Taking Care of Your Garden Swing Set

As with all garden furniture, a swing set needs careful maintenance if you want to get the maximum number of years possible out of it. It’s not difficult – but it can’t be ignored, or you’ll find yourself having to replace the set entirely after a couple of years.

If you have a wooden swing, it’s likely to be treated with oil-based preservatives at the production stage. Nonetheless, it’s always a good idea to add your own teak oil before setting the swing outside, as it will maintain the existing colour and finish of the set. If you fail to do this, you’ll notice the swing start to lose its lustre over the years, turning a once-attractive piece of furniture into an eyesore. It‘s best to apply a coat or two of oil when you first get the swing, and then repeat the process at least once every 6 months (depending on weather conditions throughout the year).

Don’t worry about small cracks and fissures – this is quite normal with a natural product, and will ebb and flow with the season, just like the trees in your garden. Never use a high-pressure jet wash when cleaning the swing. Instead, give it a gentle rub with a cloth to remove debris before applying the oil. Allow between four and twelve hours before using the swing to give it time to dry. Remember, it’s better to have excess oil than none at all. It’s also smart to cover the swing in extreme weather conditions. Here’s a useful resource for maintaining garden furniture.

With canopy swing sets, keep the cushions in good condition using plastic coverings. If you don’t want to ruin the aesthetic, just put the covers on when it’s raining or if you go away for extended periods of time. Even if you take care, you’ll need to replace the cushions at least once every couple of years.

Keep the nuts, washers and bolts on the chains well-oiled throughout the year. You should be sure to have the right tools for replacing them as needed – even galvanized bolts will suffer wear and tear outside over the course of a year. Try RS Online for more information on tools and tool storage.

How Long Before Metal Swing Rusts?

There are a lot of variables to answer this question. What is the weather where you are? Is the swing set exposed to rain or moisture? Is it finished in some way?

Rust and tension

Unprotected, not galvanized steel starts to rust in a matter or days or even hours, if it contacts water. Of course this will be light rust and your metal swing won’t be in danger that fast. But for an year it can rust pretty much. Here are few ways to project your metal swing from rust:

  • Buy only swing sets made of galvanized steel .
  • Paint it, coat it, or apply any other type of finish that will prevent corrosion.
  • Cover the swing set when it rains. Fully cover it in the winter if you live in area where winter stops you from using the swing set. You can use simple PVC cover folio like the one that gardeners use for their greenhouses.
  • Add a swing cushion so there is at least some protection from rain at any time.

You have to examine the key areas of your metal swing for rust set from time to time. If you notice rust, see whether repair is possible. If not, you’ll have to replace the swing as one with seriously rust construction can be dangerous.

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