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How Long Does a Swing Set Last?

How Long Does a Swing Set Last?

    Remember the days spent swinging in the sunshine without a care in the world? Playing on swing sets is a part of childhood, and it’s good for kids’ health. When a child swings, they build coordination and get a fun workout. Plus, the sheer joy of gliding through the air is an instant mood booster. If you’ve decided to invest in a swing set for your kids, you probably have some questions. You want to choose one that’s a ton of fun to use, but you also want it to last for many years. Swing sets come in several different materials and some last longer than others. Explore the various kinds and see how they each impact the lifetime of a swing set.  

How Long Do Swing Sets Last?

In general, swing sets last about 15 to 20 years. However, the life expectancy of a swing set can vary depending on the quality of the material used and the degree of craftsmanship. For example, a poorly made metal swing set will not last as long as a high-quality wooden one. Swing sets also require care and maintenance to last as long as possible, regardless of the material. Maintenance tasks usually involve keeping it clean, lubricating moving metal parts and regularly inspecting it for any damage or loose hardware. Also, most swing sets have a weight limit. All swing set owners should follow the weight restrictions set by the manufacturer to keep their equipment in great shape.  

Swing Set Life Expectancy by Material

Before you choose a swing set for your backyard, you need to consider the type of material you want. The kind you choose is the most critical element in determining how long the playset will last. You’ll also want to consider how the material will look next to your home and other yard furnishings. Most swing sets are constructed with either wood, vinyl, metal or plastic. Since a swing set is an investment that should last for many years, you’ll want to choose the material carefully.  

How Long Does a Wooden Swing Set Last?

A swing set made of strong, durable wood should last 20 years or longer — some even last for generations. As with any material, the life expectancy of a wooden swing set depends on proper care and maintenance. Generally, however, you can expect a wooden swing set to outlive other playset materials. Wood, in general, is an extremely durable material. For example, some of the oldest wooden structures in the world date back to the seventh century. If the wood is well-maintained, it can easily last for hundreds of years. However, not all woods are the same or make the best choice for swing sets. Pine, for example, is not rot-resistant, so you’ll need to stain and seal it to maintain its appearance. Redwood is insect-resistant and avoids shrinking, but it can be difficult to obtain in certain regions. Ultimately, you’ll want to select a strong wood that can stand up to various weather conditions, insects, moisture and hours of playtime. Cedar, in particular, is a popular material for swing sets because it has a lot of advantages. First, it is naturally insect-resistant. Cedar contains organic chemicals that act as a natural, non-toxic pesticide. It repels insects such as termites, ants, mosquitoes, ticks and fleas and promotes healthy, comfortable playing as a result. Another advantage of a cedar swing set is its moisture resistance. Since cedar can handle moisture better than other types of wood, it’s an ideal choice for an outdoor swing set. You won’t have to worry about a cedar swing set rotting or decaying due to rain or snow. Even after years of use and exposure to various weather conditions, you can expect it to hold its shape. Lastly, a swing set built with thick, solid wood beams can hold more weight than other materials. Therefore, when you buy a wooden swing set, you can join in on the fun and enjoy some easy-breezy exercise. Overall, if you choose a cedar swing set, you can expect peace of mind. You’ll know your kids have a high-quality, safe playset to use, and you can rest assured it will last throughout their childhood. To add extra protection to your wooden swing set and keep it looking fresh, you can apply a stain or sealant of your choice. Popular Wooden Swing Set Styles  

How Long Does a Vinyl Swing Set Last?

A vinyl swing set may last around 20 years with proper maintenance. These swing sets consist of vinyl-covered wood. Vinyl is a type of plastic found in various products, from flooring materials to electrical wiring. The wood used in a vinyl swing set is usually treated with chemicals to prevent decay and insect damage. Vinyl makes another popular swing set choice because it’s a low-maintenance, durable material. Even in wooden swing sets, you may find vinyl covering the chains to protect tiny fingers from getting pinched. However, as a covering for an entire swing set or play structure, vinyl doesn’t cut it when compared to wood regarding safety and durability. One of the most concerning issues of owning a vinyl swing set is not knowing the condition of the wood underneath the coating. Since there’s no way to see the wood hidden beneath the vinyl layer, you can’t determine if the structure is rotting and losing its strength. Vinyl can become punctured by windblown debris during a storm, which could then lead to cracking or breaking. Any holes in the swing set will allow moisture to become trapped inside, which could eventually lead to rot and decay. Therefore, if you’re about to buy a vinyl playset, you’ll want to give it a second thought — especially if you want one your grandkids can use.  

How Long Does a Metal Swing Set Last?

