Maintenance Guide: Loose Fill Playground Surfacing

Regular maintenance of loose fill playground surfaces such as bark, sand, and pebbles ensures ongoing safety in playgrounds.

Loose fill surfacing such as play bark, sand, and pebbles are commonly used in playgrounds to provide impact protection and cushioning for children. However, to ensure their effectiveness in preventing injuries and maintaining play quality, regular maintenance is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll outline best practices and essential steps for maintaining loose fill playground surfacing, helping you create a safe and enjoyable play environment for children.

Regular Inspection:

Conduct routine visual inspections of the surface to identify any signs of wear, displacement, or contamination. Check for uneven surfaces, bare patches, or foreign objects that may pose safety hazards to children.

Read our comprehensive guide to playground inspections.

Top-Up and Redistribution:

Regularly top-up and redistribute the surface to maintain an adequate depth and even surface coverage. Over time, loose fill surfaces can become compacted or displaced due to foot traffic and weather conditions, compromising its impact attenuating properties.

Contamination Removal:

Remove debris, litter, and foreign objects from the surface to prevent contamination and maintain cleanliness. Use rakes or specialised equipment to sift through the material and remove any unwanted items that may cause injuries or hygiene concerns.

Drainage Management:

Ensure proper drainage to prevent water accumulation and moisture retention within the loose surface material. Poor drainage can lead to compaction, mould growth, and deterioration of the surface, compromising its safety and playability.

Weed Control:

Implement measures to control weed growth within the loose fill surface area, as weeds can compete with the surface material for nutrients and water. Regular weeding and application of weed inhibitors can help prevent weed infestation and maintain the integrity of the surface.

Seasonal Maintenance:

Adjust maintenance practices according to seasonal changes and weather conditions. During rainy seasons, pay extra attention to drainage and waterlogging issues, while in dry seasons, monitor for signs of compaction.

Edge Maintenance:

Maintain defined edges around the surface area to contain the material and prevent spillage onto adjacent surfaces. Regularly redefine edges and install barriers or borders to contain the surface material effectively.


By following these maintenance guidelines and incorporating proactive practices into your routine, you can ensure the safety, longevity, and effectiveness of loose fill surfaces such as bark, sand, and pebbles. Regular inspections, material top-ups, contamination removal, and seasonal adjustments are essential for preserving the impact attenuating properties and play quality of loose fill playground surfaces, ultimately creating a safe and enjoyable play space for children.

Make an enquiry

Whether you're starting a playground project, or just interested in what we do, we'd love to hear from you!

Get in touch