Playground equipment can provide children with a joy and excitement found nowhere else. If you own playground equipment, then you know the importance of keeping it in the best possible condition. Along with extending the life of play structures, it helps to reduce the potential risk of injury. In addition, the right maintenance will leave your playground looking new for years to come. Below we go into detail about ways that you can help keep your playground equipment maintained during the autumn months.
Know What to Expect
Autumn brings with it variable temperatures and a lot of moisture. Both of these things can eat away at playground equipment. The combination of wet and dry cycles helps to break apart the outer coating of the material while the changing temperatures stress the material and expose things like joints and bolts to rust. Be aware that while the damage done during the Autumn months may not be that dramatic, they are a problem none-the-less and will result in significant damage if ignored for years. So, what can you do to maintain your playground equipment?
Collect & organise your tools before you begin
Start by collecting the tools you will need. Get a torch, WD-40 oil, mulch, polyurethane and brushes, an s-hook plier, and wrenches for tightening bolts. Also consider a roll of paper towels to help clean up the playground equipment when you are done.
Perform weekly inspections
During the Autumn months, you will want to perform regular weekly inspections. These inspections are preventative in nature and will require little effort once you get into the swing of things. Check to make sure none of the bolts are coming loose for things like climbing frames or play towers. Examine the plastic parts to see if there has been any damage done. Consider applying new mulch and performing a light raking. The higher levels of rain typically result in more mulch work having to be done.
Clean and Prep for the following year
There are a few things you can do during the Autumn to prepare your play structures for the rest of the winter and the following year. One of the most important things for you to do is to treat the joints with WD-40. This helps decrease the risk of rusting. In addition, check nearby trees to see if they have encroached on the playground and consider cutting them back if they are within 6 feet. Also, you may want to check the swing clearance to ensure that it has not decreased since the last time you measured.
You can take the inspection further by using a torch, check for insect or animal activity around and inside the frames of structures like outdoor shelters and play towers. Finally, consider installing a coat of polyurethane on the equipment before finishing. The coating will help to fully protect the playground equipment against the elements and leave your play structures happy, safe, and like new.