Swing sets are some of the most popular play sets that you will find in most homes and school, and that is because it provides wholesome fun for kids and adults alike. But for your swing to be safe for use, it must be properly anchored.
There are a few ways to secure your swing set on the ground, but one of them is using a ground anchor, which is very efficient and easy to use. You, however, must ensure that you choose the right location for the swing and get it ready.
Today we will show you how to anchor your swing set with ground anchors in 5 easy steps.
How To Prepare An Area Before Installing A Swing Set
Getting the best location and prepping it is a very important part of installing a swing set because they make for safety for those who use the swing. Here are some of the things you have to get ready before anchoring your swing set:
1. Ensure You Have Adequate Space
Most people often get carried away with the kind and size of swing set they want to install in their backyard without checking if they have enough space. Hence the first thing to do is to measure the boundary of your backyard to see if your choice swing set can fit in it.
The law stipulates that you should have at least 6 feet clear on either side of the swing sets, while the area directly behind and in front of the swing must be at least 2 times longer than the swing’s height.
2. Ensure The Location Is Right
Once you are sure that you have enough space to install the swing, then you must ensure that the space is right. For starters, you don’t need overhead obstacles in the spot where you are fixing your swing.
Hence you don’t put the swing directly under a porch, roof power line, or tree, as you will be exposing the children to injuries.
You must also ensure that the area is an open field devoid of utility lines like gas lines, buried wires, Internet lines, and the likes because they might get in the way, especially if you are levelling the ground.
Another thing you have to remember while picking the location of the swing set is to pick a spot visible from inside the house.
Since you will not always be outside when the kids play in the swing, you must see from inside the house what is happening outside, and hence you must ensure that no obstacles obstruct your view from inside.
3. Ensure That The Ground Is Level
The area where you install your swing set must be levelled, and if that is not the case with your own space, then you should level the area to keep the swing set from tipping over as the kids play.
4. Ensure You Have The Right Safety Materials
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that more than 70% of injuries that occur as kids play in the backyard are due to falls. You can easily prevent this fall by putting safety materials around where kids play.
The safety of the kids that use the swing is paramount, so you must ensure that the play area and all around the swing are safe. You need a very soft landing material that will cushion the fall of children from the swing. There are different materials you can cover the ground around the swing with, including:
i. Sand: It is best for swing sets not more than 5 feet high. Sand is a very cheap cover material that is effective.
ii. Wood Products: Wood chips or mulch are great as a ground cover because they give soft landing, are biodegradable and are not too expensive.
iii. Pea gravel: this is an environmentally friendly option that is inexpensive but is best used around small swing sets.
iv. Rubber Mats: This durable ground cover provides a very good soft landing in the event the kids fall as they swing; however, they are very expensive.
v. Shredded Rubber: this is a soft and shock-absorbing material made from recycled material. They are very effective but a little more expensive.
These materials serve as “shock absorbers” when kids fall, and they should be at least 6 inches deep, even though some believe that 12 inches deep is more like it. The depth of this material can reduce over time and must be replenished.
You can make a small mark on the leg of your swing indicating where the level of these materials should be, and once you notice that it has done lower than the level, it tells you that you need to add more cover material.
How To Install Ground Anchors for Swing Set
There are different ways of anchoring your swing set to ensure that they are stable and stable for kids and adults to play on.
One such way is using ground anchors, which is a very safe and easy way of providing anchorage for swing sets.
There are different brands of ground anchors that you find in the market, and most of them are twist-in ground anchors which are relatively cheap and easy to install.
Ground anchors are not advisable for tough soils like clay soil or ground with rocks underneath. If you must use them on such grounds, then you can do so with a power drill to ensure the anchor gets to such soil.
Practical Guide to Installing Ground Anchor For Swing Sets
There are the tools you will be needing:
- Screwdriver or small metal bar
- Ground Stakes
- Ground Anchors and Included Hardware
- Metal brackets, wire, or fastening chain
- Screws and Bolts
1. The first thing to do is to position the swing set temporarily in the best spot you have earmarked for it, after which you insert a wood stake into the ground with a hammer in the spots where the four legs of the swing will go.
If you use a 1-piece anchor, you hammer each of the stakes directly in front of each leg. If you are using a 2-piece anchor, you will need someone to move the leg out of the way as you drive the wooden stakes into the ground at the exact points where each leg of the swing set will be.
