Surfacing Plans for Safe and Compliant Playgrounds

Your playground surfacing endures a lot of strain from high traffic use to changing weather conditions and everything in between. Without regular surfacing assessment and maintenance, it will cause more expensive maintenance or replacements down the road and possible liability issues. Falls are the leading cause of injuries on playgrounds, but well-maintained playground safety surfaces can mitigate the risk or severity of injuries.

Our playground surfacing maintenance prioritizes the safety of children along with your needs and budgets. We offer parks and schools one-time evaluations, deliveries, and installs or ongoing surfacing plans for stress-free maintenance. As trusted consultants for architects and engineers, we provide comprehensive recommendations on playground drainage systems, surfacing, mats, and borders.

Our Playground Surfacing Services

We offer one-time or ongoing playground surfacing services depending on your school’s or park’s needs. Our services cover a wide range of surfacing-related projects, issues, or maintenance including:

  • Engineered wood fiber installation
  • Poured in place repairs or installation
  • Playground rubber mat installation and replacement
  • Playground drain system and edging
  • Rubber mulch or pea rock removal
  • Playground resurfacing for removals
  • Moldy wood chips replacement

Benefits of Our Commercial Playground Surfacing Services

Calculate Your Surfacing Needs

Use our playground wood chip calculator to determine the amount of engineered wood fiber you need for your playgrounds.

Personalized Playground Surfacing Maintenance Plans

We work with your school or park to determine what surfacing maintenance plan is best for your playgrounds. We offer one-time, quarterly, biannual, and annual plans.

IPEMA Certified Playground Surfacing

To attain an IPEMA certification for playground surfacing, the manufacturer must undergo a rigorous process to ensure the material meets ASTM 1292 for Head Impact Attenuation and ASTM 1951 for ADA Accessibility. At a minimum, your commercial surfacing should always be IPEMA certified.

IPEMA Certified F2075IPEMA Certified

Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI)

A CPSI oversees all our playground surfacing services to ensure you receive compliant surfacing maintenance and installation based on the most up-to-date standards.

Guaranteed High-Quality Surfacing

At SafetyFirst, we only install the best playground surfacing that is IPEMA certified and ADA compliant. We care about the longevity of your playgrounds, so we ensure all the surfacing we install is of the highest quality.

Low Maintenance Options

When we recommend playground surfacing for schools and parks, we think about the time and resources needed to maintain the surfacing years down the road.

Maintain Surfacing Compliance

Using our ongoing surfacing plans, we will evaluate your playground during each visit for ADA compliance. If not compliant, we know how to fix or update your playground to meet ADA requirements.

Playground Surfaces for Schools and Parks

As your playground partner, we handle as much or as little of your surfacing needs as you want. We work with your grounds manager or park director to create a personalized surfacing maintenance plan from one-off deliveries or annual maintenance visits.

With years of experience as a playground repair company, we follow a strategic process that improves efficiencies and ensures long-term, reliable results. We promptly evaluate, recommend, and install playground surfacing repairs without unnecessary interruptions and time commitment.

Our Playground Surfacing Process

1. Evaluate surfacing compliance

Our team will visit your playground sites to assess the surfacing, pathways, mats, borders, and drainage system to determine what surfacing needs. Does it only need to be raked and leveled? Should it be topped off with additional surfacing? Is playground resurfacing needed?

2. Provide surfacing maintenance needs

We will present a recommendation for up-front surfacing maintenance to get you back into compliance. Once approved, we’ll work around your park or school schedule to make the repairs.

3. Begin your surfacing maintenance plan

If your school or park would benefit from ongoing playground surface maintenance, we offer flexible plans to meet your needs, including quarterly, biannual, and annual plans.

The Best Playground Surface for Commercial Use

Nature’sPlus is our engineered wood fiber (EWF) made from local Tamarack trees, innovative designs, and a highly regulated production process to increase its longevity and safety standards. Nature’sPlus EWF features unique benefits that make it the best playground surface for parks and schools.

  • Naturally resistant to mold and decay
  • Longer surfacing lifespan
  • IPEMA certified
  • Certified fall heights of 18 feet
  • ASTM 1951 certified for ADA Accessibility
  • ASTM 1292 certified for Head Impact Attenuation

Use our playground wood chip calculator to determine how much Nature’sPlus you need for your playgrounds.

Playground Surfacing FAQs

What should I do if there is mold in wood chips at my playground?

Mold in wood chips is a situation many playgrounds encounter when it doesn’t have suitable and high-quality engineered wood fiber surfacing. The solution for moldy wood chips is to replace it with a playground surface option specifically created to withstand harsh conditions.

When sourcing a playground surfacing vendor, make sure to inquire about these two things before using their product:

  1. What is their manufacturing process? Do they use the full tree or only the live stem wood?
  2. What type of tree do they use to make the wood chips? Is the wood susceptible or resistant to mold?

I found other wood chips that cost less, why choose Nature’sPlus?

Nature’sPlus is an engineered wood fiber (EWF) surfacing, which makes it different from standard wood chips. When produced, all the bark, twigs, and leaves of the Tamarack tree are removed so only the stem wood is used to ensure a long-lasting, natural playground surface. The Tamarack tree provides surfacing that is naturally resistant to mold and decay for a significantly more durable material.

Other benefits of Nature’sPlus EWF:

  • IPEMA certified
  • ASTM 1951 certified for ADA Accessibility
  • ASTM 1292 certified for Head Impact Attenuation

What are the requirements for playground safety surfacing?

Your playground surfacing is critical for providing a safe place for children and students. When finding a playground safety surface for your park or school, the manufacturer needs to be able to provide a certification for the following:

  • ASTM 1951 certification for ADA Accessibility
  • ASTM 1292 certification for Head Impact Attenuation

Why should I remove my playground rubber mulch?

Rubber mulch, also referred to as rubber crumb or rubber chips, was a playground surface option many parks and schools previously used, but as the playground industry learned more about rubber mulch, we uncovered various issues. 

  • Can contain metal or hazardous materials
  • Not made from natural or local materials
  • Difficult maintenance for schools and parks
  • Rubs off on children clothing

At SafetyFirst, we highly advise against using rubber mulch and will only install IPEMA certified, safe, and clean surfacing.

What is the safest surface to use under playground equipment?

Depending on the height and type of the playground event, we recommend using different types of playground surfacing. Under swings, slides, merry-go-rounds, tireswings, and single post spinners we recommend using playground safety mats to reduce surfacing displacement and increase safety. Under high events, we recommend using Nature’sPlus EWF as a softer surface with certified fall heights of 18 feet in case of an accident.

Keep Your Playground Safe With Compliant, High-Quality Surfacing

I have been using SafetyFirst surfacing material in my district’s playgrounds for several years now. We have been very impressed with the quality and impact attenuation of this product. I would highly recommend it for any organization looking for a quality, long lasting product for their playground surfacing needs.

Facilities and Safety Coordinator
Eden Prairie Schools, ISD 272

In my nearly 30 years of facility management, SafetyFirst is the finest playground service company I have worked with, Bob Clarin, president of SafetyFirst was always available and was on site daily. From the simplest repair, a missing bolt to a complete rebuild including drainage and play structure relocation, SafetyFirst completed the work well and on time.

Supervisor of Buildings & Grounds
Roseville Schools, ISD 623

I would like to express my satisfaction with the wood chips and mats that we have purchased from SafetyFirst. The chips bind together well to make a nice playground surface with the fall protection we need. Bob has always had the materials delivered on a timely basis and is very pleasant to work with. I am sure we will be doing more business Bob and SafetyFirst in the future.

Parks and Forestry Superintendent
City of Brookings, SD