Sunday, September 02, 2007

Playground Maintenance 

Before and after a playground maintenance contract -

The tire swing in the two photographs above is a good example of the difference between a playground without regular maintenance and one with regular maintenance. This particular playground was one of my first customers. There are two significant differences in the condition of the playground. Look closely to see if you can spot the differences.

#1 We added fall mats in the immediate fall zone of the tire swing. The mats take the abuse directly under the swing. You may notice in the before photograph that the all-too-common pit has formed under the tire swing.

#2 We turned the mulch. Most individuals would say we added new mulch. That is not correct. We simply turned the mulch that was already present on the playground. This playground had excellent retaining walls and good drainage. Because the playground was installed correctly, we simply had to turn the existing mulch. Over time, we would have added a little mulch at regular intervals. But most playgrounds I see have been built with poor-to-no drainage or retaining walls. The need to replenish the loose-fill fall surfacing is constant.

The playground fire in Arlington, TX, was caused by failure to turn the mulch and poor drainage. That can only occur when maintenance is lacking and the playground is installed incorrectly.

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