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When to Update Playground Equipment

Posted by Churchich Content Team Content on September 9, 2021

Playgrounds lose their fun qualities when their equipment becomes worn down, outdated and even dangerous. Yet playground equipment is made to last for a long time, and it can be maintained and repaired. So, how do you know when to update it? Here are some signs that indicate the time is right for replacement.

How Long Will Your Playground Equipment Last?


Your playground’s longevity depends on the materials the equipment is made out of, as plastic lasts much longer than wood or metal, which are prone to damage from outdoor elements over time. For example, metal may have rusted and become damaged, while wood may have developed splintering or rot.Happy children

Playground equipment is also affected by the materials underneath the sets, as mulch decays while artificial surfaces or sand stay intact and help protect the equipment.

Nonetheless, other factors impact your playground’s lifespan as well. These include:

  1. The set’s original quality

  2. The frequency of its use

  3. Damage from severe weather or people

  4. The climate

  5. Nearby wildlife

  6. Changing equipment standards

In general, playground equipment should last for about eight to 10 years. Nonetheless, many sets last longer than that, up to 20 or more years. Because of the many factors that affect playground sets, it’s not possible to give an exact timespan you should expect your set to last. Instead, you’ll want to perform maintenance and inspections to keep it in the best shape possible and to notice when a repair or replacement is needed.

Maintenance and Inspections


It’s better to be safe than sorry with playground equipment, as a worn or damaged set could create an unsafe situation for children. Perform your own inspections and carry out maintenance to take care of problem areas, hiring professional help as needed. For example, make sure to keep the area clean, keep moving parts working properly, check for uneven areas that could trip a child and repair broken equipment.

In addition to your own checks, you should have the playground inspected routinely by a Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI). This professional will guide you on whether a problem is present that needs to be addressed.

Equipment Replacement


While you can often maintain and repair your playground equipment to prevent and solve problems, there comes a time when replacement is necessary. Here are some signs that it’s time to update your playground equipment:

  1. Plastic equipment that is cracked or broken

  2. Damage that can’t be fixed

  3. A piece of equipment is missing

  4. Questions or complaints from those using it

  5. Equipment not operating correctly

  6. Frequently used equipment

  7. Outdated equipment

  8. Loose-fill playground surfacing

A CPSI can confirm whether it’s time to replace your current playground equipment.

Start Your New Playground Plan


When the time is right to replace any of your playground pieces or create an entirely new playground, contact us at Churchich Recreation & Design. We offer a wide variety of playground pieces, including themed playgrounds, interactive play pieces and experiences for all abilities. Our equipment will bring your playground up-to-date with the latest trends and according to safety standards.Contact Churchich Recreation Today

We provide equipment that will last for many years to come. We’re able to help you remove your current equipment, assess your site and design the perfect new playground for your space and needs. Contact us to start planning your new playground.