Winter is coming

Expert Advice  |  4 years ago

Winter is coming

Winter is coming (in some places, it feels like it is already here). If you live in a cold climate, there are a few easy things you can do to prepare your wooden playset for winter weather and help extend its life.

Outdoor playsets are made to live, well, outdoors, so in general, they can take a lot of weather and still be safe, but over the years, harsh conditions may hasten wear and breakdown of certain components. A playset is a big investment, so a little bit of routine maintenance is worth the time it takes to help it last and look good for years to come.

First, it’s a good idea to remove and store smaller accessories. Freezing temperatures can make plastic brittle and lead to cracking, so if you have plastic swings or plastic accessories like a steering wheel or telescope, it’s a good idea to remove them and store them in the garage until spring. The same goes for any cloth components like canvas roofs or flags. We recently met a customer whose CedarWorks swing set was over 20 years old and in beautiful condition (she showed us photos). She said one of the things her family did was to take down and store all the swings every year, so even the canvas swings still looked fresh. Cover your sandbox and store any extra toys you usually leave outside. Everything will look better next spring if it doesn’t spend the winter outside in the snow and ice.

Next, inspect your playset for any damage or wear. This is your opportunity to identify and resolve any minor issues before they get worse, and dealing with them now means you won’t have to deal with them next spring.

Third, clean your playset. Hose it down, lightly sand any rough spots. If you own a CedarWorks, spraying it down with a bleach and water solution will take care of any mold issues and give the wood a bright, fresh look. If you don’t have a CedarWorks, your playset manufacturer may recommend staining your playset. Some swing set companies require annual staining and other maintenance to keep your warranty, so autumn can be a good time to get that out of the way.

Also, make sure to remove any debris or dead leaves away from the base of the playset as these can retain moisture which can lead to mildew or even rot.

Finally, go ahead and play! Even if you take down some of the swings, a playset can be great for winter fun. The fort can be the perfect place to stage a snowball fight, a playhouse can be a fun spot for a hot chocolate break, and a slide can extend out into the yard with snow packed strategically at the bottom.

Preparing your wood playset for winter is an easy way to get the most out of your investment in play.