Swing set maintenance is critical to the long-term health and viability of your kids’ play equipment. Depending on where you live, you may experience multiple seasons (sometimes, this may occur in a single day) and with wood, a little bit of TLC goes a long way.
As the weather changes, it’s important to know what steps you can take to ensure your swing set is in top shape – no matter what Mother Nature decides to throw your way. While wood is sturdy and generally durable, it’s also not immune to the challenges posed by adverse conditions, making swing set maintenance a top priority so that your kids, their friends, and friends of friends can take full advantage of its benefits throughout the year.
You may be thinking to yourself: “well, Eastern Jungle Gym, I agree with you…but I have no idea where to start or what I need to get started.”
That’s totally fine. We get it! Everything from power washing a swing set, to staining your swing set and cleaning, we’re here to make sure you have all the bases covered – and, well in advance so that you’re ready when the bad weather decides to make an appearance. In this blog, you’ll find our top tips and tricks for proper swing set maintenance, including the individual steps you can take to make sure yours is safe, happy, and healthy.
Everyone deserves a swing set that brings joy and happiness, and it’s even better when you can find it right in your own backyard. Let’s get started, shall we?
How do I inspect and assess the condition of my swing set?
This is an important step to maintaining and caring for your swing set. Swing set maintenance is easy when you know what to do (and when to do it), but the first step is to do a comprehensive assessment of the materials.
When it comes to checking the hardware on your backyard swing set, the simple answer is that there’s no such thing as “too often.” Regularly assessing the hardware and its condition will help you understand what’s needed in terms of maintenance – whether that’s power washing your swing set, sealing and/or staining your swing set, or simply cleaning the swing set.
How long do wooden playsets last? With proper care and attention, they’re a long-lasting investment for you and the little ones.
When and how should I clean my swing set?
Short answer: regularly! Spoiler alert: it’s also easy to learn how to clean a wooden playset. Oftentimes, a simple annual wipe-down of swing set accessories and toys is sufficient. But power washing your swing set is a great way to do a thorough cleaning that will last weeks if not months. Your swing set canopy may need replacing once every 2-3 years, and the same goes for sling swings.
Should I stain and seal my swing set?
Once again: yes! Especially if you’ve never stained or sealed your swing set, it likely needs some love.
Just like any appliances or furniture you’d maintain for changing weather, you should plan some maintenance for your swing set, too. With more than two decades’ experience in the business, we recommend staining or sealing your wooden swing set once a year (if yours is in a shady location, you may be able to get away with staining and sealing your swing set once every two years).
So, what’s the difference between stain and sealer? Stain offers tint to restore your swing set’s color, and the sealer is clear. If your swing set’s color looks good, simply opt for the sealer. If the color of your swing set is fading, we recommend staining.
You can stain or seal before or after the season starts, but we prefer before–sometime in the spring–because you’ll want the structure to be protected against the strong summer sun. And even if your swing set is brand new, staining or sealing sooner than later is a good idea because it will get you on schedule for years to come.
Ready to get started, or just need a few expert tips to ensure you’re nailing it? We’ve got you. Here’s a step-by-step guide explaining how to stain an outdoor swing set, and get your Backyard Fun Palace looking like new again.
Staining and sealing a swing set is not a difficult task (easily a one-person job), just a bit time-consuming. It’s a worthwhile chore though, and it will keep your swing set looking great for years to come.
How and when should I check all accessories for any damages?
Having a playground set is all about creating childhood memories. While the wooden structure should be examined and maintained at least once per year, the accessories require much more sporadic inspection. We recommend (as a best practice) taking a look at the swing set accessories every year, but they may not need replacing more than once every few years. In the event of prolonged harsh weather, that time window may be a bit shorter.
A good rule of thumb is that it’s better to check regularly. “Safe” surely beats “sorry,” right?
Is power washing my swing set a good idea?
Power washing your swing set is an excellent way to prepare the structure for staining or sealing. Simply give it a strong wash 1-2 days before you plan on staining or sealing, then give it ample time to dry before proceeding. This is important to note: to stain or seal, the wooden playset needs to be completely dry.
How long do wooden playsets last?
If you’re diligent and follow the steps outlined in this blog, there’s truly no limit to how long your outdoor swing set can last. Routine maintenance checks, regular cleaning and replacing accessories and swing set canopies will keep your playset in tip-top shape and maximize enjoyment for the kids all year long. Got questions? Our in-house experts are always available to help.
These days, an outdoor playset is a big investment and like any other big-ticket item, it pays to protect it. Our team at Eastern Jungle Gym has decades of experience designing, building, and maintaining the best swing sets in the business–and we’re always willing to support our customers when they need us. Don’t hesitate to reach out!
Know this, too: preserving your wooden swing set doesn’t have to be a laborious or time-intensive project. After reading this blog, hopefully, you’re more confident in how to clean your wooden playset, how to stain and seal your swing set, and how to perform simple safety checks that guarantee the structural integrity of your backyard’s most cherished (and fun) place to let kids simply be kids.
Owners who are willing to set aside one weekend each year to perform routine maintenance and upkeep will be able to retain their swing set’s beauty for a long time to come.