Before the change of season, please be sure to check and make sure that everything on your kids playset is in good, working order. Play areas should be inspected on a regular basis. If any of the follwing conditions are noted, they should be removed, corrected or repaired immediately to prevent injuries:
1. Hardware that is loose or worn, or that has exposed projections. Most of the swing set dealers such as Gorilla Playsets and Playnation, will provide recessed hardware so that there are no protruding bolts or screws, however, some of the hardware pieces may have small plastic caps on them to protect the ends. Check for these types of hardware and check for any coverings that may be missing. Keep them covered so that they can’t scratch or rust.
2. Exposed equipment footings. While surveying your swing set, make sure that all base footings are covered, so that they aren’t a trip and fall risk. Look for the playset ground stakes, and make sure that they are still covered, in place and secure.
3. Scattered debris, litter, rocks, or tree roots. Tree roots can sprout up even after you have leveled the ground. Just when you think you have taken it all out, 6 months later it’s back again! Sometimes this takes more than once to eliminate all of the roots. Rocks can also make their way into the area, by excessive ground wear. Often times, you never even knew that a rock was buried there at all. Take a look to be sure that there are no potentially dangerous ground debris.
4. Rust and chipped paint on metal components. Some hardware components may be rusty, while others aren’t showing any signs of wear at all. All of this depends on the sun light it receives to keep it dry, the drainage around the component part and if the set rests under trees that can drip water on it. Natural oxidation will also play a part. Check to see if there is any exposed chain under the plastisol wrapping of the swing chains. Keep your playset pinch-free and fun to use, and check it at the turn of the season.
5. Splinters, large cracks, and decayed wood components. Splintering can happen over time on wood, especially to the ends. Sanding it and re-sealing it with a good stain will make it look like new again! While checking the wood, be sure to look for large cracks that go all the way through. Some cracks are normal, as wood will do this. Keeping it sealed is a good way to protect it.
6. Deterioration and corrosion on structural components, which connect to the ground. If you notice that your wooden playset has mold or mildew on it near the ground, please clean this off so that it does not spread or effect the integrity of the wood. Mold and mildew can happen if the playset sits in the shade, and it never dries out completely.
7. Missing or damaged equipment components, such as handholds, guardrails or swing seats. If you see any broken pieces that are safety rails, please replace them immediately. Safety handles, plastisol covers and seat belts should be in good, working order to keep your child safe.
8. Worn stain or sealant. With cold weather just around the corner, you will want to make preparations for the season and protect your wooden swing set if it needs attention. A wooden swing set will need a coat of stain or sealant as often as your wooden deck.