One of the best ways to entertain older kids is to get a trampoline. Even teenagers have a ball playing on one. And, there isn’t a whole lot you’re going to need to know about trampoline care to take care of one.
Trampolines are not without their risks, though. One of the best ways to ensure that yours stays safe is to do routine trampoline care and maintenance.
These structures can demand a little bit of attention to ensure they do not have a failure that could lead to injuries. If you don’t want to waste your money on something that only lasts a few seasons, following a proper maintenance schedule can help you avoid common issues with trampolines.
You’ll likely find trampoline care and maintenance instructions in the paperwork you get with your purchase, but these are not always complete. While you should always follow the instructions that come with your trampoline, we have some additional tips and advice that can make it much easier to know how to take care of a trampoline.
Routine Cleaning Steps
You’ll notice that your trampoline easily attracts dirt. The most common issue is a black coating on the mat, which can get all over anyone who jumps on it. To avoid this messy situation, you need to clean it regularly.
Hunker explains that the best time to clean is when the sun is out and can quickly dry the mat. You’ll want to begin by sweeping it off with a broom.
Then, soak it with a hose, and scrub it with soapy water. Use a brush with soft bristles as stiff bristles can tear the mat.
Make sure that you rinse all the soap from the mat and let it dry completely before anyone tries to jump. Both soap and wetness make for a slippery surface that can easily cause injuries.
As part of your regular cleaning, make sure not to overlook the springs. Check for debris and remove it. Also, go over the springs with your brush and soapy water.
You should spot clean your trampoline before every use. Just use a broom and dustpan to remove any leaves or other debris that has gathered on it since the last use.
Seasonal Maintenance Schedule
Each season will bring some specific maintenance tasks you’ll want to do. SkyBound USA explains that aligning your maintenance tasks with the season changes can help you to get into a routine and makes it easier to remember to do important safety checks.
You will focus on a seasonal schedule for winter and spring as these two seasons bring about the most changes and specific issues you must tackle.
How to take care of a trampoline in the winter depends on where you live. Winter can bring some very harsh weather in certain areas. Snow and ice can be hard on your trampoline. Many people decide to take it down over the winter months. You can do this by removing and storing away everything except the metal frame.
You can also leave it up if you don’t want to store it or don’t have anywhere to keep it. If you do this, you will need to winterize it.
In both cases, you will need to start by securing the metal frame. Winter storms can bring strong winds, and you don’t want your frame blowing away. Not only could it make you liable for any damage but also it is likely to bend or break the structure.
The natural urge may be to put a cover over the trampoline, but if you get a lot of snow, this is not advisable. The snow will become too heavy and can bend the frame. Your better bet is to stay on top of snow removal.
You can use a broom to wipe away snow as it builds up. Do not leave snow sitting on the mat as the moisture buildup can lead to excessive wear. It also encourages rust on the metal parts.
In the spring, you are ready to prep the trampoline for use. Again, you want to ensure the frame is secure just in case you get some violent spring storms that could include strong winds.
This is also an excellent time to do a quick check of each part to ensure there is no wear and tear or other issues. Check the springs to make sure they have a tight coil, and there is no rust buildup.
Look at the mat. Make sure the stitching is tight. Check for rips and tears. Also, make sure there is no fraying.
Give the frame a once over to check for bending or other issues. If you notice rust on the springs or the frame, you can use a toothbrush and a mixture of vinegar and water (1 part to 3 parts) to scrub it away.
You also want to give the whole thing a good cleaning to get it ready for jumping. Before you let the first child on it, though, you want to test it for strength.
To test, sit on the edge and slowly roll onto the mat. Sit up and lightly bounce on your bottom in the middle of the mat. If it feels good, then stand up and do a few light bounces.
Pay attention to how things sound and whether the mat is as reactive as it should be. Move around the mat to check the whole area. If you notice anything is off, then get down and recheck the springs, mat, and frame. Redo the test until you are happy it is safe.
Trampoline Care and Maintenance Checklist
It is relatively easy to overlook things as you do regular trampoline care and maintenance, especially the seasonal duties since you only do them twice a year. To make things easier and ensure that you are properly caring for it, you can create a trampoline care and maintenance checklist.
When caring for your trampoline, your primary focus will be on the three parts of it that will affect safety and function:
- Jumping mat
The springs allow for the mat to react properly when someone is jumping on it. They must maintain a tight coil. If the coil loosens, it can easily lead to problems. It also means the spring is weak and more likely to break.
Always make sure that the coils are tight and rust-free. Rust also will weaken them, so remove it if you see it, and stay on top of rust control.
The frame provides essential support. If it fails, when someone jumps, he or she will fall. It can be very dangerous to have a frame failure.
To avoid this, always check the welds. You will find them at any spot where two pieces of metal meet. You want to ensure they are solid without cracks. They need to be secure and not loose.
Also, look at the integrity of the frame. Make sure there are no signs of bends or bowing. Also, make sure it is free of rust.
All it takes is a small weakness in the mat for someone to go ripping through it. You have to carefully inspect every inch to ensure there are no tears, weak spots, fraying, or other signs of wear.
Also, ensure that it securely attaches at every point to the springs with no signs of weakness, such as frays or excessive stretching. Check the stitching to make sure it is not coming undone.
Trampoline Care and Maintenance Do’s and Don’ts’s
Trampoline care and maintenance involve everything from set up to washing. You want to be sure that you don’t make a mistake anywhere along the way that could put safety at risk or lead to issues with maintaining your trampoline.
To help make it easier for you, here is a look at some do’s and don’t’s that you will want to keep in mind about your trampoline.
Do be careful about where you set up your trampoline. Turf Mechanic explains that you should be cautious about putting it too close to the edge of your property. You never know what neighbors may do. All it takes is one backyard bonfire with escaping embers to damage your mat beyond repair.
Do make sure it is in a shaded area, but it should not be too close to tree limbs, which could injure jumpers. Avoid full sun all the time, if possible, as UV rays can damage the mat. You can also use a cover, but be careful if you get a lot of precipitation as it can become too heavy and lead to damage.
Do be careful putting it around sprinklers. While the water will not cause much damage if it dries quickly, moisture buildup can lead to a breakdown in the integrity of the mat. Furthermore, too much water can lead to rust, and jumping on a wet mat is very dangerous.
Do remove covers to allow springs to dry after a storm or after other exposure to moisture.
Do use a rust protectant on exposed metal parts to delay rusting. Make sure you don’t get any of the spray on the mat as it will create a slick and dangerous surface.
Do make cleaning a job that everyone pitches in on. Make it a rule that before jumping, they have to sweep off the mat. Encourage your kids to assist with routine maintenance and care throughout the year.
Don’t forget to check springs often, especially in autumn. Debris caught between springs can cause a lot of damage and equal a pricey repair.
Don’t use chemicals on any part of the trampoline, according to The Morning Call. Chemicals can lead to damage and accelerated wear. Always stick with soapy water when cleaning and only add vinegar to clean rust.
Don’t let anyone jump on a trampoline that does not pass your safety inspection. Always handle issues right away and make it off-limits until you complete the repair.
Have a Jumping Good Time
Trampolines can be a blast, but that doesn’t mean you can just put on up in your yard and forget about it. They may be fun, but they can also lead to serious injuries if you do not properly maintain them.
Create a trampoline care and maintenance schedule, and stick to it. Hold everyone accountable for ensuring your trampoline stays safe.