When you purchase a pour-in-place resilient surfacing, you are getting a seamless synthetic unitary surface. Most products use a chemical binder with a rubber granule filler that is mixed and placed on-site. Some newer products on the market use chemically bonded spherical polyurethane pebbles as a topcoat and use a combination of foam and recycled rubber to achieve the cushioning. The pour-in-place resilient surfacing installs over concrete or asphalt. However, a compacted granular base works as well. A passing fall height of 3 m (118.11 in) is often possible when doing surface impact testing on 200 mm (7.87 in) depth with some products. Note that maximum passing fall height, impact attenuation, longevity, and warranty vary from one manufacturer to another.
One of the best advantages of pour-in-place rubber surfacing is wheelchair accessibility for persons with mobility disabilities. Other than rubber tiles, no protective surface can compare with the wheelchair accessibility of pour-in-place rubber surfacing.
Pour-in-place rubber surfacing does not scatter or disperse, so no topping up is required. It is also straightforward to clean. Pour-in-place surfacing also has consistent impact attenuation compared to surfaces that disperse and change depth resulting in reduced impact attenuation. Pour-in-place surfacing is easy to clean and cannot hide foreign materials. It is much easier to maintain, thus saving costs in the long term. Pour-in-place surfacing is more stable than organic aggregates, which deteriorate over time. This firm and stable surfacing has no abrasive effect on play equipment paint finishes and deck surfaces, unlike sand and pea gravel. Playgrounds with pour-in-place surfacing often appear cleaner and in better shape than aggregate surfacing.
Pour-in-place surfacing is available in various colors, graphics, shapes, and designs that create an aesthetically pleasing surface. As noted above, quality, durability, impact attenuation, and warranty vary from one manufacturer to another.
Disadvantages of pour-in-place rubber surfacing are cost (up to 50% or more of the playground’s total cost) and a shorter lifespan than the playground equipment. In time, impact attenuation declines over the life of the surfacing due to sunlight ultraviolet ray exposure.
Although easier to maintain than loose-fill surfaces, you should clean it regularly by sweeping, blowing, or vacuuming it. Cleaning helps prevent dust and other small particles impending on the surface, reducing the surface’s impact attenuation. Check for damaged sections which typically happens at the edges or under high wear areas like under swing seats, end of slides, or around spinning equipment.