Wet Pour Maintenance and Care
Wet Pour Uses
Wet pour playground flooring is a rubber safety surface most commonly found in childrens play areas. It can only be installed by specially trained technicians, as once it is laid it quickly cures and cannot be adjusted. It’s used to reduce the potential impact of a child falling from play equipment, which it does by allowing itself to be compressed, therefore distributing the energy of the falling child. The primary purpose of playground surfaces is to reduce the potential of a serious head injury.
Wet Pour Maintenance
Some firms sell wet pour as a zero maintenance surface (there’s no such thing as a zero maintenance surface), but although it requires much less maintenance in comparison to most other playground surfaces, we advise to allow time for a small amount of maintenance on an annual basis. All the wet pour should require is a clean to remove any contaminants. This can be effected with the use of a stiff broom, jet wash (if no jet wash is available, copious amounts of water and elbow grease will suffice) and a cleaning detergent. A regular domestic washing up liquid is more than adequate for our wet pour product.
Depending on what surrounds your wet pour will determine whether you need to carry out sporadic moss treatments or not. A standard moss treatment for pathways, available from garden centres/landscaping suppliers should be adequate, but instructions must be adhered to in order to avoid harm to children or the environment. If the area is beneath trees, it is likely you will have to do this every 12-24 months. This is the case of all ‘fixed’ playground surfaces beneath trees and although less so with ‘loose fill’ surfaces, such as SafetyStix-Play Bark, they come with their own, much larger and more expensive maintenance schedule.
Damage to Wet Pour
Wet Pour damage can occur for a number of reasons. The main reasons are:
- · Inadequate materials/workmanship of installation
- · Vandal attacks via fire/heat
- · Vandal attacks via sharp object
Probably the most common cause of damage to wet pour is shrinkage. This can occur for a number of reasons, some the fault of the installation contractor and others less so. When wet pour is installed, the top wearing course should only be installed on a dry and a day above 4oC.
The best option is to install the wet pour into ‘pods’ with the perimeters being formed of Pre Cast Concrete edges (or an existing brick wall etc.). Timber edges can be used to save money, but experience has led us to specify Pre Cast Concrete edges as they maintain a stronger bond with the wet pour.
In the event that Wet Pour does shrink, it can be rectified by cutting a wavy, 150-250mm piece along the edge of the shrunken rubber surface and refill it with a contrasting coloured wet pour. We find this looks better than trying to cut a straight line and colour match the wet pour to the existing weathered surface. Alternatively you can overlay the surface with Notts Sport ChildsPlay and benefit from a 5 year guarantee. Take a look, this type of Wet Pour Repair can be cheaper than you might think.
Incorrect Wet Pour Composition.
Some less experienced or less scrupulous contractors will not mix the wet pour correctly. In practice this means using incorrect ratios of rubber to resin binder, which can result in crumbly wet pour that is too soft or wet pour with too much resin which cures too hard. Sadly these can be difficult to spot when the contractors finish the job and in some cases the only option to truly rectify the issues is to have the site re-laid at great expense. This is why it is advisable to use a reputable firm, who can provide references and example jobs you can take a look at.
It is a sad truth that a minority of young people continuously vandalise parks and public spaces in the U.K.. For playgrounds it can involve the damage of the safety surfacing. Sometimes attacked with a knife or screwdriver, the only option in this instance is to patch repair the area as soon as possible. A number of local authorities carry out these small repairs themselves, others use contractors, but either way speed is of the essence. Left too long, vandals focus their attention on the small hole which can quickly develop to a much larger area, costing more to repair. No contractor, that we know of, will guarantee the repairs as the seam is a point of weakness in the surface.
The second form of attack is with heat. Often just a cigarette lighter which causes minimal damage and can easily be patched. Occasionally youngsters will make a fire on the surface itself, sometimes by burning a wheelie bin. The heat that a fire of this nature gives off is significant and the damage to the wet pour can be too. This damage often results in a large repair. Alternatively have a look at our wet pour repair page for information on Notts Sport ChildsPlay cover overs.
The significant advantages of ChildsPlay are although it isn’t immune from vandal attacks (what product is?), it doesn’t shrink and in the event that it does need patching due to vandalism, the seaming process involved in the patching, is the same as the installation process and does come with a 5 year guarantee.