So, you’re climbing frame has arrived, Dad helped you build it and the other kids love it; congratulations! With the proper maintenance your new selwood designed climbing frame will continue to look great and be safe to use for years to come. In this article we’ll go over some tips on how to keep your climbing frame looking great, as well as guiding you on how to check for and repair any damage which might accrue during the frame’s lifespan. We suggest you get mum or dad to help with this part.
About Our Cedar
Our climbing frames us a type of cedar (cunninghamia lanceolata). It is most often known as Cunninghamia, but is also sometimes called “China-fir” (though it is not a fir). The trees are ideal for use in climbing frames and other outdoor products as they are naturally resistant to rot and insect infestation – a huge advantage over European Pine and Fir woods, which require chemical treatment to stop them from rotting or being eaten by insects. Click on the following link to learn more about our cedar wood.
Checking For Damage
At least once a week during spring/summeer, it’s wise to go over your frame to check for any obviously loose nuts/blots, splintered areas, split timbers, broken hardware or other similar damage. If damage is left unchecked, it’s possible that sections may not support weight as they should, or could cause cuts or abrasions if your child comes into contact with it. If you find a splintered area, we suggest you lightly sand the area smooth again and re-stain/seal as required. For chips or scrapes, sometimes caused by strimmers or over enthusiastic playing, you can utilise one of the many wood fillers on the market. Occasional hairline cracks and small splits are perfectly natural on a wooden outdoor product, but large cracks, splits you can fit coins all the way in or ‘shakes’ are not. Split timbers like this should always be replaced at the earliest opportunity, so contact our parts team if unsure.
Maintaining The Timber
Whilst the timber on your frame should remain structurally sound for many years to come, in order for it to retain its natural lustre and be protected from dirt and damage, applying a layer protecting stain or sealant is very wise. Simply coat a rag or sponge and wipe on, wait for it to dry then repeat if necessary. A good rule of thumb is to ensure you do this in dry weather. You should do this when your set is fully assembled to ensure you coat the bits exposed to weathering. We never advise taking the whole set down and re-assembling as this will cause wear to joints. If climbing frames are repeatedly disassembled and re-assembled the screw holes will become worn and the sat may begin to move when children swing.
Cleaning The Roof
One of the hardest spots to clean on most frames, and often forgotten about, cleaning the roof of your climbing frame is important too. Bird droppings and other similarly nasty substances can accrue on the roof of a frame and run off during rainfall to coat the rest of the frame. Looking out of your window, a clean roof will look much nicer than a dirty one, too! Selwood’s climbing frames come with two varieties of roof: a vinyl roof, which is UV resistant and waterproof, or our fully wooden roof with wooden slats. With the vinyl roof, it’s as simple as removing from its fasteners and wiping it down with a mixture of detergent and water every so often. It’ll wipe clean and look just as great as it always did. For a wooden roof, take an appropriately high ladder and get someone to foot it for stability. Climb up to the roof of the frame and wipe it down with a stiff brush or wash in a similar manner to the vinyl roof.