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Poured in place rubber surfacing is NOT a maintenance free surface like some vendors might represent. Worse, it is a an expensive surface to repair. Therefore, maintaining it properly is paramount. Here are a few pointers to help you in maintaining a poured in place rubber surface
– Do not allow sharp objects in the surface area. This includes pointy high heels, pointy ladder legs, pointy chair legs…etc. A good policy to have is to ask parents with any type of high heels to take off their shoes before they go on the surface.
– Do not use metal bristle brooms or metal shovels to clean the surface. These are likely to damage the system and dislodge the granules. Use brooms with nylon bristles or even better: use leaf blowers. They work great on a poured in place rubber surface.
– Resist the urge to power wash the surface. While a professional power washing company can theoretically do it without damaging the bond between the EPDM granules but using a wide angle spray, the risk is too high to even try it. We are called way too often to fix issues that are results of power-washing the poured in place rubber surface.
– Do not use chemicals that dissolve lacquer and glues. (e.g Xylene) There are playground sanitizing products that are convenient and safe to use on a poured in place system. We recommend a playground sanitizer to be used to clean poured rubber surfaces.
– Try to protect the systems from the sun if you can. UV rays are the single most damaging factor to the polyurethane binders that keep the granules in place.
– Use a Top Coat sealer to rejuvenate your surface every two to three years. The word “sealer” is a misnomer since it will not seal your surface. It will still be porous. The sealer will reinforce the binders lost to UV rays. Top coats should be used as a pre-preemptive measure. It is particularly important to use this method when granulation is noticed in the system. We recommend the Rebinder Playground Sealer as it is aliphatic based, so it won’t darken or harden your playground rubber surface.– Finally, if you see a penetration through the wear layer (EPDM layer) or a crack, patch it immediately before it gets worse. You can buy do it yourself playground rubber surface repair kits here.