How to Maintain Your Wooden Swing Set
A wooden swing set is a fantastic way to enhance your outdoor space and provide kids with lifelong memories. Backyard Discovery has dozens of wood swing sets of various sizes and styles, depending on your specific needs, your childrens’ interests and the size of your outdoor space.
Your wooden play structure is designed and constructed of quality materials. Although assembly of the swing set will no doubt be the biggest lift, the work doesn’t stop there. As with all outdoor products, it will weather and wear. To maximize the enjoyment, safety and life of your swing set, it is important that you properly maintain it. Below are a few tips for proper maintenance:
Backyard Discovery uses 100% cedar wood. Although we take great care in selecting the best quality lumber available, wood is still a product of nature and susceptible to weathering, which can change the appearance of your set. One of the main reasons for weathering is the effects of water; the moisture content of the wood at the surface is different from the interior of the wood. As the climate changes, moisture moves in or out of the wood, causing tension which can result in checking and warping. In addition, sunlight will cause the wood to fade over time.
Once a year, preferably before the first play session of the spring, we suggest applying a sealant to the wood. Your wood product is coated with a water-based stain. Sunlight will break down the coating, so we recommend applying a water repellent or stain on a yearly basis. Before doing this, it’s a good idea to wash the wood to remove any debris and let it dry for 24 hours, then sand any parts that may have splintered during the winter before you begin staining or sealing.
The color of your stain or sealant is up to you, and your local home improvement store will have plenty of options, including any that will match the color of our cedar. Backyard Discovery offers a five-year warranty on the cedar of all of our swing sets. A requirement of the warranty is that you must apply some type of protection to the wood each year.
The annual staining or sealing process will be a big project, but it’s not the only time you should maintain your swing set. You’ll want to inspect your wooden swing set regularly, ideally before each play session but no less frequently than once a month, to ensure the wood and assorted parts are in good working order. Wood naturally weathers and wears, and even more so when kids are using it frequently. If you notice any splintering of the wood, this is the time to lightly sand and seal the area.
You’ll also want to check all hardware to take sure nothing is loose, and fix or tighten anything if necessary. This includes bolts, pipes, edges and corners.
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure the swing set is still level. As your children play, your playset will slowly dig its way into the soil, and it is very important that it settles evenly. Adjust as needed.
As the weather gets colder, and particularly if you live in an area with frequent snow where you know there will be long periods between play sessions, we recommend you remove all plastic items such as swing seats and accessories from your set and store them away from the elements. This will maximize their life and avoid the need for constant replacement parts.
Before the first snow, it’s also a good idea to rake and check the depth of the loose-fill material under the swing set. Cold weather and snow will naturally compact this material, so ensuring it has the proper depth and is maintained means less work come spring time.
Enjoy Years Of Memories With A Well-Maintained Wooden Swing Set
There’s no doubt your kids are going to enjoy their new wooden swing set. They’ll probably spend all day playing on it the day you finish the assembly, and you’ll have to drag them off of it for dinner. But making sure they’re able to enjoy it for a long time, as well as keeping it looking great, requires regular maintenance. This includes regular inspections, annual stain or sealant, and proper storage of parts when necessary.
Backyard Discovery has more than 30 wooden swing set options from which to choose, including multiple slides, mini rock-climbing walls and treehouse-type structures. If you’re ready to create a space your kids will enjoy for years to come, check out the options today!