Whether you’re charged with caring for and maintaining a playground or you’re planning to build a new one, it’s essential to know how long various types of playground surfaces will last and when it’s time to replace them.
When it comes to playground surface life expectancy, it comes down to a few critical factors. These include the materials the flooring, pathways, carpet, synthetic grass, protective mats, and other surfaces are made of and whether or not they were correctly installed.
Traditional Playground Surface Life Expectancy
High-quality poured-in-place and rubber tile playground flooring, as well as artificial turf, will commonly last about a decade and perhaps a few years longer under normal circumstances and with regular maintenance.
However, there’s a variety of other things to consider — ranging from how heavy the usage, local weather conditions and how well it’s installed and cared for — in determining playground surface life expectancy. Fortunately, there are alternatives on the market that take the guesswork out of the equation.
Long-Lasting Playground Surfaces
While you’re undoubtedly familiar with materials such as concrete, rubber and even AstroTurf, have you ever heard of engineered wood fiber (EWF) products? EWF is made of fresh, clean, processed wood that’s ground down into a fibrous consistency and then sized randomly.
This engineered wood fiber is entirely natural, firm, stable, and — you guessed it — an ideal material for producing long-lasting playground surfaces. So how long does engineered wood fiber last?
EWF, when spread and compacted, forms into a cushiony, natural surface that will last for the life of the playground as long as you maintain it by topping it off from time to time. EWF is also available as a slip-resistant and accessible wood carpeting with similar longevity characteristics.
Additional products — such as safety mats for fall protection and access ramps for playground exits and entrances made of various types of heavy-duty foam — are available that are exceptionally durable and long-lasting.
When to Replace Playground Surfaces?
Knowing when to replace playground surfaces is critical to ensuring a safe and compliant environment. If you aren’t sure if the materials in use meet local and federal safety standards, you need to find out and replace them if they do not. Otherwise, regular inspections of playground surfaces should provide the answers you require.
When carpet or tiles becomes dislodged, fall prevention pads are worn down, or there are other signs of damage that can’t be repaired completely, then it’s time to fix the problem before it grows worse and results in an accident or injury.
Partner With Zeager Bros., Inc. for Long-Lasting Playground Surfaces
Zeager is a leading manufacturer of landscape and recreation surfaces. Our selection includes long-lasting outdoor playground products including EWF WoodCarpet®, TuffMat® Surface Mats and TuffMat® Resilient Wear Access Ramps. We offer reasonable prices on premium-quality solutions that extend playground surface life expectancy and improve safety and accessibility.