How to Maintain an Outdoor Wooden Playset

Danny Lipford with outdoor wooden playset.
Danny Lipford with outdoor wooden playset.

Outdoor wood playsets can be damaged by the elements over time and require periodic maintenance, including:

  • Sand and Finish: Sand any rough spots to remove splinters, followed by a coat of wood sealer to prevent water absorption which can cause cracking and splitting.
  • Tighten Fasteners: Check fasteners (including nuts, bolts, and screws) periodically, and tighten any that are loose.
  • Replace Rope: Replace any ropes that becomes rough or frayed over time.
  • Prune Trees & Shrubs: Trim any scrubs or tree limbs which have grown too close to the playset.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Danny Lipford: In the spring playsets get their fair share of use, because the kids have been cooped up inside all winter, so now is a good time do a quick little maintenance check-up, unless your playset is brand new, like this one.

Now like any part of your home that’s at the mercy of the elements a play set is subject to a lot of wear and tear. The wood itself takes a beating from rain, the snow, and the sunshine, which can constantly expand and contract it and change its color.

Now the color change won’t matter much to the kids, but the expansion and contraction can lead to cracking and splintering, which they will notice, especially if they get a splinter in their hand. Now some sanding of rough edges will be a good idea after a harsh winter, and if you apply a wood sealer afterward it will help minimize this problem in the future.

Now all that expanding and contracting also tends to loosen up fasteners, like the nuts and bolts, so it’s also a good time to make sure they’re nice and tight.

Now the sun’s ultraviolet light also works on other components, like rope swings. Rope’s made from polypropylene may start strong to fray. And if they do, it’s be a little rough on those hands, so it’s a good idea to replace the ropes.

Now finally check around the set for tree limbs or shrubs that may have grown too close since the playset was installed. Then you can sit back and enjoy watching the kids play this spring worry free.


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