Safety Surfacing for Waterparks: Everything You Need to Know
Chilling at a waterpark happens to be among the top of the list of fun things to do as the temperature rises. Summers are more fun when spent by a pool or in a waterpark. Hence, when the mercury shoots up, most Americans hit waterparks to experience the excitement of racing down a multi-story slide and then splashing into a pool.
Water livens an entertainment space and provides endless opportunities for fun activities. However, as much as these parks are fun, they can quickly become a dangerous environment for water lovers. For instance, waterparks and pools are surrounded by wet and slippery surfaces that increase the risk of falls and injuries. Plus, waterparks are often breeding grounds for all kinds of pathogens.
Hence, it’s crucial to install a suitable safety surface to allow all the waterpark visitors to have a fun time without worrying about such accidents and infections.
This guide offers all the information you need on safety surfacing for waterparks and splashes.
Flooring Safety Challenges in Waterparks
Before determining the type of surfacing that’s ideal for waterparks, it’s important to know the various safety risks posed by these wet surfaces.
1. Slips and Falls
Waterparks are designed to deliver thrills. Unfortunately, the thrilling experience is accompanied by serious injuries and even death as waterparks are prime spots for slips and falls.
Hence, the surfacing at waterparks needs to be anti-skid with a high coefficient of friction like safety rubber surfaces.
Waterparks are perennial pathogen incubators. The water and the surrounding surface is a breeding ground for bacteria, virus, fungi, and other microorganisms that can cause serious infections.
The chlorine in the water is mostly sufficient to get rid of most of these pathogens. But when this chlorine reacts with the body oils, perfumes, and lotions, there isn’t enough chlorine left to tackle the microorganisms. These pathogens tend to flourish on the surface, increasing the risk of infection in kids, adults, and seniors alike.
3. Foot Injuries from Inappropriate Surfaces
Most waterpark visitors spend a lot of time barefoot. While this is quite a normal scene, most of the guests are either hopping around because of the hot surfaces or complaining of a foot injury due to the hard and rough surfaces.
If the surface doesn’t offer adequate cushioning underfoot, it may cause strains and sprains in the muscle tissues of the feet and ankles. Hard surfaces like concrete, ceramic tiles, and sandstone are known to sizzle in the scorching heat and cause various foot injuries.
Moreover, uneven and rough surfaces can injure the feet, causing lacerations, cuts, scrapes, and stubbed toes. Such injuries can blow up into severe skin infections.
Not to forget, the body and foot fatigue that’s induced by hard surfaces. The moment the feet touch a surface, they need some flexibility and soft cushioning because the feet arches collapse when walking, running, or standing. Hard surfaces do not bend or flex underfoot, taking a terrible toll on the feet.
Hence, waterpark surfaces should be comfortable underfoot, enough to give the guests an enjoyable experience and encouraging them to stay longer or visit again.
Must-Have Qualities in a High-Traffic Wet Area Surfacing
Besides guaranteeing the safety of the guests, a waterpark surface should be able to withstand the high traffic and chemicals used to disinfect the water. Moreover, the surface should be easy to clean and maintain and withstand the moisture damage that could weaken its foundation.
Here are a few qualities an ideal wet surface like waterparks should possess.
Skid resistance and wet surface traction are important considerations when opting for a waterpark surfacing. A few surfaces like concrete, travertine, and stone offer excellent traction in dry conditions but fail in wet conditions.
Make sure you choose a skid-resistant surfacing, enabling all the guests to have a fun time at the waterpark without worrying about accidents and injuries. For instance, safety rubber surfacing is an ideal choice for waterparks. The surface offers great traction in dry and wet conditions.
2. Comfortable Underfoot
We just learned how rough and hard surfaces can lead to foot injuries and lacerations. Opt for a surface that’s easy underfoot and allows water lovers to enjoy their time while at the park.
Moisture can cause irreversible damage to the park’s foundation. Moreover, moisture trapped under the surface can promote mold growth. Since the waterpark surfaces are perennially wet, they need a surfacing material that’s resistant to moisture.
Water parks are busy entertainment zones with kids playing everywhere and youngsters and adults moving around. The constant high traffic can wear the surface and negatively impact its functionality and curb appeal.
Opt for a surface that’s resistant to such wear and other intensive activities.
5. Inhospitable to Pathogens
As mentioned above, wet surfaces are ideal breeding grounds for various pathogens. Hence, the surface you choose should be resistant to microbial growth.
6. Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance
Being high-traffic areas, waterpark surfaces see a lot of spills, dirt, and grime. Hence the surface you choose should be easy to clean and need little maintenance.
Benefits of Resurfacing with EPDM Safety Rubber Surfacing
EPDM rubber surfaces are ideal for waterparks and splash pad surfacing as they are durable, skid and moisture resistant, and ensure the safety of the guests. Moreover, they are easy to clean and need little maintenance. Here are a few reasons why installing EPDM safety rubber surfaces in waterparks makes sense.
1. Improved Safety
Rubber has a high coefficient of friction; hence, it offers high traction even in wet conditions, making it a safe option for waterpark surfacing.
Moreover, unlike concrete and other flooring materials, these surfaces are inhospitable to pathogens. Algae, mold, mildew, moss, fungi, and other biological growth is known to make most surfaces sticky, slippery, and ugly. But EPDM rubber surfaces resist such growth.
EPDM rubber surfaces are soft and comfortable underfoot. Being permeable and non-slip, they are easy on the foot, offering adequate support and protection to the feet.
3. Strikingly Attractive
The first thing people notice when they visit a water play area are the colors used in the area. EPDM rubber surfaces are available in a variety of colors and can be customized as per your brand identity. Waterparks using rubber surfaces look strikingly attractive as they are seamless and add an instant pop of color to the area.
4. Easy to Clean and Maintain
EPDM rubber surfaces are easy to clean and need little upkeep. So, it’s the best surfacing option for waterparks that are mess-prone and heavy on foot traffic.
5. Resistant to Wear and Tear
Rubber surfaces are durable and resistant to wear and tear due to high traffic and chemicals. A properly-maintained safety rubber surfacing will last you for over ten years or more.
Everyone loves to hit aquatic playgrounds in the summer. Since waterparks don’t have standing and deep waters, they aren’t as risky as pools. But that doesn’t mean they are devoid of risks.
Safety is a big consideration in waterparks as the incidence of falls and injuries are high here. Hence, it’s critical to choose a suitable safety surface like EPDM rubber surfacing that makes daily operations easy and safe and allows guests to have a fun time at the park.
Are you planning to build or restore a waterpark or splash pad? Rubcorp’s team of engineers and flooring experts can help you create a safe and enjoyable outdoor entertainment space for your visitors. Just give us a call or write to us at YourSurface@rubcorp.com