It’s spring season! Which means students are enjoying outdoor recess again, community parks are bustling with neighborhood kids, and it’s time for your annual playground assessment.
Spring is the ideal time to look over your playground because it gives you time to make repairs and order parts during the summer season to ensure your playground is all set for the next school year. We’ve put together a playground assessment guide on playground events and parts we recommend paying attention to during your spring maintenance routine.
Spring Playground Maintenance Checklist
Use the following playground maintenance checklist when assessing your playground. If you have any questions about the checklist and what to look for, feel free to reach out to our team.
1) Determine the type of playground surfacing you have. Is it solid or loose-fill surfacing?
For solid surfacing, is there any damage or deterioration, such as holes or cracks?
For loose-fill surfacing, does it need to be raked or refilled so it is evenly distributed and thick enough to meet safety standards?
2) Are there drainage issues?
Are there large puddles that build up in places or does your playground frequently flood?
3) Do you have safety mats under high-traffic equipment?
High-traffic areas often include slides, swings, and swingers. If you don’t have safety mats, consider adding these to reduce surfacing maintenance. If you do have safety mats, are there signs of damage or crumbling?
Inspect your main playground system and freestanding events, including your slides, barriers, accesses, and overhead climbers. Check if any events have broken parts, breakage, or wear. If there are indications of these issues, it is time to repair or replace these parts. Clatter bridges frequently need brackets, links and spacers replaced- so pay special attention to this event!
Playground decking is the platform on your playgrounds, such as walkways, transitions, or bridges. Check these structures for any sharp or rusted edges, rotting, or other signs of wear and tear. It can take 8-12 weeks to receive new decking or replacement parts from the vendor, so we recommend examining and ordering early.
Is there any hardware across your entire playground that needs tightening or replacement? Make sure to thoroughly check all events and its hardware, including screws, chains, attachment parts, etc., for anything that may need attention.
During your hardware inspection, we recommend taking extra time to examine the chains on your playground. This includes chain climbers to the composite system, clatter bridge chains and bracketry, and swing chains. We often see chains that are not replaced soon enough which increases the risk of injury. Being proactive about repairing and replacing chains will keep your students and children safe while protecting against liability.
Another playground event we see replaced or updated too late is swings. When examining your swings, this is what to inspect:
- Hangers – Are there rust or weak points?
- Triangular bracket – Is there any pulling?
- Chains – Is there any pulling?
- S-Hooks – Most s-hooks are no longer compliant and should be replaced with clevises
- Overall – Any sharp edges?
All swing assembly parts and pieces should be replaced every 2 to 3 years depending on the amount of playground traffic. This includes all the items listed above: hangers, chains, clevises, seats, etc.
What To Do After Your Playground Assessment
After you complete your playground assessment, the next step is ordering the parts. Take a look at our online shop for replacement products and equipment, including surfacing, mats, hardware, and swing parts.
If you would like help with your playground maintenance, we are your team! We make keeping your playground safe and compliant quick and easy. Reach out to our team for assistance!