All you need to know about EPDM wet pour rubber surfacing

Looking for safety surfacing for in and around children's play equipment? We've got you covered, with everything you need to know about EPDM wet pour rubber safety surfacing.
EPDM Playground Surfacing

What is EPDM wet pour surfacing?

Wet pour surfacing, also known as EPDM wet pour surfacing, rubber safety surfacing, or rubberised playground surfacing, is a popular safety flooring option used in various applications, particularly in play areas and recreational spaces.

It is a type of impact-absorbing surface designed to enhance safety, especially in areas where falls may occur.
Wet pour surfacing is typically made from a combination of rubber granules and a polyurethane binder, poured on top of an SBR base where the rubber granules are often recycled from old tyres, making this an environmentally friendly surfacing option.

One of the many plus points of EPDM safety surfacing is its versatility as it can be installed in any colour, pattern, or thickness. This not only allows for customisation in thickness due to potential fall height dimensions and impact-absorbing properties, but it also allows for vibrant colour choices that can create striking patterns.

What are the benefits of wet pour rubber?

#1. Impact Absorption. The excellent impact-absorbing properties provide a cushioned surface that helps to reduce the risk of injury should a fall happen. For this reason alone, it has become the surfacing of choice for contractors when laying playground surfacing for children’s play areas.

#2. Versatility. As already mentioned, the flexibility of EPDM wet pour safety surfacing is one of its many appeals. Especially with the wide variety of colour options available, making it the perfect choice for surfacing around children’s play equipment in recreational areas, schools, nurseries, and even back gardens.

#3. Accessibility. Another plus point of rubberised playground surfacing is its accessibility, especially around recreational areas where bikes, scooters, buggies, prams, or pushchairs are used regularly. Its smooth and even finish ensures access to all and is even used for wheelchair access areas.

#4. Non-slip surface. Designed to provide slip resistance, EPDM rubber surfacing is suitable for sloped surfaces or areas where water or other liquids may be present.

#5. Durability. Wet Pour is renowned for its long-lasting properties and has a life expectancy of more than 15 years, depending on the environmental conditions. Once laid, it can withstand heavy foot traffic, play equipment, and adverse weather conditions, while still maintaining its integrity over time.

#6. Low maintenance. Like resin bound, the finishing surface is porous which results in little or no standing water, which therefore prevents the build-up of moss, mould, and algae. Similarly, very few weeds grow, meaning that regular cleaning is all that’s required to keep the surface in good condition.

#7. Weather resistant. With the use of a polyurethane binder, EPDM wet pour surfacing is not only resistant to rain, wind, and foot traffic erosion, but it also means it is protected from UV rays. This prevents colour fading and surface deterioration.

#8. Compliance & safety standards. Rubberised playground safety surfacing is designed to comply with playground safety standards relating to impact mitigation. And HMS’s is not any different, where our EPDM wet pour conforms to both British and European standards, BS 7188 and EN 1177.

#9. Environmentally friendly. When installing EPDM safety surfacing, contractors often use SBR to fill the space and ensure the desired thickness where falls from height are a risk. This type of surfacing is an eco-friendly solution that uses old rubber tyres and cutoffs, preventing landfill waste.

EPDM Wet Pour FAQ’s

How do you clean wet pour surfaces?

EPDM wet pour rubber surfacing is effortless to clean. First, simply remove any surface debris such as leaves, dirt, and stones with a soft bristle brush and then mix a batch of mild cleaning solution. Then apply the soap and scrub the surface lightly with a soft brush, making sure to pay attention to any stains or areas with significant dirt buildup.

Once the soap has been applied, simply rinse with a hose or low-powered pressure washer, then allow it to dry. And that’s it, your guide to a perfect-looking rubber surface.

Is wet pour rubber waterproof?

Whilst the rubber itself is waterproof, when the rubber crumbs are mixed with the binder, tiny wholes form allowing water to drain through the surface. Much the same as resin bound paving, wet pour rubber surfacing isn’t waterproof.

It is, however, porous. This means water can permeate through to groundwater sources, adding to its environmental credentials, as well as resulting in zero standing water – perfect for children’s play areas.

How long does wet pour last?

Wet pour rubber surfacing is made to last, with most contractors quoting between 10 – 15 years. However, if it has been installed correctly and is regularly maintained, some surfaces last for more than 15 years.

How long does wet pour rubber take to dry?

