While materials like metal and wood have been recycled for decades, the technology to reuse rubber was developed only a few years ago. By pressing rubber chips or shreds into flexible mats, a durable but easy to roll walkway is created. These walkways lay out across your backyard for a party and store away quickly when they're not needed.
Recycled rubber pavers and walkways use rubber products, like tires, that would otherwise take up space in a landfill. They also reduce the use of new materials to create a wood or concrete walkway, according to Glenn Baglo for the "Vancouver Sun." The production of concrete produces pollutants and wood mulch increases demand for new lumber in the logging industry. Many outdoor rubber mats feature perforations that allow for better drainage, preventing run-off in your backyard.
All roll up walkways offer versatility because they are easy to remove when not needed. This allows plants and grass to grow without being damaged by a more permanent walkway. Rubber is lighter than other roll up walkway materials, such as wood. Unlike heavier path materials, a roll up rubber walkway will lift up under a growing root system without damaging it, according to Mindfully.org. This allows you to lay a temporary walkway very close to trees in your backyard.
Although the lightweight rubber roll up walkways have less of an impact on the grass below it, it still creates some problems for delicate plant life. Recycled rubber leaches pollutants, including zinc, into the soil below it, according to Gardens Alive. This builds up and disrupts the growth of plants in the area for many years. However, using rubber walkways for short periods of time reduces the amount of pollutants that reach the soil, especially if the paths are taken up before rain falls.
These flexible rubber mats have other uses than just as a safe place to walk. Like chipped rubber mulch, a recycled rubber walkway works as a barrier to prevent weed growth. These mats can also run over concrete, wood or other hard materials for a softer walking surface. Some roll up rubber paths are designed for use on flat roofs that become damaged when stepped on. However, these paths tend to have supports on one side that backyard models lack.