Did you know that the safety and health of your kids when playing on any playground are essential? Indeed, some playing grounds can significantly threaten the kids’ lives due to the chemicals or materials used to manufacture the mulches. Thanks to the engineered wood mulch playground, it’s safe for your kids to play on!
Made from natural wood fibers, engineered wood mulch, also called engineered wood fiber mulch, is free from harmful chemicals & other materials that could threaten the playing kids’ lives. So, it’s likely that the kids won’t have any allergic reactions after playing but ensure it is 12 inches deep.
I’ll discuss more on this mulch playground and explain at length why it is better than other mulches. Continue reading.
What Is Engineered Wood Mulch?
Engineered wood fiber is mulch made from 1 to 2 inches lengths of hardwoods and (or) softwoods. To help in compaction when kids are playing, this mulch contains 15 percent (maximum) fine particles.
It’s among the safest and best mulches for playing grounds because it lacks paint, additives, and harmful chemicals. For anyone looking for a budget-friendly mulch, this one should top their list!
Due to its lack of life-threatening chemicals and materials, engineered wood fiber playground mulch has been among the safest for kids. That’s not all. This mulch is incredibly cheaper than most others due to its low installation costs. Besides, the mulch complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
It also passed the standards set by the Consumer Products Safety Commission, abbreviated as CPSC. Additionally, it has the approval of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). So, if there’s any mulch you should consider buying, it’s the engineered wood mulch.
Various softwoods are used when manufacturing engineered wood mulch. A variety of softwoods are also used. Both hardwood and softwood varieties offer excellent impact-attenuating surfaces.
Consequently, you’re stress-free when your kids are playing on engineered wood mulch because there are minimal chances of being hurt whenever they play on it.
Engineered Wood Fiber Mulch Playground Applications
Engineered wood mulches are used in a variety of applications. Here are some of its typical applications:
Rental buildings: If you own a rental apartment, installing an engineered wood mulch playground is critical. This could mean a lot to parents with small kids, and everyone would be looking forward to living in those apartments. In other words, this playground could be a strong selling point that could make your rentals a ‘hot cake’ for many!
Schools: Whether it’s a private or public school, playing is one of the primary activities kids should undertake. Playing boosts the child’s health and improves their thinking abilities. Nevertheless, a safe playing ground is equally vital. So is an engineered wood mulch playground! Therefore, this mulch can be installed in private and public schools.
Daycare: Daycare facilities should install engineered wood mulches to enhance the safety of the small kids. A safe playing ground in daycares is vital because the kids in these facilities do not know how to care for themselves entirely when playing. Therefore, minimizing the chances of their injuries when they’re playing is necessary.
Churches: A church compound should be safe for the kids playing around the church. It’s essential to consider engineered wood mulches because they increase the kids’ safety.
Engineered Wood Fiber Mulch Playground Maintenance
Not just engineered mulch; every other type of mulch needs proper maintenance. Therefore, here are some things you need to do to the engineered mulch.
- Evenly spread the mulch: This mulch often gets displaced when kids play. Resultantly, some areas could be higher than others. Consequently, the kids could get prone to injuries. Avoid it by raking the mulch to spread it evenly.
- Do mulch inspection often: Though this engineered mulch is safe, it’s loosely filled. What that means is that there’s a likelihood of foreign objects finding their way into it. That could pose a danger for the unsuspecting kids, right?
I hope that doesn’t happen. But caution is critical. Therefore, based on where you live and how it is used, it’s a great idea to inspect the mulch before your kids play on it. If it’s installed in a school or other busy public areas, inspect it daily because kids carry everything in their pockets. Some of these things could be dangerous. Therefore, inspect the playground often.
