Autumn is often a difficult time for playground equipment maintenance. The children are back and classes have started, meaning it is more difficult to repair and maintain the equipment. Add to this the fact that the weather is normally getting worse, with cold spells, rain and wind - plus the need to start preparing for winter, means that this time of year can be a busy time for school playground maintenance teams.

These tips will help you with your playground equipment maintenance during autumn.

Regular inspections
Regular inspections at this time of year are vital. The equipment is being used regularly after a long period over summer of little use, which can result in small damages from happening. As well as this, the change in weather conditions can cause damage to happen to the equipment, especially as autumn usually sees a sudden change from warm and mild weather to colder and harsher conditions. Inspecting the equipment once a week will help to spot any small damage or potential damage and ensure that they are noted to prevent serious damage from happening to the equipment which could result in it becoming unsafe to use.

Make repairs quickly
It is important to make any repairs that need to be carried out as quickly as possible. Even the smallest damage at this time of year can quickly become problematic and result in much more damage from happening to the equipment. Minor repairs can usually be carried out by the school maintenance team and normally don’t require outside professionals from repairing the equipment. It is also a good idea to have a reliable source of spares so that new parts can be ordered quickly and the equipment can be repaired without delay. 

Check water damage
Autumn usually sees an increase in rainfall, often heavy and sudden, which can result in water damage and even flooding. It is vital to ensure that the equipment is free from any water damage. It is particularly important to check safety surfacing, as this can easily get damage from too much rainfall especially if the right type of surfacing isn’t installed. Ensure that the safety surfacing hasn’t become waterlogged as this could impact on the performance of the surfacing, as well as checking after rainfall to ensure that the safety surfacing has dried out and can provide the safety children need.

Keep a checklist of repairs
Use autumn as a time to be prepared for the new school year. Keeping a record of inspections and a checklist of repairs that need to be carried out and when repairs have been made will help the school maintenance team be more aware of equipment that suffers more damage and therefore requires extra attention during inspections. As well as this, a checklist of repairs will help the maintenance team to evaluate if there are any spares that are need more often and if so ensure that a supply of these spares are kept at the school so that damaged equipment can be repaired without delay.

Prepare for winter
Of all the seasons autumn often feels like the quickest and with winter fast approaching it is a perfect time to prepare for the cold weather. Winter weather conditions can have the heaviest impact on playground equipment, so it is vital to ensure that a source of reliable and high quality spares are available to make repairs to equipment as quickly as possible.