas frequented by seniors and children.

3. Chemical Resistance 

The surfacing material used should resist the aggressive and corrosive action of chlorine, algaecides, salts, and other disinfectants used in pools and splash pads.

EPDM rubber is a tough surfacing material that resists most of the harsh chemicals used to arrest the growth of pathogens and maintain the pH of the water. Moreover, EPDM floors are quoted with a special coating that can boost their chemical resistance.

4. UV Light Resistance

The standards require surfaces to be highly resistant to UV radiation without degrading the material or causing discoloration.

River Rock Resurfacing’s rubber surfacing comes with a resin (a polymer) that’s made up of long chains of repeating molecules. This lends the surface its tensile strength, flexibility, and resistance to ultraviolet exposure. Though the UV exposure can cause these resins to amber temporarily, it will not have any negative impact on color, resilience, or adhesion.

5. Ease of Cleaning

According to the standards, an ideal surface should respond well to cleaning and sanitization measures. Further, it should be inhospitable to pathogens.

Rubber surfaces resist the growth of pathogens. The specially designed resins used as binders further make it impossible for bacteria, viruses, or mold to grow or proliferate. This makes poured-in-place rubber surfacing safe and hygienic.

6. Impermeability 

Lastly, the surface should be impermeable to water, sunscreen, and other substances.

Rubber surfaces are impermeable and can stand up to moisture. The surface is sealed to minimize its absorption of water and stains. This protects the subfloor from moisture damage and the excess water can be easily wiped off.

Rubber Surfaces Are Easy to Install

Rubber safety surfacing comprises high-grade ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber granules mixed with a strong urethane binder. The mixture can be applied to cracked, worn, or heaved surfaces made of concrete, asphalt, flagstone, and others to achieve a seamless look.

The installation takes 1-2 days depending on the condition of the subfloor. This means you get a seamless carpet-like surface in less than 48 hours.

Rubber Surfaces Are Super-Customizable 

EPDM granules are available in a wide variety of colors. Further, the surface can be customized as per your needs and brand theme. You can either go for a single color or choose the speckled look to complement the overall look of the recreational space.

EPDM

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The River Rock Resurfacing team can tailor the surface according to your requirements. Get in touch with us for details!

Summing Up

Water parks and splash pads are the best spots to visit in summers as they are full of fun rides and water-play features. But besides ensuring a fun and adventurous environment for all, splash pads, pools, and water parks should be safe for use.

Safety is a prime consideration in surface designing for aquatic environments. That’s where rubber surfacing comes into the picture. Wet-pour rubber surfaces are durable and slip-resistant, making them a safe surface for aquatic environments.

If you are considering a resurfacing project for your pool deck, splash pad, or water park, talk to our team. We are eagerly waiting for your call or email!

Best Places to Install Poured-in-Place Rubber Surfacing
CategoriesTips & Tricks

6 Best Places to Install Poured-in-Place Rubber Surfacing

Deciding on a surface system can be quite a complicated process unless you have an engineering background. Since every surfacing system has its share of pros and cons, choosing one that best fits your needs and requirements is the only way to go. A key aspect in doing so is understanding the kind of safety features you require and evaluating the costs associated with each surfacing system.

Poured-in-place rubber surfaces are two-layered unitary surfaces, considered to be some of the most versatile and safe flooring systems for places with a high probability of slip and fall incidents. In fact, did you know that flooring systems cause more than 2 million fall injuries each year? The surface can be of varying thickness based on the fall height that you have defined and follows the guidelines set forth by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Here are a few places where installing poured-in rubber surfacing might prove to be the ideal solution:

1. Playground

Children spend a lot of time out in the sun, playing outdoor games during their formative years. It might seem like an insignificant activity at the outset, but time spent on the playground potentially affects the social and cognitive development of children. Physical activity is also equally important for their growth, making playgrounds a crucial environment for children. But more than 200,000 children end up in emergency rooms due to playground injuries each year, highlighting the need for a safer environment.