- Have the recommended mulch depth: Engineered wood fiber for the playground should be 12 inches deep. This is the recommended depth to enhance the safety of the kids playing. However, even after installing a 12-inches deep engineered wood mulch, you need to check your mulch, especially if there’s moisture retention occasionally. Let me explain a little more. Wood, even the engineered one, decomposes and compacts because of weather. When it does, its depth might decrease, increasing the chances of injury for the playing kids. Do, therefore, occasionally refill it to have the recommended depth.
Is this Mulch Safe For Your Kids?
Just by looking at the mulch, it can be nearly impossible to tell if the product is safe, especially if you don’t know which materials are used during its manufacturing.
Thankfully, the government has established regulatory bodies to check the safety of the products and their impacts on consumers’ health before they can get to the market.
Here’s a good example, unless your mulch has a depth of 12 inches, it cannot be approved for a 12 inches fall height by the International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA).
Therefore, the troubling question is whether engineered wood mulch passed the test. Read on and be the judge.
This mulch has been approved or passed the set recommendations by the following regulatory bodies.
- American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
- International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) Certified
- Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) recommendations
What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Engineered Wood Fiber Mulch?
As with everything else, there’s the good and bad of engineered wood fiber mulch. You must know the good and bad before buying this mulch.
Let’s start with the good.
- It’s much cheaper than most mulches
- It absorbs water quickly and effectively.
- As long as you’re doing regular maintenance, which includes refilling it often, the engineered wood fiber mulch can last up to about 8 years.
- It’s safe as it has no harmful products.
- It can be used in private areas and extremely busy public places like churches, schools, apartments, and parks.
- It resembles wood, thus ideal for homes because of its natural appearance.
- Though you need a lot of it during installation, it’s effortless to install it.
- The depth must be 12 inches. You need to use a lot of engineered wood mulch to have this depth.
- It’s a loose-fill product. Hence, its ability to absorb shock during high-height falls may reduce over time. This also means you must refill it often to ensure the depth remains 12 inches. On the other hand, being a loose-fill product also means that dangerous materials could get into it and injure the playing children.
- Not ideal for kids using wheelchairs because it makes it hard for the wheel to move smoothly. So, if you’re looking for the best mulch for disabled kids’ playgrounds, consider rubber mulch. However, if you still want to use wheelchairs, consider compressing the mulch fully.
How To Ensure Engineered Wood Mulch Last Long
As I said, engineered wood mulch can last up to 8 years. That’s a long time, right? However, as with other mulches, neglecting your engineered wood fiber mulch will shorten its lifespan as with all other mulches.
Aside from periodic mulch maintenance, below are other things you must do to ensure that the mulch lasts at least 8 years if not more!
Wear Mats Installation: Aside from complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act, installing wear mats to safeguard the integrity of the mulch is vital. So, install it on top of the mulch.
Install a Drainage System: Anytime you’re installing an engineered wood mulch playground, it’s essential that you also install a good drainage system. This is because if water floods the playground, it will degrade the mulch’s quality and compromise its durability. Therefore, before installing the mulch, check your drainage system and ensure it’s perfect. This prevents cases of water flooding in highly used zones.
Eliminate Weeds: If your zone rains often, it’s likely that weeds will grow often and quickly on the mulch. Therefore, as soon as you notice its growth, remove it before it spreads. Weed can be a significant hazard and endangers your kids’ lives.
If the weed is just starting to grow, you can pull it out by hand. If it is too much work, contract a local company to use safe weed-killing chemicals.
It’s The Decision Making Hour!
Who doesn’t prioritize the safety and health of their kids? No one! Therefore, a safe mulch playground is a primary thing for parents with kids. As we have seen, an engineered wood mulch playground is the best choice because it’s free from life-threatening chemicals.
Besides its low installation cost, this mulch is also durable. Hence, you can count eight years before you think of having it replaced! Nevertheless, you need regular maintenance to ensure it lasts long.
In addition, keep on raking it to ensure it’s not less than 12 inches deep. Also, keep checking for any debris that could injure the kids.
Buy the engineered wood fiber mulch today and forever transform your kids’ playground!