As keepers of all things playground, what do we need to do to get ready for cold weather and snow? It comes as no surprise when the leaves start to fall, and the temperature starts to drop that snow and ice won’t be far behind. Just because its getting to be the season of playing indoors doesn’t mean we forget about the playground equipment until spring. Quite the contrary. We need to make sure we winterize our playgrounds.
What does that mean you ask? Well first, we need to make sure our equipment is inspected by a CPSI. After the report comes back, any replacement parts that need ordered should be done so immediately, and installed without delay. Loose nuts and bolts allow for water (and potentially ice) to get in between the connection points on the equipment. This can cause rusting and warping. Tighten anything that is loose taking care to replace anything that is already rusted out.
We also want to check out the play surface. Does it need weeded before the weather breaks? Do we need to add to it? Should we get some wear mats for slide exits and swings? How about garbage? Be sure to pull all weeds. If you use a loose fill material, pull back the surfacing and put new weed fabric down if needed. Also check to make sure little feet haven’t worn giant holes under swings and at the end of slides. These pose trip hazards and can cause standing water and drainage problems. If you see holes, add top soil and then place wear mats under the protective surfacing to keep it from happening again. Be sure to pick up all the debris and animal excrement from the area and dispose of it properly. Allowing garbage and feces to sit on your playground can cause unwanted bacteria and mold to grow.
Why should I do all of this now instead of waiting until spring? The answer is simple. That first warm day we have at the end of February the kids are going to be on the playground letting out pent up cabin fever. If you have taken the necessary steps, the kids will be able to play safely, and the keeper of all things playground won’t have to worry about cleaning up and inspecting on the first warm day they can enjoy! Let’s be honest, the last thing most of us think about on the first nice day is a rusty bolt, an old busted bottle, and a hole under the swings.
So if you, like myself, are a keeper of all things playground, be sure you inspect, replace, and clean up your areas before it gets too cold. We want our kids to be happy, healthy, and running around like wild animals on the first day of warmth without the risk of injury.
If you have Landscape Structures equipment you would like inspected, please call us. We have two CPSI’s on staff that can inspect and order replacement parts for you. You can reach us at (866) 959-7866!