Engineered Wood Fiber (EWF) is an attractive natural looking commercial playground safety surfacing solution that provides proper fall attenuation when compacted. It is a popular choice for playground projects with initial budget constraints and can easily be installed without a skilled technical crew. Because EWF is a loose fill safety surfacing, it can easily be displaced and does require ongoing raking and occasional topping off during its lifetime due to compaction and decomposition. This maintenance will help ensure the correct material depth of the wood fibers for compliance with safety and accessibility standards. The depth of the EWF is determined by the fall height of the commercial playground equipment.
It is best to use a geotextile fabric on the ground before the EWF (engineered wood fiber) safety surfacing material is installed as this may help decrease play maintenance by acting as a weed barrier. Containment borders of some kind, play curbs, sidewalk or poured concrete curb, must be used with loose fill surfacing materials to prevent it from migrating outside the intended use zone, and to ensure the proper depth is maintained. In addition, you may choose to add rubber wear mats underneath swings and slide runouts.
It is imperative that all play safety surfaces and applicable sub surfaces be installed exactly to specification over a well-drained, properly prepared base, and must cover the intended use zone in order for the surface material to adhere to the ASTM standards and safety guidelines.