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Why Regular Maintenance is Vital for Your New Playground

By Whirl Construction (697 words)
Posted in Commercial Playgrounds on March 12, 2020

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A playground is a significant financial investment, and you want to ensure it lasts as long as (safely) possible. Thankfully, modern advances help ensure that playgrounds are safer for children and families while also providing long-lasting equipment and surfaces. 

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With more than 35 years of experience installing and updating playgrounds, we’ve learned a thing or two about maintaining modern play areas. Today, we’re sharing why regular maintenance is the best way to extend the life of your playground, plus five practical ways to make your playground last. 

Why Maintenance Matters

State Safety Regulations 

It’s also wise to check with your state health department to determine playground safety standards for your area. Most states require regular inspections, and maintenance is the best way to avoid unpleasant surprises during those inspections. With regular maintenance, you’ll have time to identify and fix any potential issues before inspections. 

Keep Patrons Safe 

Playgrounds are primarily used by children in various developmental stages. Regular maintenance ensures they have a place that is fun and safe. Maintenance can help you lower injury risks, which means more families will want to patron your play area for years to come. 

Spend a Little, Save a Lot 

A little preventative maintenance goes a long way! Cleaning, repairing, and inspecting your playground on a regular basis will keep surfaces cleaner and equipment in better condition. You’ll also be able to budget for more affordable annual repairs rather than paying a large lump sum for a huge overhaul due to neglect. 

How to Extend the Life of Your Playground 

Create a Maintenance Schedule

The most important strategy is to have a plan to maintain your playground as soon as it opens. Regular cleanings will help to keep equipment and surfaces in tip-top shape, and inspections keep everyone safe by identifying damaged or worn-out equipment. Your maintenance schedule should take into account weather, location, and how often equipment is used. 

Test for Safety

Does your safety surface protect as it should? Is your equipment damaged or defective? These are things you won't know without proper safety testing. As we mentioned above, the safety of those using your playground is vitally important. It’s important to schedule regular internal safety checks and to have at least one scheduled safety inspection per year using a third party. 

Keep Surfaces Clean 

Many new playgrounds have safety surfaces that naturally keep play areas cleaner. Still, some scheduled cleaning is necessary. Poured in place (PIP), bonded rubber, and rubber tiles should be washed or swept regularly to keep debris from accumulating. If using wood fiber, you’ll need to occasionally replace or refill the fiber, and regularly check for sanitary hazards such as pet waste. 

Don’t Forget the Shade Fabric

While shade fabric is a wonderful addition to any playground, it also requires a little more TLC than other equipment. Shade fabrics are prone to damage in extreme cold or storms. Snow can build up on the fabric and cause it to cave in, and storms with high winds can tear the shade. Remove shade fabrics before large snowfalls or big storms; if you can’t remove it in time, be sure to clean the snow off as quickly as possible, and inspect the fabric after for any damage. 

Repair or Replace Damaged Equipment 

It’s important to keep equipment in the best possible shape. While some wear and tear is expected, damaged equipment can compromise the safety of your playground patrons. Regular maintenance and safety inspections will help you stay on top of repairs. Your maintenance budget should also include funds to repair and/or replace any equipment that does not meet safety standards. 

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A Little Planning Goes a Long Way

The average lifespan of a playground is about ten years, but with a little TLC and regular maintenance, some playgrounds last 15 years or more! 

Whether you’re building a new playground or simply want to extend the life of your current playground, we can help. We have more than 35 years of experience as the premier professional installers of playgrounds, shelters, and more. Contact us today to learn how we can help you maximize your playground investment. 

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