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What IPEMA Mulch Means for You and Your Kids

Not all mulches are created equal. Each one has different characteristics that serve a purpose. IPEMA mulch is proven to be kid-safe, and because of this, you will find it mostly on public playgrounds. Here is what IPEMA mulch means and why it matters.

What does IPEMA stand for?

IPEMA stands for the International Play Equipment Manufacturer’s Association. They govern standards concerning both the play equipment that your kids run, jump, and climb on and the surfacing materials, like mulch, that your children play on top of.

“IPEMA’s mission is to promote play, encourage safety and provide certification programs for playground environments.”

All IPEMA certifications are specifically for public play areas, like public parks and school playgrounds. Our playground wood chips are certified under the ASTM F1292-17a: Public Play Surfacing seal. Our playground mulch is certified under ASTM F2075-15: Engineered Wood Fiber for Public Play Surfacing.

This means that our mulches have been tested to make sure they meet requirements for particle size, consistency, purity, and ability to drain, to name a few.

4 Ways IPEMA Mulch Keeps Kids Safe

1. IPEMA Mulch Eliminates Splintered Ends.

Part of the IPEMA certification ensures that mulch manufacturers follow a certain process for grinding the mulch. Specifically, the certification is concerned with eliminating splintered ends and producing uniformly sized wood chips with clean-cut edges. The process for grinding mulch is inspected before the manufacturer can be certified and display the IPEMA seal on their products.

2. IPEMA Mulch Does Not Contain Foreign Objects.

You might not have known that in most mulches you will find things besides just mulch. It is very common to find large twigs, leaf material, soil, stones, and even heavy concentrations of metal in mulch batches. IPEMA standards govern particle size, consistency, and purity of mulch to make sure there are no surprises hidden underneath the surface. This keeps playgrounds free of materials that could injure your child if they fell.

To make sure no deposits of metal find their way into IPEMA certified batches, the mulch is processed many times and then passed through magnets to eliminate any metals.

3. IPEMA Mulch Is Free From Hazardous Chemicals.

When recycled wood is ground and turned into mulch, there is a chance that wood treated with harmful chemicals has now become mulch. An IPEMA certification ensures that no treated woods have been used. If you know that your local park uses IPEMA certified surfacing material (you can ask to see the certificate or look for the seal) then you don’t have to worry about your children being exposed to chemicals or contaminants on the playground.

4. IPEMA Mulch Is Tested for Fall Impact.

IPEMA certification requires specified fall height testing. This reveals “how the surfacing material will perform at a fall height that represents the actual fall heights of [the] playground equipment,” according to IPEMA in their statement on critical fall height.

To understand what this test does, you need to understand a critical fall height. In IPEMA standards it is defined as “a measure of the impact attenuation performance of a playground surface or surfacing materials, defined at the highest theoretical drop height from which a surface meets the impact attenuation performance criterion specified by this Specification.” In other words, how well the playground surface performs at absorbing the force and reducing the impact of a fall.

The testing ensures a mulch that is safer for kids to play and fall on. Our playground mulch and wood chips are both at or above the standards outlined in certification ASTM F1292-17a, Section 4.2.

Order IPEMA Certified Mulch in Bulk

At Gaston Mulch and Soil, we offer two mulch options that are IPEMA certified so that whatever play site you are surfacing, whether commercially or for your own use, it is as kid-safe as possible. No debris, metals, stones, or chemicals will be part of the mix when you buy IPEMA.

“When you see IPEMA, you see quality,
you see peace of mind, you see safety.”

— Dustin Graham, Certified Playground Safety Inspector

Visit Gaston Mulch and Soil to order IPEMA mulch or wood chips today or contact us! For orders outside Gainesville, delivery options are available by phone. Keep the play areas in your neighborhood safe – be sure to use IPEMA mulch.