A psychologist named Jean Piaget believed that play is the work of childhood. This is the reason why children are sent outside to play and make interactions at an early age. Children are introduced to the playground, which is supposed to be an enjoyable and safe place for everyone, especially for children.
Ensuring a safe playground is essential, and it might be time for you to check the condition of a playground for maintenance, and decide what needs to be done. You might want to see if there is a need for maintenance or replacement to bring back its look and ensure everyone's safety. The following signs can be your guide, on whether you need a builder for maintenance or replacement on your playground.
Are there are loose posts or beams.
The first things you might want to check are the posts on the corners of the playground. This is the main support and essential for a stable playground. Essential components like the supporting structure need attention since it serves as the foundation of the play space itself.
Posts that are loose can be re-concreted or bolted down. If you saw that the posts are too loose, you might want to consider re-concreting it to ensure that it is safe and making sure that an adult’s body weight can not tip the structure.
Can you see flaking paint and rusty metal?
In playgrounds, metal is one of the most common materials you will see on older sets. One downfall of metal as a chosen material is that it can become rusty, especially when exposed to too much weather and, the ocean. One way to keep it from rusting is to paint it, but unfortunately, paint also fades over time. If you see that the paint is flaking and rusty metal, you might want to apply a new coat of paint
As a DIY fix, you can use an electric sander for sanding back areas of metal that need a touch up of paint. There shouldn’t be any jagged edges on a playground pole that could lead to a cut. Using a cordless palm sander, you can get rid of the old flaky paint and smooth the join between the old paint and where the new paint patch up will overlap. As Aaron Barnett mentions on Bangingtoolbox.com there are different types of electric sanders builders use, choosing both an orbital sander, and a belt sander can help get the job done best.
After sanding you can proceed to the application of new metal specified paint. Failing to fix the start of rusty metal and flaky paint could cause serious infection, from a cut. Not using the correct paint could lead to a paint job that doesn’t last the elements.
Rusty fixings could become a problem if it gets too bad.
Rust is the universal weakness of most fixings like screws, and there is nothing you can do to prevent it from happening as this is a part of a chemical reaction unless you opt for stainless steel. Although you can slow the process through some ways on steel and galvanized bolts by applying paint, time will come that corrosion will take place though.
In a playground, keep an eye on those rusty fixings that need to be replaced by stainless steel before it breaks. Stainless steels are the ideal material if you want to get away with worrying about corrosion.
There are noticeable dangerous parts that could cause an injury.
One noticeable sign that you need playground maintenance or replacement is the parts that noticeably seem dangerous. You need to make sure that there are no sharp edges or pointed metals on the play space.
The ground or surface is even and intact to prevent slipping and other possible injuries. You might want to remove these parts and modify those that do not promote safety. Also, make sure there are handrails when needed and the depth of bark is adequate to help with a fall.
Is there wood starting to decay and rot.
While metal is prone to corrosion, wood is susceptible to rotting. Any part of the wood is likely to decay because of rot and fungi from moisture present in the soil and the air. However, dry wood is less prone to rot, which is why wood must continuously be dry to prevent slippery fungi from living on it. Check the playground parts that have wood as its material and examine if there is rot present primarily in the place located near the soil.
You need to replace any wood before it has the chance to break on someone. When replacing wood, you can use a cordless drill to quickly remove screws that combine several parts of the timber treads. And for the beginning stages of wood breaking down you could use a belt sander to clean the surface and a new coat of paint to keep your playground strong into the future.
When to replace a playground?
The signs laid above can guide whether maintenance or replacement of parts is needed on a playground. After you have checked each part and think that the issues are getting too serious, and would be to much work, it might be time to take hold of the necessary action to resolve the problems by a full replacement. Make sure that all new wood is treated with the chemicals needed to resist rot. You can also consider a plastic playground that is less prone to the need for maintenance.
We had part of a shackle type clamp break, cast aluminum, and looking for a replacement. This particular part wraps around a 5" diameter support column. Is there a parts catalog I may refer to? I can also submit a photo with measurements. Thank you.
The Pegasus School
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