Summer is a key time for maintaining, repairing and installing playground equipment. The summer holidays mean that the equipment isn’t being used, which provides the perfect time for minor repairs to be carried out and to conduct thorough inspections. As well as this, summer is the ideal time to plan ahead and start thinking about how to maintain the equipment over the coming school year.

To help schools use the summer holidays productively, these five tips for summer playground equipment maintenance will help.

Thorough playground equipment inspections

The summer holidays provide the perfect opportunity for carrying out thorough inspections of your playground equipment. While regular inspections should be carried out throughout the year, a thorough inspection will look more closely at the equipment to find even the smallest of repairs that needs to take place. It is important to carry out a thorough inspection at least once a year to ensure that the equipment remains safe to use and in good working order.

Ideally this thorough or operational inspection should be carried out by an independent inspector other than the person who regularly inspects the equipment. As well as this, it is often useful to have a checklist to ensure that nothing is missed during the inspection. It might also be useful to keep a written record of this thorough inspection to refer to throughout the next year and as a tool for guiding the next inspection.

Time for repairs

With the equipment not being used over the summer holidays, now is the ideal time to carry out any repairs that need to take place. Repairs needing to be made should have been flag up in the inspection and even the smallest of repairs should be done during summer. It is also a good idea to spend time now sourcing places where spares can be quickly attained so that this resource is available throughout the year.

Look for weather damage

While the weather is usually mild during summer, it is still important to look for any weather damage that can impact the playground equipment. The warmer weather can cause some equipment to rust, so this is an area that should be particularly looked for during summer. As well as this, Britain normally doesn’t escape rain during summer so it is important to still look for any water damage on equipment, particularly on safety surfacing.

Safety maintenance

Keeping playground equipment safe and secure is vital and summer is the time to carry out a full safety maintenance. Again any repairs that need to be carried out should be flagged up by the inspection of playground equipment. Use this inspection to highlight any damage to safety equipment, such as safety surfacing, which need to be made. As well as safety equipment, summer is the perfect time to repair any damage to security equipment such as fences. Also the warmer, sunny weather makes summer the ideal time to repaint fences, benches, bins and other playground furniture.

Plan ahead

Planning ahead is the key to keeping school playground equipment well maintained all year round. During summer putting plans in place on how to maintain the playground equipment during autumn and winter, such as sourcing where to buy spares from and contingency plans in place in case damage is caused by severe weather.

While summer means that the playground equipment isn’t being used, it is vital to use this key time for ensuring that the equipment is safe to use and well maintained, as well as planning ahead on how to keep it maintained over the autumn and winter months.