Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Playground Border

There are many ways to retain the surfacing.  A recessed pit with proper drainage installed does not require an above ground border or barrier, and may result in less of a tripping hazard.  PVC landscape timbers can be utilized in above ground installations. Playground timbers have a long term durability factor and are usually secured with long, galvanized steel stakes with rounded heads recessed into the timbers. While either of these require a greater up front expense, they require less maintenance and upkeep.
I obtain landscape timbers from the local lumber yard.  Bad Choice?
Let math and common sense prevail!  If you must install up to 12” of surfacing in your use zone, then you must have a containment border at a minimum of 12” high.  Lumber yard timbers are usually 3.5” high.  This would require that you stack these timbers four layers high.  Securing these rows of timbers must be done layer by layer.  Using screws, nails or bolts is placing a LOT of known dangers in your child activity area.  Cutting these timbers to proper length breaches the value of the treatment used to preserve it.  The lower rows of timbers are in constant contact with ground water run-off and drainage so there is a high probability of decomposition and failure.  You may now have a very dangerous situation, with instability, sharp edges, sharp protrusions, and failure to contain the surfacing material. Maintaining and replacing this bulging and toppling wall is difficult and labor intensive.  This type of landscape timber is probably one of the worst choices for containment of your surfacing material!  

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