Rubber Mulch

January 10, 2022 1:13 pm

Did Santa bring your kids a playset for Christmas?  Is sprucing up a play space part of your New Year’s to-do list?  Then, you want to look at rubber mulch.  

At-home Playsets

Many at-home playsets are placed directly onto grass.  It is free, usually the surface that is already in the yard when you build the playset, and many homeowners think of it as low maintenance.  Commercial playsets are rarely set on grass because they usually have a more designated area, but some may be on there.  Grass offers very little impact absorption in case of falls.  Grass can also make maintenance difficult on your playset. 

Wooden mulch is another popular choice for playsets.  It prevents weeds, which can make it a low-maintenance option. It is also affordable, which people love. However, mulch can invite pests.  It can also lead to injuries. 

Pea gravel avoids many of the problems associated with mulch.  It discourages pests, while still working as an effective barrier for weeds.  However, pea gravel comes with its own dangers.  It is uncomfortable to walk on and can get very hot in the summertime.  It hurts to fall on it and can even cause injuries.  If you have ever been at a play place with rowdy kids and pea gravel, you have also witnessed how kids can easily turn it into weapons. 

Sand Benefits

Sand offers many of the benefits of pea gravel, but without some of the dangers.  Sand is less likely to injure kids and more difficult to use as a weapon.  It also offers the benefit of being a huge sandbox for kids.  However, a huge sandbox is not always what you want in your backyard.  Neighborhood cats and wildlife may look at it as a giant restroom, which can make it a health hazard.  Sand can also hold water and not dry out in rainy seasons. 

Rubber Mulch

Rubber mulch is the best option for placing underneath a playset.  It offers the greatest impact absorption of all commonly used playground underlayment materials.  While it does not make falling “safe” it does make falls safer than other options.  It is low maintenance and should not require regular replacement.  Simply rake it on a regular basis to remove debris and to ensure adequate coverage.  You can choose earth tones to match your yard or get brightly colored mulch for a vibrant play area.  The main downside of rubber mulch is the initial expense, but because of lower lifelong maintenance costs, it actually ends up being one of the most affordable options. 

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