Back to School: Playground Prep Masterclass

Are you ready for back to school season? Whilst it might feel a long way away in the midst of a beautiful August heatwave, the reality is that kids will be back to school very soon! As specialist providers of playground equipment, we know that this means your playground needs to be in tip-top shape before the students come back to school. If you’re looking for some top tips on what you need to do to ensure you’re ready for September, look no further!

Surfacing Inspection

One of the most important aspects of your playground is its surface. Maintaining your surfacing should be one of your top priorities all year round to provide a safe, fun experience. Perhaps your playground has been out of action over the summer holidays, which means now is the perfect time to ensure everything is up to scratch before the term starts again.

We’ve made a checklist of everything you should look out for when inspecting your playground surfacing:

  • Check for any cracks or peeling. More commonly found in wet pour surfaces, cracks in the surface may occur as a result of wear and tear over time. Alternatively, you may find that the edge of the surfacing has started to peel up after some time. If you’re regularly inspecting your surface, you should be able to spot these issues pretty quickly and start repairing them before they turn into larger – and more costly – fixes.
  • Look for any breakdown of your products. More commonly found in loose-fill materials like wood or rubber chips, these surfacings can easily disperse over time without proper care and refills. However, this can be easily solved. Keep an eye out for the levels getting lower and arrange for some replacements to be delivered.
image of a wobble bridge with eco mulch surface in a primary school

Equipment Checks

Anyone knows how important school playground equipment is – this is how children play and learn! Unfortunately, if your equipment has issues, this can significantly compromise safety. Therefore, it is crucial that you keep on top of regular inspections. There are a few warning signs that equipment needs repairing or replacing, which we have listed below:

  • Loose bolts or screws. If you see any bolts or screws that are not securely and tightly screwed into the equipment, they can potentially become unscrewed, which can cause the equipment to come apart. Finding these issues in good time prevents any safety risks to the children playing on the equipment.
  • Cracks and breaks. Whether you have wooden, metal, plastic equipment, or anything else, all materials are susceptible to faults developing. If you don’t regularly inspect your equipment, a tiny crack runs the risk of expanding under pressure or weather conditions, to the point you may have to replace it altogether. Additionally, this adds to the risk of injury to children. If they unknowingly play on damaged equipment, it can collapse or break with them on it.

Making Checklists

When carrying out your playground inspections, it’s a good idea to keep checklists of everything you’ve noticed that might need repairs or replacements. Whether it’s a fresh lick of paint, or repairing a fault, you want to ensure this is fixed before children return to school. This is a good idea because you don’t have a section of your playground cordoned off whilst awaiting repairs.

To efficiently manage your playground maintenance, keep a checklist of anything you notice in your inspections that will need rectifying before children start using the playground again. This way, you can either fix the issues or arrange for the relevant teams to carry out repairs or replacements in good time, and have a list to consult back on and keep yourself accountable to everything that needs fixing.

What next?

Hopefully this article has helped plant the foundations for your summer maintenance. If you have any more queries, you can contact our team at any time! We’re a friendly and experienced team that can offer advice about a wide range of playground questions. Simply fill out the contact form below to get in touch ASAP!