Every playground’s design and layout will be unique, incorporating a variety of materials and surfaces with which children will come into frequent contact. High levels of exposure endanger children if the materials are not properly manufactured and maintained. Metal components are no exception, but they pose only a minor risk when used correctly. Because of the unpredictability of their users, playgrounds have a unique set of requirements, so all components must be designed and installed to meet those requirements. Children require designated play and exercise areas that are also safe for this vulnerable population. There are simple methods for ensuring that metal equipment can be used.
Rust is the most common problem with playground equipment, and once it begins, it can be nearly impossible to stop. Of course, most metal playground equipment is rust-resistant, but that doesn’t mean it’s impervious. So, in this article, I’ll go over everything you need to know to keep your metal swing set rust-free.
Why Do Metal Swing Sets Rust?
Metal swing sets rust when exposed to moisture. Steel, a type of iron alloy, is used to make the majority of metalplayground equipment. When the iron in the swing set is exposed to oxygen and water, it undergoes a chemical reaction known as iron oxidation, which corrodes it and converts it to rust.
What Can You Do?
There are a few things you can do to keep rust from forming on your Playground equipment. Some appear to be more obvious than others, and some may require more of your time to complete. Here are a few examples of what you can do.
Keep It Clean
No matter what type of waterproofing your swing set has, keeping it clean can help prevent corrosion. Any dirt or mud left on the metal surfaces can trap moisture and prevent the set from drying out, hastening the corrosion process. Wiping down your swing set on a regular basis will help protect it.
Buy a Galvanized Swing Set
If you want to avoid rust, this is a great option. A zinc or magnesium layer protects the iron from being exposed to water or oxygen in a galvanised swing set. Galvanization works extremely well because the iron is not exposed to any water or oxygen, whereas the zinc or magnesium is. This means that instead of the iron within, the zinc or magnesium will be exposed and prone to oxidation. If you purchase a galvanised swing set, you will save yourself a lot of heartache. Galvanized swing sets, on the other hand, are more expensive than non-galvanized metalplayground equipment. This is due to the rust protection built in. If your swing set is galvanised, it will last much longer, and you will be able to use it for a longer period of time.
Prime and Paint the Swing Set
If you prefer to buy a less expensive metal playground equipment that isn’t made of rust-resistant materials, you can add some rust protection by painting it. It’s also a good idea to paint your metal playground equipment once a year or so as part of your routine maintenance and rust prevention.
Begin by applying a coat of rust-resistant metal primer, such as Rust-Oleum. Alternatively, use an all-in-one paint/primer combination. In either case, ensure that it is non-lead-based, outdoor-rated, and specifically mentions corrosion/rust prevention. It’s best to apply two coats of the product’s instructions for maximum protection.
Paint the Nuts and Bolts
It is also critical that the nuts and bolts on your metal swing sets do not rust. The nuts and bolts are responsible for holding the swing set together. Give each nut or bolt a thorough coat of paint, ensuring that the entire thing is covered. Because they have such a small surface area, many people will overlook the nuts and bolts. They concentrate on the larger areas and apply a thick coat of paint to them. It’s almost as important to paint the nuts and bolts as it is to get everything else. Rust will cause the nuts and bolts to crack, corrode, and crumble. That would not be a safe place for your children to play. If you have a swing set which is not galvanized, paint the nuts and bolts before you assemble the swing sets. This will ensure that they are completely covered.
Rust prevention is critical if you want your metal playground equipment to last. It is nearly impossible to stop rust once it has begun, but it is possible. You’ll need to keep a close eye on your swing set to prevent rust as soon as you notice it. A galvanised swing set will keep rust at bay, but it will be more expensive. Non-galvanized metal swing sets can also be painted to prevent rust. This will require significantly more effort, but it may be worthwhile to save money in the long run. When your metal swing sets last a long time, you’ll be glad you took these precautions. Hopefully, you’ll be able to watch your grandchildren use the same swing set that you did.