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How long do thermoplastic markings last?

Playgrounds are a place of joy and imagination for children, offering them a world of adventures and games. Amidst the laughter and play, you may have noticed the colourful shapes and patterns on the ground. But have you ever wondered how long these vibrant thermoplastic playground markings last? In this article, we delve into the world of thermoplastic playground markings, exploring their durability and the factors that influence their longevity.

Colourful thermoplastic playground markings

Understanding Thermoplastic Markings

Thermoplastic playground markings are vibrant and engaging designs that adorn playground surfaces. They are created from a special type of plastic that can be melted and applied as a liquid, transforming into sturdy, colourful shapes once cooled.

Unlike regular paint, which can quickly fade under the enthusiastic footsteps of children, thermoplastic markings are designed to endure the rigours of play, making them a preferred choice for schools, parks, and recreational areas.

How long do thermoplastic markings last?

Typical Lifespan Expectancy

So, what's the typical lifespan you can expect from thermoplastic markings? The short answer would be up to 10 times as long as paint would. While it varies depending on a number of factors such as the age of the tarmac, condition of the tarmac (moss / cracks), is that area prone to flooding? Well-maintained thermoplastic markings can often last between 7 to 8 years or even longer in playgrounds. However, frequent inspection and touch-ups may be necessary in high-activity areas.

Maintenance and Preservation Strategies

To extend the lifespan of thermoplastic playground markings, routine maintenance can be of benefit. This includes regular cleaning to remove dirt and debris, as well as ensuring moss doesn't build up in this area. Using a a soft-bristled brush and mild detergent is the recommended cleaning method. Jet washing can cause the water to get under the markings and lift them, which should be avoided.

Other aspects to take into consideration:

1. Play Intensity: The more active and enthusiastic the play in the area, the quicker the markings may experience wear and tear. High-traffic playgrounds may require more frequent maintenance.

2. Environmental Conditions: The local climate, including exposure to sunlight and harsh weather, plays a significant role in the longevity of thermoplastic playground markings. Prolonged exposure to extreme conditions can impact their lifespan.

3. Quality of Installation and Maintenance: Proper installation and regular playground maintenance can help the markings last. Poor application or neglecting necessary touch-ups can significantly reduce their lifespan.


In conclusion, thermoplastic playground markings add an element of fun and creativity to play areas for children. Understanding their durability and the factors influencing their longevity is vital for maintaining vibrant and engaging playgrounds. By acknowledging the importance of proper installation, regular maintenance, and choosing the right materials, we can ensure that these colourful markings continue to provide a world of excitement and imagination for children for years to come, creating lasting memories in the world of play.

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