It’s easy to be distracted and infatuated by all of the accessories and amenities of a swing set, so much so that you forget about one of the most important considerations: will this swing set last?
Backyard swing sets and play centers are most often made of wood, and for good reason. There is a durability to wood, a natural strength that you don’t find in a lightweight metal swing set. But wood swing sets need upkeep, don’t they?
Choosing The Best Wood For A Swing Set
Your swing set will be sitting outdoors under the hot sun, pouring rain, and depending upon where you live, the cold, snow, and ice that arrives with winter. Throw in insect activity and wood rot, and you have a full-scale battle on your hands against nature.
You want to find a wood that is capable of lasting a long time.
Cedar and redwood are the most commonly selected wood for outdoor swing sets, and for good reason. These woods are known for being naturally resistant to disease, rot, and insect infestation.
You will also find swing sets made of spruce, pine, or fir. While these woods are fine in some regards, they are generally used indoors without a coat of paint and (not stain or watersealer) and do not have the natural built-in resistance to nature’s fury. They will require additional maintenance if you want to protect your investment and have a swing set that lasts a long time. It would be best to avoid these wood selections for your swing set.
Considering Pressure-Treated Wood?
Some owners are drawn to the affordability of pressure-treated and preserved wood, but are concerned about the chemicals used and the exposure their children might have climbing or playing on the wood. It would be difficult now to find swing sets that use the preservatives that contained toxic chemicals (such as arsenic). Manufacturers stopped using wood treated with toxic preservatives after 2004 once the danger became widely known. It is unlikely that you will find this to be an issue with a new swing set.
However, regarding pressure-treated and chemically preserved lumber, what they thought was safe to play on years ago was found to be unsafe & is considered hazardous waste when disposed of. Will similar findings come out on the new treatments & preservatives? Who knows and time will tell but when children are concerned why take the risk. Redwood & cedar have many more benefits other than just being chemically free. Dimensionally stable, resists most twisting warping and is naturally resistant to rot and insect infestation.
Your Best Option For A Swing Set
The best options for your wooden swing set are redwood cedar.
These woods provide you with the dimensionally stable, solid foundation, low maintenance, and affordability that makes them a logical choice, and one reason these woods are popular with swing set manufacturers.
Tree Frogs swing sets and play centers are all made of redwood and cedar. They are built to last with minimal upkeep, offering you the widest selection of swing sets with the easiest care. You can feel confident that your swing set will last the worst that nature might throw at it.