Preparing for your thermoplastic line marking installation

Keeping your school playground surfaces clear of dirt and debris is something that is essential. We offer specialist cleaning services for any type of ground surface but we do tend to be invited to install our car park markings or our playground markings onto surfaces which are not quite ready to receive their new thermoplastic line markings.

To avoid this we have written a guide to preparing your surfaces for installation. However, the guide below can also be used to help you with the general cleaning and maintenance of your playground or court areas.

In the spring and summer months we don’t tend to have to worry, but as we approach autumn the annual problem of falling & rotting leaves will dominate the lives of caretakers once more. Our poor grounds people will be waging one-man wars against dirt, moss and leaves to ensure maximum playground safety for the children and users of the outside space. Daily sweeping of leaves will be here once more! But really, we should pay a little attention to our playground surfaces all year round.

Here at Creative we would like to share our tips for playground cleaning, be it before a new playground markings installation, or just to keep the tarmac surfaces free from slippy debris which can become a problem if left unattended to. Specialist blasting your playground isn’t always necessary, especially if you follow a programme of cleaning and sweeping.

Cleaning tarmac is a task that should be undertaken at least once or twice each year. That might be a whole playground or just a driveway but the process of cleaning typically requires using the right combination of cleaning products and pressure to help loosen oil and other types of stains from the surface. As well as restoring the look of your outdoor areas it keeps the surface free from stains which may increase the risk of slips. Fortunately, it is possible to clean outdoor areas using equipment which you are already likely to have at your disposal. This makes it much easier to do the job without incurring a lot of expense.

Step by Step Guide

Step 1 – Remove loose residue from the playground or court surface. Its as simple as using a stiff broom or brush and sweep away the grass, leaves, loose material or moss which has settled on the surface. This makes any jet washing or cleaning much easier.

Step 2 – Get soaking! Its wise to use a steady stream of running water using a hose all over the surface (TIP DO NOT PICK A DAY WHERE IT WILL FREEZE OVER) Take your time doing this and make sure the entire surface has had a chance to become very moist. This helps to loosen any dirt or residue which has settled in small cracks or holes in the playground surface.

Step 3 – Products are available to treat stains such as oil or tyre marks and this is the time you might consider using these in particular areas before getting on with cleaning the whole area. In actual fact laundry cleaning products are good cheaper alternative. Pouring a quantity of powder onto heavily stained areas and allowing to set for a little while will help with the task of lifting stains from the playground or driveway. Even if it’s just the top layer of your surface this is a handy hint – Mix the cleaning product in a bucket. Combine 1 part laundry detergent with 3 parts water make sure the combination is mixed thoroughly. Wearing protective gloves at all times work the mixture into the stain with a hand brush.

Step 4 – Rinse! Use a high pressure hose to rinse away the cleaning product and the dirt and debris will also dislodge and be washed away. Any areas without staining will be cleaned from the hose pressure. Continue the rinsing in all areas until clean.

Heavy moss can be a tricky thing to remove and then treat. It is very important to make sure that moss treatment is applied to these areas to prevent a recurrence of the problem. Please contact a specialist if you are unsure on how to remove and prevent moss.

Our night time adventure installing at Longleat

How could we possibly pass up the opportunity of working with the fantastic people at Longleat house and Safari Park. We consider ourselves very fortunate indeed to have been asked to help with the huge Maze Markings in the main family visitor square. Key to the success of this playground markings installation was ensuring the park and all surrounding attractions remained open and that our work did not interfere with the smooth running of one of England’s most prestigious visitor attractions.

We were contacted by Dave Gillingham Head Of Operations at Longleat & Cheddar Gorge & Caves who wanted help to refresh 3 huge mazes in Longleat’s main square. This hugely popular venue is open long hours during the summer and Dave needed us to work after the park closed to visitors. We helped Dave to choose thermoplastic lines rather than painted lines as he wanted a product which would be durable and easy to maintain. With our three year guarantee we knew that thermoplastic markings would ensure that the install remained in situ despite have thousands of feet on them every single day.

We sent our team of four to the job one August Thursday evening and they shelved their fear of the dark to work through the night. Longleats tarmacadam areas are very well maintained and so we didn’t have to concern ourselves with any surface cleaning prior to getting to work. The areas needed a light sweeping to remove any surface dust ready for installation and we were ready to lay the new maze markings. We worked from 7.00 pm until 2.30 am to complete the installation ready for the public on Friday morning. Despite our Josh popping to the ladies (yes ladies) and being attacked by a scorpion!

What a privilege it was to install in such stunning surroundings with the background noises of the trumpeting elephants and the roaring of lions. We are very pleased to report that the line works went fantastically well and the operations team at Longleat are thrilled with the end result.

“From the quotation and planning in with Keeley to the work the team did on site I am delighted with the end result, it has really brightened up our main square in the park and helped restore enjoyment to lots of our younger guests with who the mazes are extremely popular. The team were professional on site and did a fantastic job doing it outside of our opening hours overnight.”

Steve Walsh, Assistant Operations Manager (Attractions & Events)

Longleat | Cheddar Gorge & Caves

We are now proud to say we have helped to entertain the children and adults who visit Longleat with our crystal clear, reflective white line markings and look forward to helping the Operations Staff with their playground, carpark and bespoke markings in the future.