These days, a play set is a big investment and like any other big ticket item, it pays to protect it. Preserving your wooden swing set doesn’t have to be a laborious or time intensive project. 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. Read along to see how you can easily give the backyard play set a make-over.
Staining and Sealing
Staining or sealing is one of the most important components of preserving your backyard playground. To protect the unit from the elements, we recommend you stain or seal annually. Of course, you may find that it is beneficial to stain or seal more or less often, depending on the climate and weather of your location.
The first step in staining or sealing your set is cleaning it. We like the idea of using plain old soap and water here. A power washer is of great assistance for this step. Next, remove accessories and toys, and let the swing set dry. Ideally, the cleaning could be done on a Friday night, or early Saturday. Then, on Sunday, you can finish the process: sand rough patches and apply the stain or sealer. It is important to wait another 24 hours for the stain or sealer to dry. Need more information? Explore this step by step guide to staining your swing set.
When it comes to checking the hardware on your children’s playground set, there’s simply no such thing as too often. At least once a year, or even once a season, inspect the bolts and tighten as necessary. This doesn’t take much in the way of time or resources — all you need is a wrench and an hour’s time!
Replacements and Cleaning
Another way to keep the playground set looking brand new is regular cleaning. An annual wipe down of swings and toys should be sufficient. Replacing accessories or slides should be much more sporadic. For example, if you live in the Northeast and the past few winters have been particularly tough, a tent top canopy may need replacing after three or so years. The same goes for a sling swing. This is also an opportunity to upgrade the playground set, and incorporate a horse glider swing for two or gym-ring trapeze bar combo as a new activity.
Update or Install a Ground Surface
Look closely at the surface beneath the playground set. We suggest that all playsets have a thick layer of rubber mulch underneath them for additional padding and safety. Rubber mulch lasts much longer and requires less maintenance than the usual wood mulch.
Commitment is Key
We recommend marking a weekend on the calendar in advance so you don’t forget about the upkeep of your playground set. Even if it’s six months away, you’ll give yourself a reminder. Once you’ve done the staining, tightening, and cleaning for that year, make sure that you plan ahead for the next maintenance day. We encourage you to get the whole family involved. After all, having a playground set is all about creating childhood memories. Why not making this a teaching moment for the little ones?
Making sure that the children’s swing set is stained, the hardware is in check, and you’ve scheduled the next routine maintenance day for next year ensures that your backyard investment will be around for years to come.