The curing time for EPDM wet pour safety surfacing is much the same as resin bound and bonded paving. It is completely temperature and weather-dependent and can take from anything between 6 to 24 hours. Unlike resin bound and bonded, the polyurethane binder used in wet pour allows for installation in damp conditions (as long as it’s not pouring with rain).

Does rubber surfacing get hot?

In areas that experience hot summer temperatures, one of the many asked questions is, does EPDM get hot? Obviously, this type of surfacing is normally installed in and around children’s play areas and is quite often the first question schools and nurseries ask.

Like many surfaces, EPDM wet pour is not immune to the effects of the sun, but its temperature can vary. It is dependent on the intensity and duration of the sun, plus the thickness and colour of the surface.

So, in answer to the question, wet pour surfacing does retain some heat, but it is nothing like asphalt, artificial grass, or sand. The key to ensuring a cooler surface in hot conditions is to ensure you lay lighter colours in sunnier areas and keep the darker colours for areas in the shade.

What is the difference between SBR and EPDM rubber?

SBR, or Styrene Butadiene Rubber, surfacing refers to the surfaces that are created using a combination of SBR rubber and a binding agent and is used as a base layer in EPDM.

Made from recycled rubber tyres and rubber cut-offs, it also helps the environment by preventing old tyres from being dumped into landfill.

It is possible to lay SBR surfacing without the EPDM, however, it doesn’t leave a smooth and even surface, due to the unevenness of the rubber crumb and it also doesn’t have the colour variations available that EPDM does.

What are the disadvantages of EPDM rubber?

Retaining heat. As already mentioned, EPDM wet pour surfacing does retain heat so it’s important to prevent the surface from getting too hot. Choosing the right, less absorbent colours for sunny areas, will prevent the surface from absorbing too much heat.  Additionally, think about shade by either utilising trees and installing canopies or sails.

Visible joints. If the EPDM wet pour rubber surfacing is for large open spaces, there may be a visible join line if the installation needs to take place over multiple days. To avoid this, simply choose a professional contractor who has experience in installing EPDM surfacing in large open spaces. HMS has been installing, rubberised playground surfacing for many years and has experience installing in large open spaces, as well as small, intricate designs.

Hardening over time. Wet pour surfacing, when instituted for a long period of time, may harden and will impact safety. To avoid issues, ensure you carry out regular maintenance and inspections and address any issues to ensure safety.

Not suitable for all climates. In adverse freezing conditions, rubber surfacing may also become hard so again, make sure you conduct regular inspections to ensure the surface is safe.

Installation challenges. There is a certain amount of skill required to achieve a smooth and even surface when installing wet pour safety surfacing, and any rushed or inexperienced jobs result in visible imperfections. Make sure you choose a reliable contractor, like HMS, who has been installing EPDM wet pour surfacing for several years.

Cost. The initial costs for installation EPDM wet pour safety surfacing are higher when compared to other playground safety surfacing such as rubber mulch. However, it is more difficult to achieve a smooth, flat finish that is perfect for accessibility, and the number of colour options is limited.

Choosing HMS for your EPDM wet pour rubber surfacing ensures you are working with a reputable and experienced contractor who has been installing resin-based surfaces for over 30 years.

For EPDM, clients include, but are not limited to the David Bowie Memorial in Beckenham, Hamleys in Westfield, London, Alma Park in Enfield, recreational ground for Lancashire County Council, on-site nursery at North Warwickshire & South Leicestershire College, and Pathways School in Barking.

When sourcing our material, we ensure that we use the highest quality EPDM rubber and binding agents as this impacts the durability and safety of the surface. On top of this, all our EPDM conforms to British and European safety standards, BS 7188 and EN 1177.

Check out our EPDM page for more information, download our specification sheet or add to your NBS project, and visit our gallery. If you would like to talk to our technical experts, simply call 01858 881111, email sales@hmslimited.co.uk, or complete our enquiry form.

 

 

 

 

About HMS

HMS has more than 25 years’ unrivalled trading history in providing high quality resin based surfacing treatments for Highways England, Main Contractors, Local Authorities, National Home Builders and private individuals.

Recent Posts

Features

Newsletter

Get the latest news and updates delivered right to your inbox!

    After signing up for the newsletter, you will also receive occasional surveys and special offers from HMS via email. We will not sell or distribute your email address to any third party at any time. View our privacy policy.