Much Ado about Mulch

proper rubber roofingDuring the rare occasions that the subject of ‘mulch’ comes into a conversation, the topic is mostly about compost and other rotting things. But, even though they’re very common in everyday life, people are almost always surprised to hear about rubber mulch, as well as EPDM rubber mulch.

Mulch Ado

Mulch is a layer of material applied to the surface of soil meant to conserve moisture, improve the fertility of the ground, reduce weeds, and enhance the look of an area. Given the nature of what mulch should do, it’s then forgivable to discount rubber as an alternative for such purposes. That is precisely the reason why the use for rubber mulch is completely different from those listed above.

Mulch To Do

EPDM is more commonly used as roofing material, and with good reason. The lightweight elasticity, ease of installation, and incredible lifespan of the material make it perfect as a house topper. But, is it good for anything else? It turns out that EPDM mulch isn’t very good at fertilising anything (at least not as good as traditional mulch), but it’s quite good for making pathways and recreational surfaces.

They’re most common in children’s play areas that don’t use the interlocking rubber tiles. Rubber mulch still offers the feel of an organic, earthy material that children can sink their fingers into, without the added bonus of getting cut on stray rocks and twigs, or the occasional bug bite.

Rubber mulch is a great alternative to traditional mulch because it’s material that would otherwise get dumped in landfills. EPDM mulch is also more sustainable, as it lasts ten times longer than wood mulch that deteriorates over time. Wood mulch needs replacement every year, on average.

Making Mulch

Rubber mulch is commonly made from damaged and worn down rubber car tires. Mulch manufacturers collect these tires from junkyards and landfills, where most of them end up after removal from a car. The steel belt that gives them their shape is removed and used for something else; the rubber in the meantime is cleaned, treated and shredded into smaller bits. The small bits go through another cleaning process to make sure that no harmful materials make its way into playgrounds, or wherever they end up.

Rubber mulch is a good alternative to consider if you’re planning on making a recreational area where you don’t want to grow anything.