Why are playground mats designed to let water through? — playground mats and their design


Playground mats are specifically designed to breathe and let water flow freely, but why? As a material used throughout South Africa, schools and playgrounds of all types need drainage and dry surfaces to minimise accidents or mishaps. When kids are playing and having fun, the last thing you need is to add to the mix is slipping and falling. Especially at schools or daycare when you kids are someone else’s responsibility.

Particularly within areas like South Africa with ever changing weather conditions, playground can quickly be filled with water and left unusable until the puddles have dried. With a flooring option that lets water quickly drain away, you can ensure that the playground will be safe to play on to your child’s content. Offering grip and added cushioning, having the right matting on your playground area can ensure that those who use it get the full-fun it was intended for.

Playground drainage is a critical part of keeping playground equipment and surfacing in a good condition for longer, as well as making it safe and usable for all who would enjoy. Most would consider a number of alternative ground cover ideas for playgrounds, thinking after either a good looking space or an easy to maintain area – usually resulting in grass or tar. While grass is always fun on a playground, soft and comforting, it also can get messed up through constant activity on the ground. Mud and erosion also come into play, often causing more issues than it helps. Tar or concrete are other popular choices, however these are only easy to maintain. They offer little comfort to the children enjoying the space. Both of these ground cover solutions also pool water, not allowing for proper drainage and creating pools of water around the ground. This mean far more chance of accident when playing around. With a porous matting option, water won’t stop the fun.

Standing water left to its own devices will cause the usually resilient surfaces to age and deteriorate prematurely, often causing other issues with gravel, potholes and so on. The structural integrity of the concrete footings will be compromised, rust will begin to shorten the life of any metal in the surfacing, molds and mildews will grow, and the surfacing will not have the longevity you would need from a playground area. The life of the investment is shortened and the play area may become unusable over time.

Providing a safe play area includes maintaining all aspects of the space, like replacing lost or displaced materials. Having a mat that covers the areas greatly reduces the need for maintenance. All part of taking care of the playground, this ensure that it can be used throughout the year with little reason for down time.

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