Poured-in-place (PIP) rubber or wet-pour rubber is known to be one of the preferred playground surfaces due to the added safety and durability of the material. Since PIP rubber surfaces do not splinter and are shock absorbent, they make for an ideal playground surface. They also eliminate the scope of potential “surprises” that children might otherwise find buried in mulch surfaces. This includes discarded cigarettes, animal feces, or litter that you do not want your children to touch or come in contact with.

Moreover, considering the heavy footfall that playgrounds witness, the PIP rubber surface tends to be more preferred as once installed, it can last for more than 10 years.

2. Schools

When we talk about places that bolster the cognitive and physical development of children, schools evidently top the list. Schools witness children of all age groups walking and running, highlighting the importance of having a safe surface, more than any other place. Like playgrounds, schools also witness a heavy footfall every single day making it important for their surface system to be of good quality and long-lasting.

Schools generally have in-built gymnasiums, playgrounds, and plenty of outdoor areas where children are likely to engage in sports, outdoor games, and activities. Covering such surfaces with PIP rubber can be the right solution to ensuring the safety of the children and young athletes in the school. What’s more, PIP rubber surfaces are wheelchair accessible, and thus a great way for schools to be more inclusive of children with disabilities.

The biggest advantage associated with PIP rubber surfaces is that it is safe for critical fall heights of up to 10 to 12 feet, and appropriate for children aged 2 to 12. It is also highly cost-effective making it the perfect fit for the limited budgets usually seen in schools. For the same reasons, poured-in-place rubber surfaces are also considered to be a suitable surfacing system for daycare centers.

3. Pool Decks

Swimming pools are beloved by people of all ages and considered to be a great source of escape from the smoldering summer heat. Since a lot of water could splash from the pool onto the deck, slip and fall accidents are highly likely. Poured-in-place rubber surfaces can also allow you to experiment with the color and aesthetics around the pool and keep the surface temperature cooler, thus amplifying the experience of swimming in the pool.

Even in the case of pool decks, the safety factor associated with PIP rubber surfaces is undebatable. Such surfaces can increase the traction if they get wet, making it easier for people to walk on the deck even if they have just stepped out of the pool.

The slip-proof and water-proof qualities associated with PIP rubber surfaces make them the ideal choice for community pools, hotels/resorts, or even professional swimming institutes. It is also highly preferred in water-themed parks where slippery surfaces can lead to serious accidents and injuries.

4. Garage Floors

Looking for a stable surfacing system for your home garage and thinking of settling for concrete? Think again. If you plan to use the garage to park multiple cars and to store hardware, you might need a sturdier surface that can handle a certain extent of wear and tear.

While rubber surfaces are great for outdoor areas, their shock-absorbent properties make them an equally viable option for garages. They are also low maintenance and inexpensive, making them a perfect choice for your home garage. You can bring your artsy side out and erect installations, or create a workshop in your garage without the fear of damaging your flooring system. However, you should be mindful of the type of rubber you use, as not all of them can hold up under the weight of parked automobiles and engine oils.

The easy-to-install process ensures that you do not need to carry out regular repairs and maintenance on your garage surface.

5. Gyms and Fitness Centers

With increased attention on maintaining fitness and agility among people across the globe, gymnasiums are more popular than ever. Some even say that getting arduous exercise regularly can be therapeutic. Regardless of the reason why you go to the gym, working out in a safe environment is important, and can even motivate you to keep going.

Even the most highly trained athletes require soft surfaces to train since something as simple as dropping weights on the floor can severely damage the flooring system. Even if you do not perform any intensive exercises and just do sit ups, having a soft surface can help you avoid potential injuries. PIP rubber flooring is not only easier to clean and maintain, but its durability also makes it a cost-effective option for gymnasiums.

Since PIP rubber surfaces can handle a greater footfall, they are also more preferable for larger and more specialized gyms as they can easily handle a larger extent of wear and tear.

6. Public Parks

Public parks can be great sources of recreation and are known to have better air quality making them a preferred place for people who are looking to take a break. They are also the perfect destination for children and families to have picnics, connect with each other, and nature. Since people of all ages visit and enjoy public parks, they should be equipped with a surface that prevents unforeseeable slip and fall accidents.