2. With your wood stakes already in the ground, the next thing to do is to shift the legs of the swing set carefully close to the sides of each hole that is already marked, and then twist each of the 4 ground anchors individually as you apply vertical pressure downwards to insert the anchors into the ground that you have marked already for each of them.
If you can not give the ground anchor a good twist with your hand, then use a metal bar to slide through the anchor’s eye so that it rotates the anchor downwards because it will act as a lever.
3. At this point, you can attach the anchor to the appropriate swing. If your anchor is 1 piece, slide a bolt or screw through each of the anchors, and then drill the screw into the side of the corresponding leg of the swing. The screw should be drilled near the bottom.
For a 2-piece anchor, you will have to place 1 4-by-4 attachment at each of the swing’s legs, then using a 9.5mm bolt ( the screws and bolts usually come with the anchor kit), drill the attachment into the sides of each leg of the swing.
Even though most swing sets come with pre-drilled holes for the anchor, if there are no holes at the bottom of the swing legs, you must drill the right size of holes into the legs.
To do this, all you need do is to position the legs of the swing so that it sits close to its corresponding anchor, and then use a drill to put the screw through the eye-hole of the anchor and the sides of the swing legs.
Afterward, ensure that there are no exposed screws. You should use the right size of bolt caps to cover the cup; this is a safety precaution that protects kids from any injury as they play away.
4. At this point, you can fit the upper anchor over the ground anchor if your swing set is designed. Each of the legs of the swing should be lined up with its ground anchor, and then you push the attachment of the legs onto the ground anchor.
Using a 2-piece ground anchor, you can now slide a bolt into the right set of holes on the anchor to keep them secured. To further secure the anchor, drill another bolt through each of the holes that overlap.
5. With your swing set safely anchored to the ground, all you have to do now is cover the base of each leg of the swing with mulch or sand. For safety purposes, you should also lay some mulch around the swing cover area and a little bit beyond.
6. The last thing to do is to test the swing to ensure it is properly anchored and safe for use, and what you do is to push each of the 4 legs if the swing set and if they are all stable under that pressure, then you have safely anchored your swing set using a ground anchor.
Rules To Instill In Kids As They Use The Swing
Kids are very adventurous people, and there is no end to the tricks they can pull out as they play in the swing; this is why there are a few warnings you must sound vehemently to them because it had to do with their safety.
While the general rules with regards to playing outdoors still apply. Here are a few rules you can make your kids follow as they use the swing:
1. They should always wear appropriate clothing that is tight enough and comfortable. Loose clothes like flowing gowns, pull ties, drawstrings, loose zippers, and the like should be discouraged because the swing can pull on them.
2. They should never jump off a swing in midair (this is one of their choice tricks). It can be very dangerous, especially if the swing moves at high speed.
3. They must never walk in front or behind a moving swing; this is very common with children, and they must learn that it is dangerous.
4. They should never try to swing while holding their toys as this could cause them to become distracted, leading to them falling off the swing.
5. They should never roughhouse or push while they or others are playing on the swing.
6. Before they come off the swing, they must be sure that there are no other kids around; they could collide. They should land on both feet, and their knees should be bent slightly.
7. They should always leave their bags, backpacks and bikes around the vicinity of the swing since it can pose a tripping hazard.
8. They should never swing when the equipment is wet, which means the swing will be slippery, and the risk of falling from it is high.
9. If your swing is made of metal, especially during summer, and it feels hot to the touch, then kids should not be allowed to play on it because of contact burns.
10. Kids must be advised not to ever stand it and kneel on the swing, as this is potentially dangerous for them. They must also hold on tightly with both hands as they swing away.
11. More than one child should never sit on the swing seat no matter how comfortable it may feel because swings are designed with only one person per seat.
12. On very hot summer days, when the sun is hot, they should wear sunscreen to protect them from sunburn as they play in the swing.
A swing set is one of those toys that completes our backyards; they hold hours of fun for everyone, kids especially. But to be able to safely enjoy your swing set. They must be properly anchored to the ground.
Ground anchors are one of the most common means of securing the swing set to the ground, and the fact that they are easy to be installed makes them all the way cool.
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We trust this article helped you learn how to install ground anchors for swing set. You may also want to check out How To Anchor a Swing Set on Grass, Turf, And Concrete?
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