Safe Water Play Means Getting the Right Surfacing

Children love playing in water. That’s why aquatic playgrounds provide an engaging alternative to swimming, wading and paddling pools. Water play livens public spaces and offers endless opportunities for family-friendly fun. The picture above displays our No Fault Safety Surface for Water Play at Serenoa Community Splash Pad in Clermont, Florida.

We’ve heard these water play areas called a few names, including:

  • Aquatic playgrounds
  • Splash pads
  • Spraygrounds
  • Sprayparks

Whatever you call them, these bright, colorful areas for kids to play in water have become very popular over the last few years— for good reason. Water play areas might include sprinklers, showers, and dump buckets to give children lots of options for summertime fun. No Fault’s coast-to-coast installation experts have installed the surfacing for these areas at hotels, apartment complexes, and in private and municipal parks. Take a look at our gallery photos to get an idea of what we can do!

Because they don’t have standing water, water play areas don’t have the same risks as deep swimming pools. This doesn’t mean safety isn’t a big consideration, however. Swimming pools are often surrounded by slippery surfaces, where slips and falls create a significant risk for injury. If water play areas don’t have the right safety surfacing, these areas can be slippery and dangerous, as well.

No Fault Safety Surface to the Rescue!


No Fault Safety Surface (NFSS) for Grand Ridge Golf Club Pool Decking, Luling, Louisiana

As we’ve written before, No Fault Safety Surface is a durable, attractive multi-purpose surfacing material for indoors or outdoors. It’s great for playgrounds, sure, but its versatility also makes it perfect for splash pads, pool decking, and other wet areas. By increasing traction and providing a soft surface in the event of a fall, our surfacing makes a water play area or pool deck a much safer playtime experience.

Let’s look at some of the key benefits of our safety surfacing:


What’s the first thing everyone notices when they see our safety surfacing at a water play area? The colors! Splash pads should be visually inviting, which is why No Fault offers several color blends for you to choose. You can even have our unitary surfacing installed with design inlays and pops of color.


NFSS for Splash Pad/Pool Decking at Holiday Inn Family Suites in Florida


The feel of our safety surfacing is the next thing you’ll notice. No Fault Safety Surface is a permeable, porous, slip-resistant surface that feels soft and cushiony.


NFSS for Morgan’s Inspiration Island Splash Pads in San Antonio, Texas

Easy Care 

With proper care and regular maintenance, our No Fault Safety Surface for Water Play is expected to last eight years or more.

Our poolside/water play surfacing resists algae, mold, mildew, moss, fungi and other biological growth that can make other materials icky and ugly. Still, to protect your investment, it’s important that you not have areas of puddling or standing water.

For best results, avoid chemical treatments (like ozone or bromine). You should also avoid chlorine levels higher than 3 parts per million (ppm). We’ve found that excessive amounts of chlorine, bromine, ozone and other cleaning chemicals can cause black rubber to break down and release carbons—so you may want to avoid black as a color option if you expect these chemicals to be used. Excessive chemicals in the water can also cause color fading, color bleeding and/or color chalking.


NFSS for Rosa Jackson Park in Macon, Georgia

Planning and Installation

No Fault has installed pool decking, water play, and splash pad surfaces around the world, including for theme parks. The same creativity and imagination that goes into developing water play areas for these theme parks is available for planning the layout of your facility.

No Fault’s experts can help you plan a layout/design that will best serve your needs. We can work with you to customize your splash pad installation so you get the functionality and appearance you want.

Our coast-to-coast professional installation is a single-layer installation consisting of only the decorative color cap. This layer consists of EPDM/TPV peroxide-cured granules and a 100 percent polyurethane binder.


NFSS for Gilroy Gardens Water Oasis Splash Pad in Gilroy, California

Are you ready to take your water play areas to the next level with visually stunning and safe splash pad installations and revolutionary safety surface? Contact No Fault today and we’ll help you plan the right splash pad for your home, community park, private water parks or whatever else you have in mind.

