Construction Features





Surfacing Installation

About Site Preparation: There are a few common methods for getting the site ready to install safety surfacing in your playgrounds use zone.

mini track machine mulch installation

1. ABOVE GRADE: The most popular is safety surfacing system we install is "above grade" or above ground. Typically, a barrier cloth is placed on top of the existing surface to provide separation. Boarders are then used to contain the loose fill safety surfacing.

2. ABOVE GRADE WITHOUT BORDERS: Sometimes, for example in a natural, wooded area, we have used our certified wooden mulch under the structure tapered it down to nothing. This is the least expensive because it involved no excavation or boarders. However it is only appropriate for certain situations.

3. BELOW GRADE: Another method is "below grade". This requires excavation of the area, to remove the existing sod and soil and make room for the safety surfacing. A decision must made, where will the excavated soil be disposed. It is also wise to provide for drainage (usually drainage stone). Barrier cloth is used below the drainage stone and above to provide separation. The use of Borders buried at the edge provides a clean straight edge, but costs more than using no border.

Now the area is ready for the surfacing material. The closer we can get with truck, trailer, or Bob Cat Skid Steer the less labor it will take to complete the project. Wheel Barrel is an option too, but a more expensive one.

Choose a playground installation site that drains well. Drainage is important for a longer lasting, effective safety surfacing system. Below grade drainage stone and drainage tile systems can be installed prior the playground or surfacing system is installed for sites that need it. (Bears does NOT offer this service.)

Natural compaction will occur in 2-6 weeks. Compaction must occur to meet ADA standards. However, installing the surfacing in layer while wetting and providing mechanical tamping or compacting can speed the compaction process. (Bears does NOT offer this service.)

All loose fill Safety Surfacing Systems require maintenance. See the links below.

IPEMA Wood Mulch certificate (Example only- Contact us for your custom certificate of compliance)
IPEMA Wood Mulch Maintenance and Install Position Statement

Wooden Playground Mulch Installation

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Rubber Playground Mulch Installation

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1. Barrier Cloth over existing lawn is most common. (Lawn and earth can also be excavated and drainage stone / drainage tile can be installed after excavation. Excavation and drainage adds a great deal to the cost. It is usually best to choose a location that is reasonably dry and well drained to begin with.

2. Borders are used to contain the mulch (some natural settings allow us to taper the mulch down to grade eliminating the need for containment borders. See photo below.) There are several choices available for containment borders.

3. Install certified playground mulch under and around the playground.

The photo at right shows wooden playground mulch heaped under and around a playground, over only a small piece of barrier cloth, then tapered off to grade outside the use zone with no containment borders.

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This image shows green rubber mulch being spread over our wide rolls of barrier cloth, all contained by our cedar log borders. Rubber Mulch is Fresh looking, nearly maintenance free, synthetic groundcover specifically designed for playground usage. It is the perfect solution for all kinds of commercial, municipal and residential uses both indoors and out; used by child care facilities, schools, community parks and home owners.