Alberta and Western Canada have had a record-breaking summer so far with temperatures reaching up to 38 degrees celsius. With the extreme summer heat comes this question – what happens to my rubber outdoor flooring? This topic is especially common for households that have an outdoor play area with rubber tiles installed. Let’s take a look at what happens to rubber during the summer along with some tips to keep it cool.
Can rubber flooring get hot in the summer?
The simple answer to this question is, yes, rubber flooring is affected by the summer heat. Although surfaces like concrete, asphalt, and plastic, are susceptible to absorbing more heat, rubber can also heat up to higher temperatures but will still be cooler than sand or asphalt. Matter of fact some outdoor rubber flooring tiles only get a few degrees warmer than a typical wood deck.
How do I keep my rubber flooring cool during the summer?
Although rubber heats up in the summer heat, there are a few different things you can do to keep lower surface temperatures:
- Add shade – Direct sunlight is the culprit for hot flooring surfaces. Whether you’re using rubber tiles for a backyard play structure for the kids or on the patio, it’s ideal to install the flooring in a shaded area. If this isn’t possible, you can add shade like an umbrella, canopy, tent, awning, or a custom shade solution.
- Use perforated rubber tiles – Consider choosing perforated rubber tiles or tiles with air gaps underneath that allow it to breathe. This will also offer a cushioned and safe surface while helping to keep the surface temperature low. The multi-directional drainage and air gaps underneath allow air to flow through the flooring and don’t get quite as hot as solid rubber flooring.
Should I replace my rubber flooring with one that won’t heat up?
No, not necessarily. It’s important to remember that the main reason rubber flooring is so often used on playgrounds, play areas, and other spaces where kids are active is because of safety. Rubber provides a soft, non-slip cushioned surface that can prevent injuries. While you can consider replacing it with a different material, you may be compromising the safety of the play area.
Additionally, if the temperature is so hot that it heats up the rubber flooring, it’s likely that other components in the playground are burning up as well, such as the slide, climbing structures, and parts that have metal. Regardless of the flooring type, keep an eye on weather conditions. You may need to suggest a different activity for kids to keep them off the play structure until the weather cools off. Safety is the main priority!
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