Moreover, public parks house play areas for children where a sturdy rubber flooring system is almost a necessity. In addition to protecting children from having accidents and any serious injuries, you can add a lot of aesthetic appeal to the PIP rubber flooring making it more attractive and appealing to kids and adults alike. And yes, they are UV-stable in most cases, which means that they are unlikely to dry up as a result of overexposure to the sun.

Wrapping up

Selecting the right surface for a property is no easy task, and requires a lot of deliberation and consideration. Poured-in-place rubber surfacing can be the perfect flooring solution for many commercial, public as well as private properties. With salient features such as cost-effectiveness, easy installation, slip-resistance, water-proofing, and low maintenance, it is perfect for areas that witness heavy footfall and extensive wear and tear. Also known as a playground surface, it is a great way to ensure safety without compromising on aesthetics.

CategoriesUncategorized

5 Signs Your Pool Deck Needs a Resurfacing

Summer times are best enjoyed by the pool. But as we ‘dive into’ the pool season, it’s also important to give our pool deck surfacing a critical inspection. When enjoying some outdoor recreation time with loved ones, the last thing we want is an accident or a serious injury owing to a faulty pool deck.

Watch out for the below-mentioned signs to decide whether or not your pool deck needs resurfacing. This simple exercise will help you prevent damages that otherwise compromise the safety, longevity, and aesthetics of the pool.

1. Visible Signs of Wear

The top sign that your pool deck’s demanding resurfacing is when you see visible signs of wear and tear. Chips, blemishes, and cracks on the pool deck surface aren’t just unsightly but also compromise the overall safety of the deck and the integrity of the structure.

Here are a few signs of aging deck surface you should watch out for –

– Scaling

A brittle surface that’s scaling or flaking is weak and ugly to look at. Being rough and uneven, such surfaces are tough to walk on bare feet.

A non-abrasive and non-slip surface like rubber is great for walking around barefoot around the pool. Rubber surfaces are smooth and prevent cuts and other injuries that may occur when pool users move around with wet feet.

– Stains or Discoloration

A few surfaces like concrete are porous; so, in case of a spill, there’s a high chance of it leaving an ugly stain or a discoloration on the surface. Stains are harmless; yet, they reduce the aesthetic value of the area.

If the discoloration bothers you, it’s time to consider a pool deck resurfacing.

– Overheated Surface

With age, pool deck surfaces tend to lose their finishing or protective coating, exposing the concrete subfloor to the sunlight. This results in the surface turning too hot for anyone to walk around barefoot.

If your pool deck surface is overheating, it’s time to consider adding a protective layer on the concrete surface, thereby keeping it cool enough to walk on.

If you see such damage get in touch with your local pool deck resurfacing expert to get your pool to look great again.

2. Hairline Cracks on the Surface or Crumbling of the Cement Foundation

Outdoor structures suffer from the issue of the soil settling in the ground underneath. Moreover, several environmental factors impact the foundation’s stability. This may show up as hairline cracks at first and further lead to fissures in the foundation. Eventually, the cement begins to crumble and sag.

Weather and age often take a toll on the pool deck’s foundation, causing it to sag. A sagging foundation deepens the cracks, thereby inviting termites and speeding up the deck deterioration.

Such signs are tough to ignore as they can lead to tripping hazards and negatively affect the integrity of the structure. Further, an unsightly and misaligned foundation reduces the property’s real estate value.

If you see signs of the pool foundation sinking or the deck surface going spongy, it’s time to work towards preventing further damage.

3. Slippery Walkways

A slippery pool deck surface can pose a serious safety hazard for people using the space, especially seniors and kids. A slippery surface has lost its traction, thereby increasing the chances of a fall injury.

When you see people slipping or tripping when using the pool deck, it’s time to schedule a resurfacing service right away. Most pool owners in the US opt for wet-pour rubber surfacing as rubber is known to have a high coefficient of friction. This property of rubber gives the surface just the right traction even in wet conditions.

Moreover, rubber is springy and shock-absorbing; hence, it reduces the impact of a fall, making it a safe and effective surface for pool decks. If you are looking for an anti-skid and safe surface for your pool surroundings, get in touch with River Rock Resurfacing. Our team of experts will inspect your pool and guide you through your pool deck resurfacing project.

