Friday, November 19, 2010

Concrete Under Play Equipment

I have a concrete pad (or asphalt) under my playground. What type of surfacing is allowed?

Loose fill materials (wood, rubber, sand, gravel) must NOT be installed over concrete or asphalt. Concrete or asphalt surfaces require that you install rubber tiles, mats or poured in place surfacing in your use zone. While this is a much greater initial expense than loose fill products, it is easier to maintain the proper depth of surface. Once purchased and properly installed, compaction and decomposition are much slower. Many owners find this class of material easier to inspect and maintain. The 2008 revision to CPSC guidelines recommends against installing loose fill over hard surface unless there are additional layers of protection added. This is not allowed in some state licensed facilities. The addition of extra protection, wear pads and additional height of containment border add to the cost of loose fill to a price level around the same as unitary surfacing. Maintenance costs will be incurred from continuous efforts to keep the surfacing level proper, membrane barrier intact and safely in place, and drainage subsurface properly installed.

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