Maintenance Tips for School Playgrounds
School administrators should regularly review playground maintenance tips with staff. To ensure that children stay safe while playing, proper maintenance of your equipment and the surrounding area is essential.
Correct upkeep includes designating a maintenance committee, gathering the right equipment, creating a maintenance schedule and keeping your public playground clean. Here, you’ll learn how to do this and more.
How to Maintain a School Playground
School playgrounds are places where students learn through play. It’s an extension of your school building and benefits from the same amount of maintenance. There are many steps to maintaining your school playground, including creating a maintenance team, using the right equipment and installing protective elements.
Use these playground maintenance tips to help keep your school play space safe, attractive and lasting for years.
- Decide who will be responsible for maintenance: Maintaining a school playground is only possible if it’s clear who will check for issues and maintain the area. Designate a committee or hire a service, and look for local service providers who can check in often. Make sure the people tasked with maintenance have adequate training and knowledge about how to keep up your playground equipment.
- Have equipment installed and inspected by a certified professional: Especially if your playground is older, hire qualified professionals to attest to every component’s safety. Have them confirm that there is enough space around each piece of equipment and that everything works correctly. Get professionals to check whether the playground meets current safety standards and ask them to pay attention to surfacing in particular, which tends to need replacing and maintenance before playground elements like slides and swings.
- Install a fence and protective barrier: School playground equipment is for the students, and you want to ensure no one is using it off-hours and potentially causing damage. Installing a fence, gate and other protective barriers, or even an alarm system, can help you reduce maintenance tasks related to graffiti, vandalism and incorrect use of your playground.
- Create a written schedule of visual inspections: Have the playground inspected often. Even a quick check every morning before students arrive is a good idea. Whenever someone surveys your play area, make sure they sign off so you can see when inspections took place.
- Set up a system for reports: Do teachers, parents and students know who to tell about any problems with play equipment? Do you have a central system to collect this information, so you can promptly fix any issues and immediately close down the playground until someone makes repairs? Take the time to set up this kind of system for the sake of child safety.
- Read the manuals: Check the instruction and maintenance manuals that came with your equipment to understand what maintenance you should be performing and when.
- Install shade structures: Canopies and shade structures reduce UV damage, which can help cut down on some maintenance — such as paint fading from the sun — and thus help your investment last longer.
- Understand local weather: If you live in a wetter climate, you may need to treat wood structures to ensure they do not rot, or opt for metal alternatives. If you live somewhere that experiences harsh winters, clearing ice and snow off the equipment can reduce the chances of it collapsing, and closing the playground when conditions are slippery helps keep everyone safe.
How to Clean School Playgrounds
A significant part of playground maintenance is keeping your playground clean. It’s crucial to pay attention to the maintenance steps listed above and the following cleaning guidelines to reduce students’ possibility of injury or infection.
Consider these three steps to learn how to clean public playgrounds.
- Cleaning: Use a playground equipment-safe soap to wipe away any substances from equipment surfaces. Check for any visible dirt or dust, and scrub until no traces remain.
- Deep-clean: After you clean your equipment surfaces, use a nontoxic cleaning product listed as safe for your playground equipment to reduce the number of germs on your playground.
- Disinfecting: Finally, remove any remaining germs — including bacteria, fungi or viruses — from your playground equipment by using disinfectants.
For extensive messes, like bodily fluid accidents, secure the area by blocking off the playground. Some professionals specialize in larger-accident cleanups, which you can add to your maintenance plan. Or, you can hire people for your maintenance crew who specialize in complete playground cleaning.
The Benefits of Regularly Cleaning and Maintaining Your School Playground Equipment
You should regularly maintain and clean your playground. Timespans vary per play area depending on the usage rate, types of surfacing and unforeseen incidents, such as graffiti. Make a cleaning routine and include a plan for cleansing frequency.
Consider these benefits of creating a cleaning and maintenance routine.
- Reduces injury or illness: Students frequently use school playgrounds. Their hands-on interactions with equipment subject them to germs or broken equipment that could cause injury or illness. Having a maintenance and cleaning plan significantly reduces the chances of these issues.
- Lengthens your playground’s lifespan: Playgrounds are investments. School playgrounds can last you many years with the right maintenance, including consistent certified inspections, visual examinations and barriers that can protect from unwanted visitors or vandalism.
- Helps keeps your playground safe: Overall, the goal of routine maintenance and cleaning is to help keep your recreational area and its users safe. Without checking for hazards, you may be indirectly exposing students to a harmful environment.
When you’re looking for a durable playground to keep students safe, choose Miracle® Recreation.
Contact Miracle Recreation for a Quote Today
If you want quality and thrilling play equipment that is easy to maintain, contact Miracle Recreation for a quote. We offer PlayArmor™ playground equipment — a hypoallergenic and environmentally friendly antimicrobial coating created by biochemists that adds another element of safety to the playground. We are experts in play, and when you purchase from us, our team will be happy to explain playground maintenance options and best practices with you.