4. Rotten Foundation

Most modern pool decks are constructed with concrete footings and material like rubber that’s impermeable to moisture. This stops the moisture from getting into the foundation.

However, old decks made of wooden boards tend to rot when water gets in and the deck isn’t maintained properly. This can cause issues like mold and mildew that gradually weaken the foundation.

Therefore, we recommend opting for a surface that naturally repels moisture and is inhospitable to pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

5. You Want to Boost Your Property Value

Another big reason you should consider resurfacing your pool deck is when you want to sell your house or boost its real estate value. A damaged and unsafe deck significantly reduces the value of a residential property. Resurfacing can improve your home’s curb appeal, attract potential buyers (in case you are planning to sell your house), and impress your neighbors and guests.

What’s the Best Surface for Pool Decks?

A swimming pool deck needs a durable, high-traction, and non-abrasive surface like poured-in-place rubber surfacing. The seamless anti-skid surface is safe to walk on and can be customized to suit the pool owner’s requirements. Further, rubber surfacing is available in a wide variety of colors and textures to improve the aesthetics of your pool.

Summing Up

Swimming pools exist to offer a fun and refreshing experience to people of all ages. However, a faulty pool deck surface holds several hidden dangers that can ruin your experience.

Keep an eye out for the aforementioned warning signs of an unsafe pool deck surface. If you spot any of these, get a resurfacing expert to give your pool deck a new look.

CategoriesTips & Tricks

7 Things You’ve Probably Missed Noting about Rubber Flooring

Rubber surfacing offers an array of benefits in outdoor and indoor environments. Whether it is their tactile and attractive appeal or durability, rubber flooring is quite popular as it comes across as a versatile option for all surfacing needs.

The benefits of rubber flooring aren’t hidden from anyone. Yet, there are a few facts that aren’t known to many. In this post, you’ll find the lesser-known facts about poured-in-place rubber surfacing that are sure to encourage you to opt for this material when taking up your next resurfacing project.

1. The Flooring Pays for Itself in the Long Term

Poured-in-place rubber surfaces are highly durable and will last you for more than a decade if taken care of. Rubber is a tenacious material that can stand up to routine wear and tear. The surface is resistant to scratches, dents, chemicals, and stains.

It is susceptible to grease stains; however, that can be tackled with routine waxing. The process is also known to improve the surface’s resistance to damage and discoloration.

Once installed, little is needed to clean and maintain the floor. The surface forms an impermeable layer against moisture, thereby protecting the subfloor from damage. Also, rubber surfaces are inhospitable to mold, bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. Hence, it’s a hygienic surface that demands minimum upkeep.

Though you may find the installation pricey, the flooring pays for itself in the long term through the world of benefits it offers.

2. It’s a Quiet Flooring

Rubber is an excellent choice for spaces that need zero sound transmission. The acoustic flooring can prevent the transmission of sound from one room to the other. This feature is especially useful in gyms, workshops, and commercial kitchens where a lot of noise is generated.

Rubber has a high-impact insulation class (ICC) and sound transmission class (STC). This means that rubber can prevent the transmission of impact noise (foot traffic or machine vibration) and airborne noise (people talking, speakers, and instruments). Hence, wet-pour rubber is a great choice for apartment buildings, gyms, hospitals, daycare centers, senior care facilities, and any space that needs quiet.

3. It Can Be Applied the Spaces You Didn’t Think of

And

Its Application Isn’t Limited to Gyms and Garages

The general misconception is that rubber surfaces are only meant for commercial spaces like warehouses, gyms, and garages. However, the fact is, owing to their versatility and attractive appeal, rubber surfacing can be installed in almost any space you can think of and isn’t limited to gyms and garages.

Wet-pour rubber surfacing is available in a wide variety of colors and can be customized as per your needs and overall decor. Rubber also makes a comfortable flooring underfoot, thereby relieving the strain on leg muscles.

