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How Much Maintenance Does a Wooden Playset or Swing Set Need?

When parents are looking to buy an outdoor playset for their kids, they have two main choices: vinyl and wood. While they seem fairly similar on the surface, when you dig deeper, you start to notice the crucial differences.

One of the biggest differences between the two playset materials is how much maintenance each one requires, each and every year. While vinyl Adventure World Playsets are virtually maintenance-free, wooden playsets demand a full list of maintenance to keep from falling apart in your backyard.

At Adventure World Playsets we believe in educating customers BEFORE they make a final decision — that’s why we want to share the maintenance requirements to keep a backyard wooden playset safe and sturdy for children.

wooden swing seat

Wooden Playset Maintenance Needs

Your playset will spend years exposed to the beating sun, the wind, the snow, and the rain — all of which take their toll. Since the sturdy timber frames of heavy vinyl covered sets are wrapped in a vinyl exterior, they stay protected from the elements.

Wooden playsets don’t have the same protection, so as the customer you need to work overtime, performing frequent maintenance. Skipping that maintenance can cause your wooden playset to fall apart or even become unsafe for your children.

Here are the 5 main types of wooden playset maintenance you can’t afford to miss:

  1. Sealing
    Just like you need to seal your wooden deck to keep it from rotting, your wooden playset requires the same attention. Applying a waterproof sealant to your entire wooden playset is a once-a-year task that’s necessary to keep it from rotting or falling apart. Naturally, this is pretty annoying to most homeowners — after all, you wanted to buy something exciting from your children, not sign-on for a yearly project.
  2. Finding and Fixing Splinters
    You need to examine the set’s wooden surface with a fine-tooth comb, looking for potential splinters that could hurt young hands. Any splinters you find will need to be smoothed out with a power sander. By wrapping our sets in smooth and sturdy vinyl, Adventure World ensures that splinters are never an issue even after decades of ownership.
  3. Staining
    The only optional item on the wooden playset maintenance checklist. If you don’t stain your wooden playset regularly, the rich wooden color will fade quickly. Essentially, if you want to keep your set looking presentable you have another outdoor project — otherwise, it’ll just end up resembling driftwood. With some soap and water, you can keep an Adventure World vinyl set looking just as exciting as the day you bought it.
  4. Watching out for Weathering
    Spending day after day expanding and contracting in the hot sun causes wooden playsets to weather prematurely. While this isn’t something swing set maintenance can prevent, you still need to make sure your set isn’t too warped or weathered to support your children’s weight.
  5. Hunting for Mold and Rot
    The biggest safety concern for any wooden playset, mold doesn’t just leave the set looking gross. When mold grows on the surface of your set, it begins to infiltrate into the wood core, causing it to rot. A swing set with rotten beams or a rotten playset floor needs to be condemned — it just isn’t safe for children any longer. You need to make hunting for the mold and rot a part of your regular playset maintenance. On the other hand, our high-quality vinyl sets repel rot, keeping the timber frame safe for decades of fun.


While wooden and vinyl playsets seem similar, one is a WAY bigger commitment in outdoor chores, and most homeowners don’t appreciate that.

At Adventure World Playsets, we’re dedicated to building the safest, most-fun and highest-quality playsets. That’s why we use vinyl — we always have and always will.

Learn more about what wooden playset manufacturers don’t tell you.

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Are you ready to bring the safety, excitement, and convenience of an Adventure World Playset to your backyard? We sell our sets nationwide through our exclusive dealer network. Enter your zip code to find your nearest dealer!

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