Once you’ve purchased beautiful swings for your playground, proper swing maintenance is essential to keeping your investment looking and performing its best. The right maintenance keeps kids in your playground safe by ensuring any wear and tear is addressed, and proper care can keep swings functional for longer.
Commercial Playground Swing Maintenance
To understand how to care for your swings, you need to first consider the types of commercial playground swing seats you have. Types of playground swings include:
- Arch swings, which have arches on either end of the structure
- Heavy duty swings with a thick, 3.5-inch, powder-coated, galvanized-steel rail and an extra leg for more stability and durability
- Single post swings, which are economical and have only one post and two legs
- Classic standard swings
- Swing along swings, which have a multigenerational face-to-face seat that allows children to sit with a caregiver
- Accessible swing seats with a safety harness
In addition to understanding the type of swing in your play space, you also need to understand the basic components you’ll need to check. These parts include:
- Chains: Chains link the swing seats to the swingset. They’re usually either zinc-coated or galvanized steel and will need to be inspected regularly and replaced when they show link to link wear.
- S-hooks: These hooks will link the chain to the swing seats and to the top rail or hangers. The hook must be closed fully with no gaps between closing points. Like swing chains, S-hooks should be inspected often and replaced when they show excessive wear.
- Hangers: These components may be welded to the top rail or detachable. They hold the chain and are attached to the top rail.
- Shackles: Some swingsets have shackles instead of S-hooks, which allow for easier attachment of seats to chains. Again, shackles and all moving parts should be inspected regularly and often, and when excessive wear is detected, they should be replaced.
Playground Maintenance Checklist
When performing inspections and maintenance on your playground and swings, use this handy list to ensure you understand what to check. You should establish daily, weekly, monthly and yearly inspection and maintenance schedules, depending on the unique needs of your playground. With respect to swings, look for the following:
- Surfacing depth: Check to make sure that surfacing around and under the swingset is the proper depth. This will depend on the type of playground surfacing that you have. Loose fill surfacing such as wood chips should be raked and fluffed daily to reduce compaction and attrition.
- Sharp edges: Check that there are no sharp edges or protruding points.
- Broken swing seats: Rips or tears in fabric material can mean the integrity of the swing is compromised, while cracked or broken plastic swing seats can cause injuries or fall apart completely during use.
- Excessive wear and tear: Check for rust and splinters, which can harm hands. Also look for any areas where swings and moving parts appear compromised or worn.
- Debris: Remove trash and debris, which can pose a tripping hazard.
- Proper anchoring and connectivity points: Make sure S-hooks are closed and a dime cannot pass through. Ensure that all swings are sturdily attached and that the chains move smoothly through a swing without buckling or catching. Check bolts and welding to ensure they are secure.
- All hardware in place: Fix or replace any missing hardware at once.
- No modifications: Swings should be set up as suggested by manufacturers. Chains should be not wrapped around rails, the seats should not be facing the wrong way and other changes should not be made.
Replace Old and Outdated Playground Swings
To ensure swingset safety, swings that are past their prime need to be replaced. Older swings may simply not conform to today’s safety standards or may be so worn that they’re a risk. If you’d like to update worn and outdated commercial playground swings, remember that Playworld offers a variety of commercial playground swings. Contact our team to get a quote and to discuss your needs.