Rubber is a surface material of choice in –

  • Residential applications like kitchens, entryway, driveway, walkway, garage, basement, kids’ room, bedrooms, audiovisual rooms, pool decks, and bathrooms.
  • Commercial settings like gyms, industrial kitchens, offices, and workshops.
  • Senior care facilities
  • Daycare facilities
  • Pet daycare centers
  • Hospitals
  • Farm buildings
  • Horse barns
  • Trailer decks
  • Public pool decks and other spaces

4. It Can Elevate the Look of Any Space

As mentioned earlier, rubber surfaces are available in a wide variety of colors and patterns. You can choose from our range of EPDM color granules and install a surface that’ll complement the overall decor. You can use a single color or mix two or more colors to achieve the speckled look.

The River Rock Resurfacing team can also customize the flooring as per your brand theme and overall decor.

Head to our Instagram page to learn about the endless possibilities.

So, say bye to those times when rubber flooring was only available in black or gray tones. Today, it can be installed in residential and commercial settings to achieve an aesthetically pleasing look.

5. It Is Eco-Friendly and Devoid of Toxic Chemicals

Virgin rubber is usually procured from trees. However, River Rock Resurfacing uses recycled tires, thereby preventing them from getting diverted to landfills. Discarded tires consume a lot of space in landfills that contribute to the emission of methane gas. This gas is responsible for environmental issues like the global warming phenomenon.

By using these rejected tires, we are minimizing our carbon footprint. This makes rubber surfacing eco-friendly.

Next, we come to the belief that rubber surfaces contain toxic chemicals. This belief mostly prevails because elements such as arsenic, nickel, and benzene, found in rubber, are linked with life-threatening diseases like cancer. However, such issues are only caused when these elements are present in huge proportions.

Rubber surfaces are known to have traces of these elements, which doesn’t make them toxic!

Need proof?

Check out this research paper from the US Environmental Protection Agency that proves the safety of rubber surfacing.

Also, read through what Michael Peterson has to say in this matter. Michael is a board-certified toxicologist at Gradient, an environmental and risk sciences consulting firm.

6. It Won’t Make Your Space Smell Forever

There’s no denying, when newly installed, rubber surfaces tend to emit a rubber-like odor; something that’ll remind you of a tire shop. But how long the odor prevails hugely depends on the level of ventilation and the size of the room.

Once the area is aired well, the smell fades away. Moreover, with routine cleaning, the odor is almost undetectable. So, if you’ve installed a rubber surface in an open playground, the smell will disappear within a day or two.

7. The Surface Needs Resealing Once in Two Years

Wet-pour rubber surfaces comprise two layers –

  • The base layer that acts as the impact attenuation layer and
  • The top color or the finish layer that protects the layer below from wear

If not maintained routinely, the finish layer (carrying the sealant, glue, and UV protection) can get damaged or break into granules, thereby exposing the base layer. This causes the surface to lose its traction and shock-absorbing potential.

Hence, it’s critical to get your local rubber surfacing expert to reseal the flooring and prevent potential damage. We recommend resealing the surface once in two years to repair the wear, improve its UV resistance, and make the flooring look as good as new.

Summing Up

Owing to its longevity and high performance, rubber surfacing offsets several cost variables. Moreover, the surface proves to be a profitable investment in the long term.

If you are considering a resurfacing project shortly, get in touch with River Rock Resurfacing. Our team of experts is ever ready to answer your questions and guide you through your refurbishment project. Call us now to share your requirements!

Playground Surface
CategoriesResidential

The Only Advice You’ll Need When Installing a Safe Playground Surface

The Consumer Product Safety Commission shares that each year more than 200 thousand kids land up in the emergency room due to injuries in public playgrounds. Nearly 80% of these injuries are due to falls and 10% of the cases are treated from traumatic brain injuries.

This data is enough to lay emphasis on the need for safety surfacing in playgrounds. If you are planning a playground resurfacing, it’s wise to consider the points shared in this post. This will help you build a playground that’s safe and enjoyable for the little ones.

1. Begin with a Levelled Surface 

A leveled playground works great for any surface you choose as it helps in getting rid of the obstacles and depressions in the ground that may cause tripping hazards. The smooth surface also acts as a great base for surfaces like wet-pour rubber to settle in and achieve the depth required for maximum safety.

