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Swing Set Maintenance Tips

Swing Set Maintenance Tips

Maintaining your swing set is an important step in keeping your set looking its best - and preventing accidents down the road.

As with any wooden product that spends its entire life outside, in varying elements, it is important to know what to expect with your new swing set so that your family can enjoy it for many years.

As your swing set acclimates to its new environment, natural characteristics of the wood can show in the form of checks, or “cracks” in the lumber. In almost all cases this is normal and it will not affect the structural integrity of your play set and is not covered under warranty.

To keep your playset looking like new, the following steps are crucial to the safety, integrity, and aesthetic appeal of your swing set (and may affect the warranty if not adhered to):

Within 60 Days:

  • Check and tighten hex bolts/t-nuts, carriage bolts/lock nuts, and lag screws within the first 60 days. In the future, these should be checked twice annually - once before each season and then once during the season.

Within 90 Days:

  • Apply a sealant or semi-transparent stain with sealant within in the first 90 days of owning the swing set. If applicable state laws allow, an oil-based product will peetrate and protect the lumber better than a water-based product. Because climate conditions can vary drastically from region to region, we suggest asking the product covering specialists at any number of specialty paint stores or home improvement centers for a product that would work best for your local environment. **TIP** While the set is new, take a small board from your swing set to the store with you so they can color match the tint of the stain or sealant. Be sure to replace the board when you get home.

Annually:

  • Apply a sealant or semi-transparent stain with sealant at the beginning of the season
  • Inspect your playground on a regular basis. If any of the following conditions are noted, immediately remove, correct, or repair them in order to prevent injuries:
    • Hardware that is loose or worn, or that has protrusions or projections.
    • Exposed equipment footings.
    • Scattered debris, litter, rocks, or tree roots.
    • Rust and chipped paint on metal components.
    • Splinters, large crack, and decayed wood components.
    • Deterioration and corrosion on structural components, which connect to the ground.
    • Missing or damaged equipment components, such as handholds, guardrails, swing seats.

Seasonal Reminders:

  • If your area experiences regular snowfall, remove your fabric tarp/canopy to avoid stretching, sagging or tearing of the material. Store it inside, folded up, and it will be as good as new when winter is over.
  • If your area experiences extremely cold temperatures, remove swing belts and other pliable features to prolong the lifespan of these play activities.

Other Tips:

  • Spray swing hangers with Pam, Mazola or olive oil to stop squeaking; do not use petroleum based products such as WD-40 or motor oil.
  • To repel yellow jackets and wasps, use a cotton ball and dab interior wooden corners underneath the play set deck with a liquid dish soap. Avoid using insecticides.
  • To speed up the slide wipe the center of slide with wax paper every 2 - 3 weeks.