Shredded rubber mulch is generally made with special machinery in factories. This new product is used in gardens, playgrounds, landscaping, and more. Not only does it save other precious resources from being used, but also it’s more durable than gravel or wood chips. In addition, it isn’t biodegradable, and it doesn’t get blown away easily. Make your own shredded rubber mulch at home with a bit of patience and the proper equipment.
Step 1 – Collecting Old Tires
Collect used, worn, and old rubber tires from cars, trucks, bicycles, or scooters. The condition of the tires does not matter, as they will be shredded. You can also buy tires from a junkyard for a low cost. Try to find tires that haven’t been steel-belted so you can shorten the process of turning them into mulch.
Step 2 – Removing Steel Belting
If you have any steel-belted tires, remove the steel belting before continuing. Then, use pliers and a chisel to separate the rubber from the steel. Wear gloves and take safety precautions, as the steel could cut your fingers.
Step 3 – Shredding Rubber
Warning: Before using any shredder, read the owner’s manual thoroughly. Take all safety precautions as suggested by the manual.
To shred the steel-free rubber, you need a powerful shredder. Because you need an industrial-strength shredder, it’s best if you contact a rental center that rents out shredders and chippers. Make sure the shredder you rent can shred rubber, and follow the directions it comes with to shred your rubber into mulch.
Step 4 - Painting the Mulch
Painting the rubber mulch is optional. If you want to paint your mulch, you can use any rubber paint available from your local paint store. Use a paint sprayer if possible. Otherwise, stir the paint, and pour it onto the rubber mulch. Next, turn and mix the mulch with a rake so the paint gets onto all of the pieces.
Step 5 - Drying the Mulch
Mix the mulch well in a clean wheelbarrow. Then, pour and dry it on a tarp so the paint does not seep into the soil. Let the paint dry before giving the mulch a second coat.
Step 6 - Using Mulch
Spread the shredded rubber mulch on your landscaping ground or garden. The layer should be approximately one to two inches thick. Maintain the rubber mulch by occasionally spraying it with water and raking it.