Playground Safety Week looks a little different this year! Almost all public playgrounds are closed, so families are spending more quality time at home with the kids. It’s also that time of year where everyone wants to spend more time outdoors and soak up that early spring weather!
These are all GREAT things! Spending time with the kids and building that strong family bond can give everyone a more positive outlook in these times of uncertainty. Kids will be spending more time outdoors this spring, so make sure to check that your Rainbow Play System Swing Set is in perfect working order and the safest swing set! Below are some guidelines for yearly maintenance on any outdoor wooden playset structure!
Safety and Maintenance Checks on Swing Sets
To ensure that any backyard play structure is safe and sturdy, follow these maintenance tips and the kids will experience enjoyment from their Rainbow Play System for many years to come!
Check and tighten all nuts and bolts. Make sure not to over tighten these components, which can cause wood to crack or splinter. Using a torque wrench, acorn nuts should be tightened to 5 foot-pounds of torque. Some protruding bolts with sharp edges have coverings to prevent injury. Tighten or replace these when necessary.
Some metal parts like the swing set brackets may have rusted. These areas can be sanded down and repainted with a paint specifically used for coating metal. Make sure the paint used is non lead-based, and follows the requirements of Title 16 CFR Part 1303.
Surface Materials & Ground Cover
Rake and check the depth of loose fill protective surfacing materials like wood chips or rubber mulch. This prevents compaction and helps to maintain an appropriate depth. Replace or add to the surface filling as necessary.
Wooden Parts & Beams
Look for deterioration and splinters on wood beams and parts. Spot sand any areas that appear to be checking or splintering. This is a natural process of wood as it ages, and poses no threat to the structural integrity. Wood components with deep cracks or splinters, broken pieces, or signs of deterioration need to be replaced right away.
Insect infestations and rot can inhibit the structural integrity of the wood – keep an eye out for nests or burrow holes. Seasonal staining and cleaning can often keep pests or rot bay. If the infestation is large, call an exterminator to assess the situation. Some wood parts may need to be replaced if they are extensively damaged.
Leveling & Anchoring
The entire swing set structure, particularly the swing beam, must be secure and balanced. Ensure all brackets and braces are tight, along with any nuts and bolts. If there is any wobble, or you are unsure of how to properly and safely balance a swing set, contact your local showroom for tips or schedule a no-contact (participating locations may vary) maintenance check to get your swing set anchored or secured safely.
For the best tips on cleaning, staining, and sealing your swing set, check out our blog post for spring care tips on keeping the wood in tip-top shape! When staining wood, buy non-toxic, child safe stain and sealant. Buying the Rainbow Play Systems Stain is also available through a showroom near you!
Lubricate all metallic moving parts and grease the Tire Swivel monthly during the usage period. Moving parts on swing seats, swing hangars, S-hooks, eyebolts, spring clips, ropes, and chains show signs of wear or get rusty, can deteriorate and may need to be replaced.
Check Your Local Showroom for Maintenance Packages!
Checking a swing set for safety can be an overwhelming task, especially on larger structures. Some Rainbow Play System showrooms offer maintenance packages, where a professional comes to assess and determine if parts need to be repaired or replaced. They typically offer to run a complete safety check, and can power wash and re-stain your swing set for you! Contact your local showroom today to ask about no-contact swing set maintenance services!