A wooden swing set provides a safe space for children to play, beautifies your landscaping, and adds value to your home. To make sure your swing set last many years, take the time to protect the wood and the play features from hot sun, wet weather, and even insects.
Pressure Treated Lumber
Anything constructed for outdoor use should be built with pressure-treated lumber. Though a little more expensive than regular wood, it's worth it in the long run. This lumber has been chemically treated to withstand the changing seasons and handle long periods of time in the sun.
Seal With Weather Protection
If the wood has not been pressure-treated, you can still protect it with weather sealer. Most of these products form a sort of shell on the outside of the wood. This keeps the rain from seeping in and prevents problems with mildew and rotting.
Other sealers penetrate the wood to keep it resistant to heat and water. These are generally a little more expensive, but worth the investment for the overall life of your wooden swing set.
Seal Hardware With Caulking
When first assembling your swing set, you should take a little time to spread some caulking around each bolt. When screwed in, each bolt will then create a watertight seal that prevents moisture to seep in.
You can also keep the bolts and hardware coated with a fresh coat of oil. Reapply at the start of each summer and at the end of the fall. The oil will help keep the pieces move smoothly and prevent them from developing rust. Bolts coated with rust can easily break.
Spray for Bugs
At the beginning of each season, spray the perimeter of the structure with a bug repellent. This will help keep ants away as well as other bugs that could burrow into the wood and build nests. Also keep an eye out for hives and nests that have been built on the undersides of slides and platforms or in corners.
Painting your wooden swing set will also add to the protection. You may want to preserve the natural look of the wood, but once it starts to look weathered, you can always add a fresh coat of paint.
It doesn't take much to protect your wooden swing set. Your kids will have a place to play for years to come.