Wooden swings, slides, playhouses and sandboxes are a great way to adorn a family garden and bring years of joy and entertainment for your children. If your wooden play equipment is properly maintained then you’ll be able to avoid any signs of wear and tear, and the equipment will be more than capable of withstanding vigorous play for decades to come. It’s vital that you go about maintaining your equipment in the right way, so we’ve compiled some expert advice that will ensure your wooden play items are completely safe and durable.
1) Cleaning away dirt and debris
Proper maintenance of your wooden playground equipment begins with keeping it clean. As well as kids playing on the equipment, there will be rainstorms, dirt blown about by the wind, and even bugs attempting to make a home on the wooden play items. Using a power washer or hose pipe is the quickest way to keep your equipment clean and free of bugs and spider webs. Another reason to keep your play equipment clean is to prevent rocks and debris from embedding themselves in the wood and scratching the finish, thus leading to eventual water damage.
2) Sand down the rough areas
Regular use of wooden play areas can lead to gouging of the wood, dents and splintering. To keep your children safe and prevent them from risking any harm, you can use an orbital sander to get rid of these rough spots and make sure that your equipment maintains a smooth surface.
3) Get painting
A fresh coat of paint every once in a while will protect your wooden equipment from the elements. Remember that your equipment is outside all year long, so a good paint job will prevent equipment from rotting and falling apart.
4) Tighten screws, bolts and nails
Years of vigorous play means that certain parts of your equipment will absorb a lot more stress than others. Equipment can start to loosen up in places, so it’s important to tighten bolts and screws and make sure that any loose nails are banged back into the wood. Rusty screws and nails that are bent or corroded should be replaced with new ones rather than being left to cause more damage.
5) Fixing holes and gouges
Wood putty can keep you playground equipment looking ship-shape even if it has been damaged in the past. Examine the equipment and look out for any parts of it that might have begun to rot or that have been damaged by heavy objects. Clean out the damaged parts and then replace the piece of wood with a new one. If you’re dealing with a smaller area then wood putty can be used to fill the hole. Once it has dried it will harden up and have the same texture as wood. You’ll be able to sand it down and paint it to blend in with the appearance of your existing equipment.