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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.