Autumn - a good time for a maintenance check on your set

#maintenance #safety

So the evenings are getting darker earlier and it is finally getting cool enough to allow the children to sleep a bit better.

Now's a good time to check for any loose bolts or screws and to touch up wear and tear. We recommend applying timber oil after 3 months and then every 12 months so for those of you who bought at Xmas, now is a good time.

Here is a reminder of things to check for:

SEASONAL MAINTENANCE

 

Check and tighten Hex Bolts/T-nuts, Carriage Bolts/Lock-nuts, and Lag Screws within the first 60 days and then twice annually – once before each season and then once during the season.

Apply a sealant or semi-transparent stain with sealant. 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 centres for a product that would work best for your local environment.

We can supply you with Natural House Company Timber oil or you can order timber oil and oxygen cleaner directly: www.naturalhouse.co.nz

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 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.

 

Playgrounds should be inspected on a regular basis. If any of the following conditions are noted, they should be removed, corrected or repaired immediately to prevent injuries:

  • Hardware that is loose, worn or that has protrusions or projections.
  • Exposed equipment footings.
  • Scattered debris, litter, rocks, or tree roots.
  • Splinters, large cracks, 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.
  • Check all nuts and bolts twice monthly during the usage season and tighten as required.(But not so tight that you crack the wood) We recommend you check the swing beam and hardware often due to wood expansion and contraction. It is particularly important that this procedure be followed at the beginning of each season.
  • Remove plastic swing seats and take indoors or do not use when the temperature drops below 0°C. Reinstall swings and other swing equipment at the beginning of the usage season.
  • Oil all metallic moving parts monthly during the usage period.
  • Check all coverings for bolts and sharp edges twice monthly during usage season to be certain they are in place. Replace when necessary. It is especially important to do this at the beginning of each new season.
  • Check swing seats, ropes, cables and chains monthly during usage season for evidence of deterioration. Replacement should be made of any swing seat that has developed cracks in the plastic seats. Ropes, cables and chains should be removed and replaced if excessive wear is found. Contact us for warranted replacement parts.
  • For rusted areas on metallic members such as monkey bars, hand supports brackets, etc.; sand and repaint, using a non lead-based paint.
  • Inspect wood parts monthly. The grain of the wood sometimes will lift in the dry season causing splinters to appear. Light sanding may be necessary to maintain a safe playing environment. If you are treating your play set with stain regularly, it will help prevent severe checking/splitting and other weather damage.
  • Once or twice a year, depending on your climate conditions, you must apply some type of protection (sealant) to the wood of your unit. Prior to the application of sealant, lightly sand any “rough” spots on your set. Please note this is a requirement of your warranty.
  • Creating and maintaining the play set on a level location is very important. As your children play, your play set will slowly dig its way into the soil, and it is very important that it settles evenly. Make sure the play set is level and true once each year or at the beginning of each play season.
  • Twice a month during the usage season rake the playground protective surfacing materials to prevent compaction and maintain appropriate depths. Replace the protective surfacing materials as required.

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