This is a good time to think about getting rid of the large rocks, tree stumps, or troughs on the surface. Also, if you think drainage will be an issue, work on it now. For instance, you can provide for drainage by having a 3 inch base of pea gravel or rock.

2. Filter Out the Inappropriate Surfacing Options

First things first, be clear about what you do not want for your playground flooring.

An ideal playground flooring should be durable with high traction and shock-absorbing potential. The surface should be firm but soft and springy underfoot to make it comfortable and safe for the little ones to move around without the fear of injuries. Also, it should be stain-resistant and impermeable to moisture damage.

All this means grass, concrete, asphalt, pea gravel, sand, and engineered wood chips are out. These surfacing materials may seem like a great playground surfacing option, they lead to unnecessary hazards as they are non-impact absorbing surfaces. Further, materials like sand and wood chips soon disburse across the ground or begin to decompose, heavily compromising the integrity and safety of the surface.

Instead, think of a versatile flooring option like poured-in-place rubber surfacing that will not just withstand heavy foot traffic and intensive activities but is also springy enough to absorb fall impact and prevent injuries.
Surfacing Options
Also, EPDM rubber surfacing is available in a variety of colors and can be customized as per your needs to build an attractive ADA-accessible playground surface.

3. Consider the Impact Attenuation of the Playground Surfaces 

Playground surfaces should be built in a way that protects the little users from an impact that results in an injury.

Impact attenuation is the measure of the shock-absorbing potential of a playground surface. Testing a play area for impact attenuation is important for reducing the risk of serious head injuries.

The test simulates the impact of a kid’s head on the surface. During the test, a ball form, representing a child’s head, is dropped from varying heights onto the surface. The results determine the critical fall height which is the vertical distance between the playground surface and the highest designated play area or the highest point a child can safely stand on.

Simply put, the critical fall height is the highest point from which a serious injury will not occur. So, if your playground surface’s fall height is 4 feet, it means that a kid can fall from this height without any life-threatening injury.

Choose a surface that offers maximum impact attenuation. For instance, a poured-in-place rubber surface is made up of two layers that use a binder (aliphatic or aromatic) and are troweled on the spot.

  • The base layer comprising tire buffings for maximum impact attenuation
  • The top layer that’s typically made of EPDM rubber

River Rock Resurfacing is dedicated to preventing fall injuries in children. We comply with the standard specification for impact attenuation detailed in ASTM F1292.

4. Maintain the Playground

Regardless of the type of flooring material used, it’s important to invest in the regular upkeep of the space. Kids love running and jumping around. That’s what playgrounds are made for. However, if these high-traffic spaces aren’t maintained properly the surface may develop tripping hazards or offer inadequate fall protection.

For instance, in the case of rubber surfacing, the installer should routinely check if the EPDM granules are dislodging in the high-traffic areas. If that’s the case, they will use a rebinder to rebind the surface before it becomes unsafe for use. Only an expert rubber surfacing installer will proactively conduct such inspections and take the necessary precautions.

Wrapping Up

Many serious fall injuries can be prevented on playgrounds by just installing an appropriate surface. Today, most playgrounds prefer poured-in-place rubber surfacing because it’s tough, lasts for several years, and can absorb the impact of a fall. This makes this surface a safe choice for playgrounds, playpens, daycare centers, school play areas, or any space that’s frequented by children.

If you are planning to undertake a playground resurfacing project, contact River Rock Resurfacing. With more than 5000 completed projects, we have been bringing smiles to our client’s faces for more than three decades. Call us now to share your requirement!

pool deck surfacing tips
CategoriesTips & Tricks

A Brief Guide to Pool Deck Resurfacing

Pool decks can make or break the surroundings of your swimming pool while rendering unique aesthetic elements to your house or housing complex. This is one of the biggest reasons why things like broken concrete or scattered surface materials should never be left to linger on your pool deck for long.

Sometimes, doing something as simple as choosing the right surfacing material can make all the difference, and other times, it might require the right set of skills to extend the aesthetic appeal of your pool deck.

Here are a few pool deck surfacing tips and a brief guide to help you things on the right track, when it comes to resurfacing your pool deck:

What is Pool Deck Resurfacing?

