Commercial playsets are fun-filled structures that cultivate childhood memories. Playgrounds should be a secure haven for kids to let their imaginations run wild—it’s up to adults to guarantee that commercial playsets are safe and long-lasting for children.
Clean All Playground Equipment
Plastic and metal are the two most common materials used to create playground equipment. The playsets will require cleaning from time to time, as kids play roughly on the surfaces, and the weather leaves things grimy. Below, we’ll discuss how to clean various components of playground equipment.
Plastic Playground Components
Start by removing any visible dirt or debris from plastic playground equipment using a soft cloth soaked in a mild detergent. Gently clean the surfaces, even the nooks and crannies, so that you don’t leave any imperfections behind.
Remember that harsh chemicals can cause discoloration and make the plastic very brittle, so stick to a mild cleaning solution. After rinsing the soapy surface, dry it thoroughly with a towel.
Metal Playground Components
When it comes to metal playsets, the cleaning process mimics the clean steps you use with plastic components.
Any harsh chemicals or stiff bristles will strip the protective coating and cause premature rust, so use a soft cleaning brush or cloth and a mild detergent. This technique will protect the quality and appearance of the metal while prolonging the playset equipment’s lifespan.
Check for Cracks, Rusted Metal, and More
Various imperfections will affect the longevity and safety of the playground equipment. Here are some of the flaws to be on the lookout for.
Cracks in Plastic Materials
Cracks in playground equipment compromise the structure’s integrity. Kids could fall due to faulty playsets or scratch themselves on sharp edges. Not to mention, these imperfections can harbor water, insects, bacteria, and more that could be harmful to children.
If you find any cracks, you should restrict access to the affected area until you can make the repairs. Depending on the size and location of the crack, you may choose to repair the component or replace it entirely. Regular inspections and timely interventions can help you maintain a safe and pleasant play environment for all users.
Rust isn’t solely a superficial eyesore. It tears away at the metal and puts the children’s safety at risk.
You need to immediately take action if you discover rust on your playground equipment. Address smaller areas by sanding down the rusted surfaces, priming, and then repainting. For widespread rust or cases where the rust has compromised the metal structure’s integrity, you may need to replace it entirely.
Loose Bolts and Screws
With a little bit of pressure or harsh weather, the entire playset could fall apart from loose bolts and screws. That’s why regular inspection of bolts, screws, and other fasteners on playground equipment is critical.
Begin by visually examining the equipment, paying special attention to areas where bolts and screws join components together. Look for any obvious signs of loosening, such as misaligned parts. You may also use a screwdriver or wrench to test their tightness. Be careful not to overtighten them, as this can strip the threads or cause damage to the equipment.
Some bolts and screws might exhibit signs of corrosion, too. In this case, you should replace the hardware to ensure the playground equipment remains sturdy and long-lasting.
Go to each piece of equipment and determine if the playset’s foundation is sturdy in the ground. If not, the playset is likely to wobble. Swing sets, slides, climbers, and more pose a threat when they are unsteady.
Begin by visually examining the area around the base of the playground equipment for signs of erosion or wear. This could include soil displacement and water pooling.
If the foundation is the issue, it may require more extensive repairs. You might need to secure the equipment into the ground more firmly or replace the protective surfacing around the base of the equipment.
Examine the Slides for Debris and Pinch Points
Many people often overlook the interior of slides during their inspection. While you may frequently check the base of the slide to ensure it’s clear, you should keep in mind that the inside of the slide is just as important to examine.
Start by inspecting the slide for leaves, twigs, rocks, and other debris caused by rambunctious kids or the elements. Sliding over any of these items can cause cuts or bruises to the users.
Next, inspect for possible pinch points on the slide. Pinch points are areas where moving parts or components come together and could potentially trap a part of a child’s body, causing injury. They are often at joints or where the slide attaches to the rest of the playground structure. Check these areas meticulously and ensure that there are no spaces that could potentially cause a pinch hazard.
Also, feel the slide surface with your hand. This thorough inspection can detect any small, sharp objects or rough spots that may be invisible to the eye but could cause injury to the children.
Take Care of Pour-In Playground Rubber Surfaces
Pour-in playground rubber is durable, but it still requires care from time to time. Below, we detail a few pieces of advice for caring for these rubber surfaces.
Look Out for Debris
Kids are unlikely to pay attention to the objects beneath their feet. Glass, large rocks, leaves, and branches are especially hazardous during playtime. Sweep the surface or use a leaf blower to get rid of any debris.
Cleanse the Rubber Surface
The high-traffic rubber surface quickly accumulates bacteria, dirt, grime, and sticky spills. For stain removal, you should address the issue as soon as it arises. You can clean most stains with a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar.
Next, clean the entire surface with a small amount of mild detergent. Use water to rinse away the soap residue and let it air dry before letting children play on the equipment again.
Repair Any Tears
While rubber is reliable, it can still develop tears. To keep commercial playsets safe and long-lasting, you’ll need to use a pour-in playground rubber patch and repair kit. It will eliminate any tripping hazards, prevent mold from developing beneath the surface, and keep the surface looking pleasing for many more years.
Understand When To Replace Playground Equipment
While playsets can last for decades with frequent care, you should never keep a playset running longer than it should be. Some items are beyond repair and no longer safe for children to play.
Discount Playground Supply has a wide selection of commercial playsets for sale. If you ever find yourself with a fully rusted metal swing set or a wobbly rock climbing wall, we can supply you with high-quality playsets that will last.