There are several factors involved when selecting the proper slip resistance surface for your facility. Since pool areas are hosts to a variety of surfaces such as concrete, natural stone, and tile, special considerations need to be made when choosing the best flooring for your area.
Consider the following factors when choosing a slip resistance surface for your aquatics area:
Slip Resistant Properties
To ensure the surface is truly slip-resistant, the product you select should be tested by a third party evaluation team. Slip tests should be performed for both wet and dry surfaces. Tests should also be performed with a variety of shoes that are prevalent in an aquatic environment such as tennis shoes, sandals and especially bare feet.
First, consider what prep work may need to take place before installation. If your flooring comes as rolled matting it may need several hours to relax if it is slightly curled. Tiles, or other pieces that need to fit together, may require an adhesive. Items may also require cutting or trimming to ensure a proper fit.
Since it is very likely that your surface will be exposed to many different elements such as aquatic chemicals, extreme heat, wind uplift and mold/mildew growth, determine the surfaces resistance to these elements. Look for surfaces that are resistant to environmental and chemical degradation, as well as alkalis, acids, ozone and waterborne chemicals, if outdoors, then resistant to wind uplift, contains UV properties and that it is temperature resistant. The construction of the surface should allow for moisture to easily flow through and eliminate any standing water, which will help reduce algae growth.
Determine the proper cleaning procedures such as acceptable products and cleaning tools, the frequency of cleaning and the use of powered tools such as power washers. Confirm if certain chemicals should be avoided in the cleaning process to prolong the life of your surface.
Safety & Comfort
Since the surface will be used in an area prevalent to bare feet, determine the comfort of the surface for patrons such as children, adults and the elderly. The surface you choose should protect bare feet from hot surfaces and even splinters. The surface should also provide some level of cushion if a patron would happen to fall on the surface.
Improper prevention of potential risk area in aquatics facilities can lead to injuries, legal issues and even unexpected publicity. The use of a slip-resistant surface can assist you in providing a safe aquatic area, leading to an enjoyable experience for patrons and peace of mind for facility managers.