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Mulch is an excellent material for trapping moisture for flower beds, making things more aesthetically pleasing, and on playgrounds, it keeps conditions from getting muddy and cushions the ground just in case someone falls off a swing or comes down the slide too fast.
There are many different types of mulch. Rubber playground mulch is the newest recyclable material that might be the best choice for play areas. Made out of recycled rubber, it has all the qualities to make a playground much safer and more fun.
What Is Rubber Mulch Made of?
A recycled product, rubber mulch is made from old tires that used to be sent to landfills, which meant they took up space and weren’t very good for the environment. Now once the tires are stripped of their metal parts, the tire is shredded into tiny pieces that are used as mulch.
What Are the Advantages of Rubber Mulch Over Traditional Materials?
Rubber mulch offers many advantages to the alternative materials. When it comes to playgrounds, those advantages increase.
It Is More Eco-friendly
Instead of those old tires taking up green space and never biodegrading, rubber mulch reuses the tires to give them new life. For those who are looking to reuse and recycle there is no better way to use an old tire than mulch – besides maybe adding a tire swing to your rubber-mulched playground!
It Is More Durable
Traditional mulch made from chipped wood looks great when it is applied to flower beds and around landscaping areas. But soon after it is laid down, it starts to fade and doesn’t look so vibrant anymore.
Rubber mulch does not fade in the sun the way that its wood alternative does. It is also heavier, so it doesn’t get blown or kicked around as quickly as wood mulch.
That means that it stays put and doesn’t need to be re-mulched frequently throughout the season. Since it’s resistant to high winds, it won’t just float away the minute the wind starts to really blow.
It Is Safer
Playgrounds can be hazardous places for kids. The idea behind the play areas is to let kids hang upside down, climb high, and, generally just horseplay – but what happens if they fall off? Mulch was traditionally used in playground areas to break a fall and to make it less likely that a child would get hurt in an accident.
The newer rubber alternative provides a much “springier” fall and limits the potential that a child will be seriously injured should they slip off of the monkey bars and land on the ground. It is a safer material that can absorb impact better than other traditional wood varieties.
It Requires Little Maintenance
When you use wood mulch, you have to frequently add to the mulch because it begins to break down and decompose. One disadvantage of the earth is that rubber doesn’t decompose. But an advantage to using rubber mulch for landscaping is that, because it requires very little maintenance once it is used, once you put it down it can last forever.
That means that you won’t have to keep putting in more mulch or replacing it once it starts to look crummy. Rubber mulch pretty much looks as good the following season as it does when you first put it down.
It Might Be More Expensive, but…
Although rubber mulch is more expensive than traditional wood (because it is more expensive to make) it does last longer. You might have to invest more initially to use rubber mulch for your playground, but it is a one-and-done proposition.
If you use regular mulch, you might have to replace it a couple of times or at least add to it, which can make it more expensive over time. The only drawback to rubber’s lifespan is that if you don’t want it there anymore, you have to remove it. But when it comes to playgrounds, that shouldn’t be a problem.
If you are looking for a much hardier and safer alternative for your playground material that requires less maintenance than traditional wood mulch, rubber mulch might just be the perfect substitute for you.