A metal swing set will last about 15 years, depending on how often it’s used and whether it’s maintained. Metal is one of the lower-quality materials used for swing sets, and it’s not the recommended choice if your budget allows you to pick something better. There are several problems with metal as a swing set material. First, metal rusts. Even metal swing sets with a special paint coating can potentially rust. Rusted metal is brittle and more likely to break or form sharp edges. Metal also becomes extremely hot in the sun, which makes it uncomfortable to play on and can lead to burns. During the summer months when temperatures regularly rocket to 80 degrees and beyond, metal swing sets can become scorching. Also, consider a metal swing set’s weight limits. Typically, it can’t hold as much weight as a wooden one. This issue means parents and older kids may not be able to use the swing set at all. Even if it is only for little kids to use anyway, parents must ensure it’s anchored properly and won’t tip over. Overall, a metal swing set is less safe than a wooden one. Even if it costs less upfront, it most likely won’t outlast other materials, and you could wind up replacing it much faster than you’d expect.  

How Long Does a Plastic Swing Set Last?

A plastic swing set might last up to five years. Plastic swing sets are typically designed for toddlers and are not meant to be used by older kids. Parents might choose plastic for its affordability, fully intending to replace it with a more durable material once their child gets bigger. Parents may also appreciate plastic for its smooth toddler-friendly surface. Although plastic makes a durable material for a slide or other playset components, it’s not the sturdiest choice for a structure. Plastic is vulnerable to cracking and warps under stress. There’s a reason you won’t find a house built entirely of pure plastic — it’s simply not as strong as wood.  

Why Purchase a Wooden Swing Set?

Owning a swing set allows your kids to exercise, use their imaginations and get plenty of sunshine. A wooden swing set enhances the experience even further. Here are some reasons to choose a wooden playset over a different material:
  • Beauty: Many parents love wooden swing sets because wood is an attractive, timeless material. It naturally blends in with its surroundings and looks beautiful in any backyard. Plus, you can stain it to keep its appearance bright and match other wooden elements on your property. If you choose a cedar playset, you can seal the wood to protect its gorgeous brownish-red color from aging. Even if you decide not to stain cedar, it still ages well and maintains its charm.
  • Sustainability: Wood is a renewable, recyclable and reusable material. Your wooden swing set avoids adding more waste to the local landfill, and it can be repurposed to serve others. Since wood is also a durable material, you won’t have to replace your swing set any time soon, which also reduces waste.
  • Strength and durability: People have been using wood as a construction material since the Stone Age. Unlike plastic or metal, wood can stand years of use without breaking, and it can hold more weight with greater stability than many other materials. Cedar, in particular, is pest- and moisture-resistant, meaning it’ll keep its shape for many years.
  • Easy maintenance: While it’s true that wood requires some maintenance, a quality material like cedar is easy to care for because it’s naturally durable and resistant to rotting. You won’t have to replace or repair parts as often as you would with a lower-quality material. Although you’ll have to wash the swing set occasionally and apply sealant once every two years, you can expect it to be a low-maintenance option overall.
  • Safety: Wood is a safe swing set material for many different reasons. It’s a natural, non-toxic material. As long as it’s not treated with harmful chemicals, you won’t have to worry about it impacting the environment. Also, wood doesn’t get as hot as metal in the sun, so kids can play during the summer comfortably. You won’t have to worry about rust, corrosion or splinters. Cedar can withstand various environmental conditions, so it’s less prone to splitting and splintering than other woods.
Overall, if you want to purchase a long-lasting and cost-efficient swing set, you’ll want to choose wood.  

How Long Will a Superior Play Systems® Playset Last?

With proper care and maintenance, you can expect our playsets to last multiple generations. We are pleased to offer the best warranties in the industry so you can purchase our play equipment with confidence. And, if you ever have any questions or concerns about our playsets, we’re always happy to help. We also offer professional installation services to ensure your playset is installed properly, safe and ready to be enjoyed for decades.  

What Makes Superior Play Systems® Playsets So Durable?

At Superior Play Systems®, we are proud of our playsets and the unique qualities that set them apart from competitors. Here are some reasons why we’re known as The Most Trusted Name in Play®:
  • Multi-beam joint connection: The joints in our playsets consist of multiple beams. This design ensures stability, strength and durability for many years.
  • Pacific cedar solid-beam construction: While some companies use glued-together boards to build their playsets, we construct ours with solid beams of chemical-free Pacific cedar. This characteristic means our playsets are less prone to cracking, warping, splintering and other forms of structural damage. It also means they’re more resistant to moisture issues or insect damage than other woods. All of our play equipment is designed with safety and durability in mind.
  • Hot-dipped galvanized hardware: Our heavy-duty hardware keeps joints tight and upholds the playset’s structural integrity. Our hardware is also snag-free, so you don’t have to worry about clothes getting caught or hands getting scratched by sharp protruding pieces.

Contact Superior Play Systems® Today

As you might agree, gliding through the air on a swing is one of the best childhood experiences. If you’re ready to bring the joy of playing on a swing set to your backyard, you need to choose equipment from a name you can trust. At Superior Play Systems®, we’ve been supplying families with safe, reliable playsets for over 20 years. Our wooden playsets are constructed with 100% solid-beam cedar and offer safety features such as pinch-free swing chains and non-slip grips. If you would like to explore your options or learn more information, please reach out to us today or visit a dealer near you!
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