What do I do if my swing set is moving or creaking?
Our play equipment is very structurally stable if assembled square on a level surface. If you have sound and movement then over time this may cause excess wear. If your climbing frame is twisting and creaking then it is normally caused by one (or more) of the following situations:
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The play set is not on a level surface. This means it has a slight amount of room to move. This is often accentuated by kids swinging due to the weight and forces excerpted on the frame. The frame will 'rock' on it's base causing movement and sound.
The best approach is to ensure your play equipment is definitely level and square. You can do this with a spirit level, plumb line, and set-square. If the set needs levelling then you can 'cut' into the lawn with a spade. Once level and all nuts/bots are checked the movement and sound should be minimised.
The structure may not be straight. For example, the swing could be slightly offset to the back/front of the main fort. Or the swing could be twisted if the back legs are higher than the front legs. This results in the structure being under constant tension, thus when kids play and swing it causes movement and sound.
Wood is a natural product so it will swell or shrink throughout the year depending on moisture content. There are multiple bolts and screws holding your set together which can worked loose over time.
As part of a routine maintenance schedule bolts and screws should be checked and tightened as necessary.
If hardware is left unchecked and remains loose for a significant period of time then this could both pose a risk to your children's safety, and cause additional irreparable damaged to your wooden play equipment.