Ground Protection: Part 1 - Why Would You Need Flooring Outside, Anyway?
Perhaps you are an event planner coordinating a large outdoor concert. Or maybe you are a project manager at a construction company searching for more efficient ways to protect the ground from your equipment and keep your employees out of the mud. In any case, you face an unusual challenge. You need to find something to protect the ground from your stuff, and your stuff from the ground. What ground protection, if any, should you get?
In this four-part blog post series, we will walk you through exactly how to research and choose the ideal ground protection. We will start by examining the big picture (in this post) and refine our criteria in future posts.
The simplest option (obviously) is nothing at all. Depending on your needs, this may be just fine. Maybe you are pitching a tent on grass or hard-packed dirt. The weather is good. The terrain is even. Life is easy.
But what if it rains and your guests didn’t bring their Spartan Race gear? What if you are setting up in a muddy area or on a place where the vegetation is ragged? You could encounter problems. The next step up might be fabric flooring. This solution is frankly not that common, however, it has its uses. Fabric can seal a tent, and it provides more protection against the elements than no flooring at all.
However, if the ground underneath the floor is soft and muddy, fabric can’t prevent you from sinking in with every step—a sensation comparable to walking on top of a waterbed. Also, what happens when people track water or mud or debris onto the fabric floor? There is no drainage system. The liquid will pool and create a nasty mess.
Another potential option would be crushed stone or gravel. This is pretty common in the construction industry for temporary roads. But it has some serious disadvantages - namely sourcing, transport to the site, labor cost to install, and then disposal cost and hassle after the project is over. It is not really reusable, so these costs will have to be incurred repeatedly every time a new temporary road is contemplated.
Your final option is some sort of modular hard flooring. This solution can provide substantial support; create a barrier between you and the ground; establish a firm foundation for solid footing; and if you pick the pick the right solution, can be used again and again.
Stay tuned for our next blog post, where we will explore this last option in greater depth and examine various types of hard floor solutions for outdoor use.
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