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Safety Padding

  • One Piece Glued or Bolt-Down Surfaces
    • Manufactured by New Braunsfelds General Store (NBGS), Bollinger Padding, Pacific Elastomers Inc., and RenoSys.
    • Pacific Elastomers slip-resistant padding is glued on foam with a polyurethane surface that is applied after the installation of the foam.
    • RecDeck Leisure Flooring is a slip-resistant padding system manufactured by RenoSys. It is a glued down padded surface.
    • SoftSide Safety Padding manufactured by RenoSys is a watertight foam protective padding system, specifically for fall zones behind recreational 3-meter diving boards. The SoftSide product looks best if flush with the deck.  The project engineer should coordinate with the manufacturer during design for special considerations and dimensions.
    • The systems generally provide a quality non-slip safety surface. They are generally easy to install and offer a longer warranty period than their poured-in-place counterparts.  The downsides to these systems have been their cost, minimum color selections, and problems with keeping the padding surface adhered to the pool floor.
  • Poured-in-Place Surfaces
    • No Fault Industries is the manufacturer of Saf Dek. Saf Dek is a poured-in-place and troweled on slip resistant seamless rubber material.  The project engineer needs to confirm with the manufacturer the minimum amount of surface material required for installation.  Saf Dek is typically used as safety padding for water immersion applications.  The system can be poured over a surface that has a minimum slope of 2% for drainage purposes.  If the Saf Dek system is poured within a recessed area in the pool floor drainage should be provided via a weep hole or drain outlet.

Slip-resistant safety padding should be considered for areas such as zero entries, shallow play structure areas, beneath tire swings, or at the end of kiddy slides.

Most safety padding will need to be replaced numerous times over the life of the facility. Typical lifecycles range between 3 and 5 years.

Poured-in-place safety padding might have a longer lifecycle, but a specialty installer will be required for installation and replacement.

Aesthetics and comfort of surface are huge upsides to these systems. A wide variety of color selections are available.  The cost of the poured-in-place systems are usually less expensive than the glued or bolt down matting.  However, if the polyurethane material is not properly mixed with the rubber granules, and experienced personnel do not perform the installation, failure appears to be common.  Having the system installed by the manufacturer is a key to the system’s success.  The possibility of biological growth within the surface has also been a concern due to the permeability of the system.  This is the main reason why the drainage through the material is critical.

If they are so inclined, operators can replace bolted down safety pads themselves.

Safety padding can be used in retrofits for body-flume slides where users are repeatedly in contact with the same area on the pool floor, even 3’-6” deep.

 

  • Recommendations
    • Zero Entry Sections – the least expensive and maintenance free solution would be to use a painted surface that contains an aggregate compound.
    • Padding beneath kiddy slides and participatory play structures – the NBGS or RenoSys padding are good choices for this area. However, if there are other areas within the pool that will be padded the poured-in-place granular padding is a good choice.
    • Edge pads for water walks (crossing activities) on both ends.
    • Water Spraygrounds – a slip resistant painted surface or stained concrete are the most economical choices. The granular poured-in-place surfaces generally offer a very good padded, slip resistant and aesthetically pleasing alternative.  The glued on surfaces are usually the least widely used.
    • All pool floor areas 18” and shallower, as well as all stairs should be slip resistant.

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