How to seal your playground rubber surface

Why would you seal your playground rubber surface to begin with? Most likely than not you were told that your surfacing was maintenance free. That's why you got rid of  the playground mulch to begin with Right?

Wrong. Poured in place rubber surfacing, like most playground surfacing must be maintained to ensure its longevity. You must seal, rebind, recondition your poured in place rubber surface when it needs sealing. And the keyword here is: "When it needs sealing". Not every year, not every couple years. This is one of the main misconceptions we find out there in the field. There are a lot of playground maintenance personnel who put their playgrounds on a sealing schedule, not knowing that they are actually hardening their surface when doing so. Think about it. playground surface conditioners are meant to replace the binders lost to UV. When your surface doesn't need the binder it adds it on top of the existing binder. This is what we call scaling in the field. And beside looking ugly, it is doing something much more damaging to the playground. It is changing the HIC or GMAX criteria that the initial install is supposed to meet.

Now that we have established the need to sea your playground surface, time to show you how to do it. Here at Trassig, we have produced a video that shows you step by step how to seal your playground surface. You can watch the sealing process here. but we'll go over the same steps here any way. 

  1. Pick the right day: Half of a successful sealing is picking up the right day to seal. Temperatures have to be over 60 degrees and it has to be a dry day. The poured in place rebinder or any sealer out there do not mix well with water. We always get questions like this. It says there is a 60% chance rain. Can I still seal my playground surface? The answer is Not if you want to ruin your playground surface. If you seal the playground and it sprinkles a few hours later, you are probable fine, but if it showers half an hour  after you apply the product, it will all turn into foam, and that foam will harden and scale, making the surface harder. The other factor that plays into picking a good day is that you will have to close the playground for 24 hours after application. So you need to plan for that. 

  2. Have the right tools: Be prepared by making sure you have one of at least the following:  
  • Something to mix the sealant with. We prefer a paddle mixer attached to a powerful enough drill.
  • A cheap nap roller that you will throw away after the application
  • Tarps or pieces of cardboard to contain accidental spillage from the pail. This will always be under the pail itself.
  • Gloves. You are working essentially with glues. So make sure you have the right gloves.

  • 3 Apply the sealant the right way: This means an even amount of sealant on the surface. No splashing, no dripping on the poured in surface. If you do drip or spill, you have to spread it quickly with the roller. The video shows in good detail how that is done.