There are many regular tasks involved with maintaining a playground. One of the most important are regular safety audits as outlined in the safety section of this guide as well as ensuring surfacing is clean and at adequate levels.
As outlined in the safety section of the site it is important to physically check playground structures for protrusions, entrapment hazards, sharp edges, and loose bolts/fittings. When performing regular playground safety audits it may be helpful to acquire an inspection test article kit. This kit includes all the templates and gauges for measuring playground protrusions and structure gaps.
We mentioned in the playground safety section that it is important to make sure that your playground surfacing is kept clean and at an adequate depth.
Doing daily walks of your playground can help you spot debris early before it gets buried in surfacing material. For metallic debris checks we recommend doing regular sweeps with a powerful magnet that will attract small steel shavings and other hazards from your surfacing material.
Beyond checking the depth of your playground surfacing keep in mind that no structure footings should be exposed above your playground surfacing as this can pose a hazard. This can be avoided by topping off your playground surfacing at regular intervals and using wear mats in high traffic areas such as entry points, slide landings, and in swing areas.
There are a lot of different types of vandalism that occur on playgrounds, but perhaps the most prevalent is graffiti. Graffiti can be an eyesore and the longer you let it set on your playground surfaces the harder it is to remove.
For graffiti removal we recommend purchasing commercial graffiti removal wipes or spray. These products contain just the right amount of solvent without damaging the paint underneath.
In lieu of a commercial cleaning product you may also use solvent or baking soda, but be sure to test the application on a small portion of your equipment first to ensure that the product you use will not damage plastics or paint.
Slides take a lot of punishment, and from time to time with plastic slides they require a little rejuvenation to repair scratches and cuts. For simple smudges and marks a glass cleaner or equivalent is excellent (along with a little elbow grease) to remove them.
For larger cuts and scratches, The Plastic Slide Field Repair Process outlines the procedure for repairing not only slides, but any scratches or cuts in plastic components.
When the paint or powder coating becomes scratched or damaged on your playground components the fix is relatively easy depending on the size of the damaged area. You will want to remove any paint chips flaking off and sand the area lightly to remove any rough edges.
While we recommend using manufacturer supplied paint touch-up kits for the best color match and luster any high-durability enamel paint will work. Just spray a smooth even coat over the area and follow up with additional coats as needed.