How Regular Maintenance Protects Your Playground Investment

You spent a lot of money on your playground. That’s why maintaining your playground equipment and safety surfacing is so important! This means looking out for small problems and fixing them before they have the chance to turn into larger, more expensive problems. In the long run, doing so will save you money and will help ensure that the safety materials used to help protect children perform as they are intended.

Regular playground maintenance starts from the ground up. Take safety surfacing, for example. Playground equipment should never be surrounded by concrete, asphalt, or other hard surfaces. Loose-fill surfacing, like engineered wood fiber (EWF), requires lots of upkeep to keep the surfacing at the correct depth.

At the end of the day, there’s one highly durable, permeable slip-resistant protective surfacing that you can trust: poured-in-place (PIP) rubber surfacing. No Fault Surfaces has safety surfacing that is both versatile and visually attractive. It gives you superior fall-cushioning properties, relatively easy maintenance and it lasts for many years.

However, due to its long lasting durability, it isn’t your least expensive surfacing option. This is why regular maintenance is important.

Keeping Your PIP in Tip-Top Shape

Inspecting and maintaining your playground not only makes good sense, but is your responsibility,” writes Michele Breakfield, Director of Marketing for Cunningham Recreation and Playground Guardian in a recent article titled “Inspecting and Maintaining Your Playground Investment”.

If properly maintained, your playground can provide children and their families with a safe place to play, learn and grow for decades to come,” Michele writes.

We agree with Michele! No Fault’s unique PIP rubber safety surfacing is easy to clean and care for.  It requires a little TLC to keep it looking great and performing well.

Here are some things to help you protect your investment for years to come:

  • Keep sharp objects off the surface area
  • To clean debris, use brooms with soft nylon bristles or leaf-blowers
  • Do not use harsh chemical cleaners. Instead, use soft soap (like laundry detergent) mixed with warm water
  • For tougher grime, resist the urge to power wash—it can damage the bond between the EPDM granules
  • If you shuffle your feet on the surface and see granules flaking off, you may need to condition/seal your PIP surface with a product that rebinds the granules. How often you do this ultimately has to do with how much sun and traffic it gets. Contact your No Fault representative for more information.

Testing For Impact


Since falls are a very common playground hazard, the protective surfacing under and around playground equipment has to help protect children from head injuries. Regular maintenance of your PIP surfacing includes testing it for impact attenuation, a term for the shock-absorbing properties of the surfacing material.

This testing is done by dropping an instrument (called a Triax 2000 or 2015) from various heights. This instrument simulates a child’s head and gives readings about the force of impact and the time of deceleration to determine the critical height of the surface material (another term that means the fall height below which a life-threatening head injury would not be expected to occur).

If you’re interested in learning more, the specifications for impact attenuation are found in ASTM International Standard F1292, “Standard Specification for Impact Attenuation of Surface Systems Under and Around Playground Equipment.” The purpose of this specification is to reduce the likelihood of life-threatening head injuries.

Beyond cleaning your surfacing material and testing it for its impact resistance, here are a few additional playground maintenance “things to remember”:

Vegetation: A Growing Threat

Are there trees around the playground? If so, that’s great for keeping play areas shady and cool during summer. It also means possible maintenance issues. Be sure to keep overhanging limbs trimmed and use a rake or leaf-blower to keep poured-in-place playground surfacing clean and clear.

Damaged Equipment? Nip It in the Bud

Whether it’s due to vandalism, harsh weather, the cumulative effects of everyday wear-and-tear, or simply the passage of years, playground equipment inevitably breaks. But it doesn’t usually happen all it once—it’s the little things that show up first. Things you may not notice. Like a crack in a plastic slide that can pinch a child’s arm, or splinters on wooden beams that can catch on skin or clothing. Fasteners, connectors, and screws can become detached and cause an injury. Visually inspect your equipment and make repairs as needed.

Develop a Maintenance Schedule

All equipment should be regularly inspected for excessive wear, deterioration, and other potential hazards. The schedule you come up with should be developed based on actual or anticipated playground use. You can consult the manufacturer of each piece of equipment for their recommended maintenance schedules. Heavily-used playgrounds will require more frequent inspections and maintenance.

For more information on our No Fault Safety Surface (poured-in-place rubber surfacing) and our other surfacing products, contact us today.