Maintaining Your Playset
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Whether you're looking into getting a new playset for your children or you've had one for a while, many people aren't aware that your playset needs maintenance. While they're built to withstand the outdoors, maintenance ensures that they will last for years to come and that they stay safe for your children.
So what are the basics to maintaining your playset? We've listed out some of the most important steps to take below.
If you have any more questions about maintaining your playset or are looking to buy one, feel free to contact us at Recreations Outlet!
- Regular Inspections
This is the most important aspect of maintaining your playset. We recommend performing a monthly inspection to ensure that you catch any problem areas before they become a bigger issue. If you live in a colder area and don't use the playset during the winter months, it's important to perform a full, detailed inspection before you let your children start playing on it again in the spring as winter can have more severe effects depending on the climate.
Here's what you should be looking for during your inspection:
- Check bolts, screws, and hooks to ensure they aren't sharp/sticking out too far. Ensure that you retighten all of them to ensure stability.
- Check all ropes and chains for any signs of weakness.
- Inspect plastic parts for cracking/buckling and all metal for signs of rust.
- Check for splinters and rot on wood parts. Sand down rough areas and replace cracked/rotting boards.
- Check for sharp objects, debris, and tripping hazards around the entire area of the playset.
- Remulch the area
Mulch is a great, inexpensive material to use to reduce the impact of inevitable trips and falls. It's a common misconception that the playset is fine if it's on top of grass or dirt.
We recommend a layer of mulch at least 1 foot deep and at least 6 feet beyond the equipment area to allow for a good buffer zone. It's important to keep the mulch loose and doesn't become compacted, which would work to defeat the purpose of providing a soft area.
The mulch will inevitably become compacted over time and the wood will start breaking down. Fortunately, mulch typically only needs to be replaced every two to three years, but it may be more or less depending on your climate so be sure to check every year.
- Clean and stain the wood
Cleaning is easy enough as it usually only takes a garden hose to wash off light dirt and debris. If dirt has accumulated a little more than usual, you can use a pressure washer or a brush with soft bristles. If you need to use a pressure washer, make sure to not set the pressure too high to avoid damage to the wood.
Staining the playset will not only make it look great, but it will also seal the wood to protect it from the elements. If you plan on staining teh wood, cleaning the entire playset is absolutely necessary to ensure that you aren't sealing in any dirt or debris.
- Remove plastic parts for winter
While you can't take down the whole playset for the winter months, it is important to store away any removable plastic parts that you can. The cold, snow, and ice will have adverse effects on the plastic, so storing them can ensure that they'll be good to go when you reopen the playset in the spring.
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