Just as a deck or a wooden fence must be maintained so too must a playset or swing set, says Dave Byrum, owner of New Hudson- and Utica-based Kids Gotta Play.
“These playsets are made of redwood or western red cedar and are beautiful,” Byrum says. “But when neglected, they will start to look dingy over time.”
Rainbow Play Systems®, one of the premier playset makers that are exclusively sold at Kids Gotta Play in Michigan, offers a lifetime warranty to the original owner of its equipment. However, Byrum says it may not honor that warranty if a playset has been neglected.
“Playset maintenance needn’t be a major undertaking,” he says. “The first step is prep. Just as with painting, you’ll want to prepare the area, so scrape up any dried Cheerios, etc. on the playset deck.”
To that end, Byrum recommends families give their playset a good power wash with one of the many eco-friendly cleaners on the market. Byrum is personally a fan of the Superdeck® line of deck cleaners and brighteners.
Byrum offers a word of caution on power wash use though.
“Be careful not get too close to the wood as doing so many blow out some of the grain,” he explains. “In that case, you may need to sand the wood a bit to smooth out the grain.”
Once dry, the playset should be stained with a semi-transparent, oil-based stain. It can be applied with a paintbrush or foam brush. Again, Byrum recommends the Superdeck® line.
“We sell Superdeck® stains in our stores; we like them that much,” he says. “Another brand we like is Deckscapes®. Most playsets will require one gallon of either.”
Kids Gotta Play does offer a playset maintenance service that includes power washing and staining. Additional services like a canopy are also available.