When you see cracks in your playground rubber surface it could mean a bunch of things:
- Your poured in place rubber surface wear layer is down to a thin layer from it's initial half inch thickness and the surface doesn't have the tensile strength to withstand the stresses of foot traffic and play. So it gives in the weakest point and cracks. Remember that we are dealing with a bunch of rubber granules held together with a polyurethane binder (typically aromatic or aliphatic binders) and hand troweled down. So when the system is too thin because it hasn't been rebinded over the years, granulation will thin the surface and cracks will appear.
- Your wear layer is still fairy intact but the not enough binders were used during the install. This was either done intentionally, or the wrong type of binders used. we have seen situations where the right amount of binders were indeed used but high dust content in the EPDM granules changed the ratios needed.
- Bad quality EPDM. There is EPDM out there that has high moisture content that would affect the surface particularly in colder locations.
- Substrate problems: This happens when the poured in place rubber system is installed over poorly compacted crushed stone aggregates or a drainage issue has shifted the aggregates creating a void underneath. Without a solid base, a thin enough layer will crack before it caves in.
So what to do when you see these cracks? Any of the following options might be available to you:
- If the cracks are pervasive throughout your rubber surface, you might be ready for a recap. That means adding another half inch wear layer. If you want to save some money, you might want to look into our Extender. This is an end of life product solution to rubber surfaces that cannot be rebinded or patched.
- If you only have a few cracks here and there, and these are hairline cracks, our PIP rebinder might work for you.
- If the cracks are a little wider, meaning they admit a dime when it's vertical, you will need to enlarge them with utility knife and use any of poured in place rubber repair kits to patch the area. Make sure you prime before you patch.
If you have any concerns about cracking in your poured in place rubber surface, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with some pictures. You can also call 203-659-0456