Pool deck resurfacing is a great way to spruce up your swimming pool, by integrating new and interesting elements, which can essentially personalize it. Swimming pool deck resurfacing is the process of revamping the surfacing system of your pool with new material balancing utility as well as aesthetic appeal of your deck. Apart from having enough space, and the right flooring, it is also important to choose the right material for your pool deck surfacing so that it is durable and effective.

Now that you know that pool deck resurfacing can help you make great first impressions, it is also important to know the basics of how to go about it. Here is a breakdown of how pool deck resurfacing can be carried out:

Step 1 – Prepare:

When it comes to pool deck surfacing, the first step should always be to ensure that your floor is prepared and repaired satisfactorily. Before you even think of laying down the surface, you should ensure that you fix all the cracks or any existing damages.

Step 2 – Prime:

Once your floor is fixed and ready for your new surface, the next step would be to prime it. Firstly, you should pressure wash the floor, and then after it is dried, you should apply primer if needed.

Step 3 – Ready Product:

After your prim and proper floor is all set for the new surface, it is a good time to get your surface material ready. For instance, if you are opting for a concrete surface, it is time to mix the product and color, so that it is ready for application.

Step 4 – Overlay and Seal:

Depending on the material you choose, you might need to deploy different kinds of overlays after applying your surface. You can choose to roll, spray or trowel based on the chosen material, till the desired look is achieved. After the overlay is cured, it is time to seal the surface with a powerful sealer. Adding a sealer ensures that you add more protection and resistance.

Now that you are familiar with the process of going about swimming pool deck resurfacing, it would bode well for you to be acquainted with the various kinds of surface materials that you can choose from.

Which Material Should you Choose?

Figuring out the surfacing system is half of the work that goes into resurfacing your pool deck. It is important to choose materials that would not be durable but also utility-friendly and befitting the aesthetic that you are aiming for. Some of the initial considerations that are important at this stage are whether you want the deck to have special features such as slip resistance, or whether they are tailored to your climate.

Here are some of the primary types of surface materials that are used for pool deck surfacing:

  • Concrete

    Pool decks have since long utilized concrete for surfacing, due to its durability and versatility. Since it can be poured, stained or stenciled, and easily laid down, concrete is also considered to be a flexible option in terms of design. Moreover, it is a highly cost-effective option and can be customized in terms of color and texture. You can even design the concrete to give it a stone-like appearance which can be a great way to achieve the stone aesthetic without having to spend a fortune.

  • Rock/Stone

    If you are going for a rustic and earthy aesthetic for your pool deck, choosing stone or rock for your surface can be a great idea. Limestone due to its cooling effect is a great option if your climate is hot and humid, and Sandstone is a great option for its texture. The cost associated with this surfacing option is usually high and is hence, more common in commercial properties than residential ones. It is preferable to choose stone options that are available in your region, to reduce the cost considerably.

  • Tiles

    Ceramic tiles are yet another great option that can be considered for pool deck surfacing for your swimming pool. They can create a look that exudes sophistication and class. With tiles, you can go for the glazed ones, or choose a matte finish to render a more stone-like look and feel. The trick with ceramic tiles is to pick ones that are graded highly for slip resistance, considering they would form the surface of your pool deck.

  • Wood

    A wooden swimming pool deck. Not surprising or uncommon, right? Wood as you know is one of the most common materials used for pool decks – residential or commercial. Wooden surfaces fall within the medium to high pricing bracket, considering the fact that they require regular maintenance including sanding, polishing, and cleaning. Wooden decks can provide a unique and organic aesthetic appeal to your pool deck, but also tend to rot easily making yearly maintenance mandatory.

Wrapping up

Creating the perfect pool deck might seem like a cumbersome and complicated task at the outset, but with the right information and technical expertise at your disposal, you can create one that fits your needs and is beautiful. One of the main considerations that you should keep in mind while resurfacing your swimming pool deck is to choose the right surface materials to meet your needs and budget.

Moreover, it is also important to know the basics of how to lay down pool deck resurfacing so that you can be wary of any mistakes in the process and make the right decisions for achieving the pool deck of your dreams.